Forgotten Friday Flick – “Kissed”

Highlighting poignant past film work by way too-few female filmmakers (more please!), who says love and sex have to end with death – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  This week we are waxing nostalgic about a controversial film that raised a ton of eyebrows upon its release.  It weaved a simple tale of a girl who takes her new job working at a mortuary very seriously.  So seriously in fact that she throws herself into her work – body and soul.  Death, sex and a pinch of necrophilia – time to get….Kissed!

Sandra Larson is a passionate woman obsessed with death.  As a child, she played with small recently deceased animals and now as an adult is studying biology in school.  But it’s when she gets a job at a local mortuary and becomes an embalming apprentice that things take a strange turn.  Sandra believes that even though dead, that the bodies before her have an inner soul and soon her ‘at a distance’ fascination transforms into the raw and real up-close physical act of lovemaking.

I know most hear the premise of this one and have a reaction that says head for the hills, but in doing so one would miss a truly magnificent piece of filmmaking.  Albeit being a somewhat taboo tale, Director Lynn Stopkewich handles the material with kid gloves and turns a story that could have just been gross into something grandiose.  Her stark and magnetic visual style, especially during Sandra’s scenes of sexual gratification, is the beauty that makes the difference.  The controversial material is given a much more dreamlike spiritual quality, while aptly leaving scenes based in reality with a dull tone felt by Sandra’s damaged character.  It’s a feat of cinematography for sure and props should go to Cinematographer Gregory Middleton – it takes a lot to make the dead so alluring.

As the dame with an affinity for the deceased, lead actress Molly Parker delivers a knockout performance that’s no small feat.  It’s hard to convey chemistry, lust and a sense of tenderness to a corpse (a one-sided relationship indeed!), but Parker truly makes us believe in her perverse plight.  Plus she’s backed up by highly underrated actor Peter Outerbridge (his second fiddle work on the short lived David Caruso TV series Michael Hayes is truly tasty!) who plays her frustrated living male suitor and one damn sensual score by Don MacDonald that hits all the right notes.

Kissed was the directing debut of Stopkewich and it was quite an impressive first outing indeed.  She went on to helm a ton of notable TV work, but sadly stayed clear of such thought-provoking feature films and as a lover of highly original cinema it makes me  somewhat sad.  There’s a sweetness, a solace and a sensitivity running rampant in the controversial Kissed that feels like it could only come from a female filmmaker and in this day and age of so few wasting a good one feels like a crime.  I for one am glad that films that dabble in death like Kissed exist – it’s evidence that the power of women in cinema is alive and well.



I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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