After a mysterious death of a young college student occurs late one night at a prestigious New England college, Danielle "Daisy" Brooks nevertheless decides to escape her small town life ... See full summary »
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Stephen Louis Grush,
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Two guys at a college prep school make wagers on seducing naive young girls, and then meet their match when they agree to see which one can seduce the most popular and devious girl who has her own agenda to everything.
After a mysterious death of a young college student occurs late one night at a prestigious New England college, Danielle "Daisy" Brooks nevertheless decides to escape her small town life and transfer herself to this prominent school. This naive country girl is determined to start a new life leaving behind a two year relationship and the ghosts of her parents who died nearly three years ago. Daisy knows that she must break away from her past in order move on and find out what she's ultimately made of. Written by
The first film of this series featured Drew Barrymore as Ivy, a teenage nymphet without any moral scruples using her physical attractions to destroy those who crossed her path. Released in 1992, it incorporated a significant amount of nudity. Two later films have featured Alyssa Milano and Jaime Pressly playing characters with different names but not dis-similar roles. All three films were essentially trashy melodramas, none achieved an IMDb viewer rating above the mid way point; but not because of poor acting, they all gave the career of their star a useful boost. Today however they are barely remembered, most filmgoers asked about one of them would probably scratch their head in bewilderment, and Insight were certainly taking a chance when they decided to make a fourth version of this story two years ago. Unfortunately it did not come off - like its predecessors this is a trashy melodrama with a transparent and overworked story spiced up with eye candy to increase its appeal; but not sure what audience it is really trying to attract. Ivy returns to this film in the guise of a University secret society - the Ivy Women's Society - which has established a dangerous influence on the administrative machinery of the University, and under the guidance of its current President (Azalea, played by Shawna Waldron) is prepared to go to any lengths, including violence if necessary, in order to maintain this. An unsophisticated country girl (Daisy, played by Miriam McDonald) who has decided to seek a University education following the death of her parents, improbably proves to be her most serious obstacle. Unfortunately this is only one of many very serious flaws in the story as presented. For example PI-4 includes a totally ludicrous and unnecessary bondage sequence showing new recruits to the "Secret" Society being tattooed during their initiation.
My TV version of PI-4 incorporated virtually no nudity but the Parent's Guide notes in this database just comprises the comment "nudity throughout". I understand the first release on television was a bowdlerised version, a number of spicy sequences intended to increase its appeal were added for a limited cinema release and later an even more spicy unrated DVD was released. Comments such as that above are of little help to parents in such circumstances. Ideally the Parent's Guide should relate to the cinema release, but once a film has made its rounds in the movie houses most prospective fresh viewers will only see either a heavily cut TV version or a spiced up DVD, probably designed for the young married viewers who rent or buy most DVD's today. These alternatives are as different as chalk from cheese. The TV version of PI-4 runs about 84m and the DVD 95m - for very different reasons neither is suitable for children's viewing. Similarly I have a PG14 version of "Wedding Crashers" which runs for 94 m, the R rated cinema version runs 119m and an unrated DVD 127m - over a third longer. This wide gulf in running times between TV versions and DVD versions for many films which are no longer regularly screened can nullify the value of IMDb Parent's Guide notes even though we all recognise they are of great importance to worried parents. Furthermore, when added sequences in DVD versions are designed to appeal to a different audience, they are often incompatible and spoil whatever appeal the original film had. The DVD of "Alice in Wonderland" (1975) included two different versions
comments on this database show that most viewers preferred the
original shorter version, not because it was more suitable for children but because it ran more smoothly. If the Parent's Guide is to continue providing harassed parents with help they feel they can trust, IMDb needs to examine this problem. Often I have wanted to contribute to these guidance notes, but found this almost impracticable because multiple versions of the film exist. Perhaps IMDb could open a blog for further discussion - it would not be relevant here.
My advice is to stay away from either version of PI-4 - the only reason to watch is if you are interested in its two young stars. Here Shawna Waldron played a part which I believe enhanced her reputation as an actress. It reminded me of the part played by Sarah Michelle Geller in Cruel Intentions. Both had to display subtle glances and gestures showing freedom from moral scruples when with cronies, whilst appearing highly moral and demure with all other people - a difficult accomplishment. But, whilst Cruel Intentions was a very good film, Poison Ivy-4 only rates 2 stars.
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