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Poison Ivy (1992)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  8 May 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 13,025 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 22 critic

A seductive teen befriends an introverted high school student and schemes her way into the lives of her wealthy family.


(as Katt Shea Ruben)


(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
E.J. Moore ...
J.B. Quon ...
Guy (as Leonardo Di Caprio)
Michael Goldner ...
Charley Hayward ...
Billy Kane ...
Tony Ervolina ...
Mary Gordon Murray ...


Ivy ('Drew Barrymore'), a sexy teen who lives with her aunt, moves in with a reclusive teen (Gilbert) and slowly works her way into the lives of her adopted family. The mother (Ladd) is sickly and can't sexually satisfy her husband (Skerritt) any more, and to the daughter's horror, Ivy begins seducing her father. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What Ivy wants, Ivy gets.


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 May 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La venenosa  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)


$1,829,804 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(R-rated) | (unrated)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Loosely based on a true story. See more »


A few scenes before the car accident, Ivy's injury is visible, but very light on her chest. Once the car accident occurs, the injury is in the same place, but much darker. See more »


Sylvie Cooper: There's something about her. I don't know. Those lips. You know lips are suppose to be the perfect reflection of a woman's anatomy. Not that I'm a lesbian... Well. Maybe I am. No, definitely not. I told my mother I was just for shock value. She said "fine. As long as you don't smoke".
See more »


Followed by Poison Ivy: The Secret Society (2008) See more »


Written and Performed by Dan Reed
Courtesy of Mercury Records
by arrangement with Polygram Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Haunting & darkly erotic tale of teen alienation
15 January 2007 | by (Deutschland) – See all my reviews

Drew Barrymore turns in the most memorable performance of her career, in this strange, beautifully filmed tale of betrayal and teenage alienation. The introverted Sylvie meets the mysterious Ivy at the posh private school they attend, and become fast friends. It seems Sylvie idolizes Ivy just a bit, for her beauty and fearless, outgoing style. And Ivy, coming from a broken home, begins to envy Sylvies life, as Sylvie lives in a gorgeous home, and has a mother and father who care deeply for her. The tale is more sad than suspenseful, and this is more of a teen drama than 'an erotic thriller. The friendship that develops between the two girls is done in a very believable way, and it is sad when things begin to go wrong, and it becomes clear that Ivy has some deep emotional problems. The plot here is not so original, but so many elements elevate 'Poison ivy' above other films of this type. The acting all around is impressive; Cheryl Ladd is beautifully fragile as the sick, bed-ridden mother, and the relationship that develops between her and her daughter's mysterious friend is touching, as the two look very similar. It is obvious that when 'Georgie' looks at 'Ivy' she is reminded of her own youth, and her own days of being wild. And this is how the connection develops between the mother and Ivy. The daughter unfortunately is unable to connect with her own mom, as the two are so different. 'Gerorgie,' like Ivy, is blond, pretty, and glamorous, while Sylvie is mousy-haired and wears glasses. This causes immediate, but subtle tension between the two girls from the outset. Tom Skeritt is perfect as the brooding, wounded husband, who feels abandoned by a wife who has given up on living. This fact makes him easy prey for Ivy as well, whose desire to become a part of this family soon escalates to a disturbing level. Sara Gilbert is likewise perfectly cast as the shy but intelligent Sylvie. So much attention is paid to small details, which is so important with films of this sort. Ivy's tattoo, which turns out to be fake, and the Egyptian eye that is shaved into Sylvie's scalp, gives these characters depth. The film possesses a strong, atmospheric tone, and Ivy's strange, childlike sexuality has an almost hypnotic quality about it. The background music as well, is lush, and darkly romantic. And many scenes are absolute eye candy, and truly erotic. Among them, the scene where Tom Skeritt's character 'takes' Ivy on the hood of his Mercedes in the forest, while the rain pours down and that haunting melody plays; classic. And the film succeeds in being erotic without being very graphic, and this is not easy to accomplish. I was lucky to see this in the theater, and was happy to find the DVD, which contains both versions of the movie, the theatrical, 'R' rated version, and a slightly more graphic unrated edition. There were some sequels to this, that were released straight to video, and are, not surprisingly, terrible exploitation trash that has nothing to do with this legitimate film. 'Poison Ivy" is an above average 'teen angst' film, and deals effectively with it's subject matter. Recommended, especially for fans of Drew Barrymore. Fans who are only familiar with her more recent films will be amazed at how great she is, and how amazing she looks, in this very special film.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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