6.5/10
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395 user 75 critic

Wild Things (1998)

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ON DISC
A police detective uncovers a conspiracy behind a case involving a high-school guidance counselor when accusations of rape are made against him by two female students.

Director:

John McNaughton

Writer:

Stephen Peters
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Popularity
604 ( 260)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... Ray Duquette
Matt Dillon ... Sam Lombardo
Neve Campbell ... Suzie Toller
Theresa Russell ... Sandra Van Ryan
Denise Richards ... Kelly Van Ryan
Daphne Rubin-Vega ... Gloria Perez
Robert Wagner ... Tom Baxter
Bill Murray ... Ken Bowden
Carrie Snodgress ... Ruby
Jeff Perry ... Bryce Hunter
Cory Pendergast ... Jimmy Leach
Marc Macaulay ... Walter
Toi Svane Stepp Toi Svane Stepp ... Nicole (as Toi Svane)
Dennis Neal ... Art Maddox
Diane Adams Diane Adams ... School Secretary
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Storyline

In south Florida, a high school counselor is accused of rape by a manipulative rich girl and her trailer trash classmate. The cop on the case begins to suspect a conspiracy and dives into an elaborate and devious web of greed and betrayal to find the truth. Written by J.J. Jackson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They can turn you on or turn on you. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sex Crimes See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,622,444, 22 March 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$29,753,944, 28 June 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mandalay Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Unrated Edition)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Almost all the high school sequences, including the pool scenes, were filmed at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Florida. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene of the movie when Daphne is talking to Walter (the alligator handler), he is hooking up the trailer to the boat and he doesn't secure the ball mechanism to the truck at all, only the safety chains. He then shakes the truck for assurance, and enters the truck and drives off. In reality, the trailer would almost immediately remove itself from the ball. See more »

Quotes

Kelly Van Ryan: [in a voice laden with sexual innuendo, as she and Nicole prepares to wash Sam's Jeep] So where's your hose, Mr. Lombardo?
Sam: The hose, Kelly, is right in front of my Jeep.
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Crazy Credits

Interspersed with the credits are additional scenes that explain some of the plot twists. See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD version includes deleted footage never included in any theatrical release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Whole Nine Yards (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Good Life
Written by Rat Bat Blue
Performed by Rat Bat Blue
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Much more intelligent than it is often given credit for...
9 July 2001 | by mentalcriticSee all my reviews

During the very limited theatrical run that Wild Things recieved here (I think it was gone in about three weeks), a lot of the reviews and publicity created the impression that this was a soap opera sex thriller. I guess that's an easy approach to take when summing this film up, since its two female leads featured in Party Of Five and episodes of Doogie Howser (man what an awful show that was), not to mention that one of the male leads would be doing well to act his way out of a wet paper bag. The problem with that is that it is just too easy, and easy answer is exactly the sort of thing that this film goes out of its way to avoid. It is not trying to be a modern Hitchcock, it is not trying to be another Basic Instinct, it is just trying to tell a story.

The story, such as it is, seems to revolve around Blue Bay High School, the town it is located in, and its snobby, high-income elite, at least in the first reel. We are introduced to all four of the characters who will figure prominently in the story to come during a lecture to the students in their senior year. There's Sam the guidance counsellor, Ray the corrupt policeman, Kelly the daughter of the wealthiest real estate mogul in town, and Suzie the girl from the caravan park across town. All four of these characters have secrets they'd rather not share with any other inhabitant of the town, but that all comes apart when Kelly accuses Sam of raping her. Suzie corroborates her story at first, but then we get our first inkling that things are not all they seem, through the efforts of Bill Murray in one of his best cameos ever. The whole thing is seemingly a conspiracy between Sam, Suzie, and Kelly, but we are never shown whose idea it is until the very end.

This next passage will ruin a key surprise the film has in store, so don't read it if you haven't seen it. Unless things have radically changed in this regard during the last ten years, psychologists and other such professionals do not tell test subjects exactly what their IQ is. Even if Suzie or her mother did know exactly, this whole point is delivered with such sledgehammer force that it almost utterly ruins the subtle, slow buildup that the rest of the film exhibited. Were they just running out of money when it came time to film this spot and just decided to go with the quickest, simplest thing they could do? It would have been much more effective and satisfying if the ugly cop (I forget the name) had just spent five or ten minutes going through whatever Suzie had left behind on her run to the Carribean. Summing up this plot point in fifteen seconds was an exceptionally bad move.

Overall, however, you can't really go wrong with this film for an evening's entertainment. It doesn't feel the need to talk down at its audience, it doesn't resort to excess simplicity to make itself understood (except for the aforementioned ending), it just tells a story and tells it reasonably well. It is also another great example of DVD's utter superiority, especially during the threesome scene. When this part of the film is shown in its proper aspect ratio, you can make out every character and certain little details I'm sure that Denise Richards would appreciate not having available to horny teenage boys in a freezable and zoomable format. When was the last time you zoomed in on an actress' boobs with a VHS cassette, assuming they were left in frame after some jerk with an editing console chopped it down to fit those garbage 4:3 screens?


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