We Kill for Love goes in search of the forgotten world of the direct-to-video erotic thriller, a film genre that once dominated late night cable television and the shelves of neighbourhood video stores. Anyone who came of age in the late 80s or the 90s will attest to the power of its charms. But what made it what it was, where did it come from – and where did it go?
This wonderful doc is organised historically and thematically rather than by movie, and all the better for it. Through interviews with the many directors, writers, and actors who fanned the flames of this hot-and-bothered subgenre, to academics and film historians whose books have explored its mysteries, We Kill For Love explores the erotic thriller from its origins in film noir to its heyday during the 1980s and 90s home video explosion.
We Kill for Love balances film art with film scholarship as it pulls back the curtain to reveal the heart and soul of a forgotten and often maligned film movement. Plenty of clips from a lot of movies, from the famous blockbusters (Basic Instinct, of course) to the ultra obscure DTV oddities; this is deeply researched, hugely absorbing and (as you’d hope) occasionally very funny. I liked how it had everything from Body Heat to Poison Ivy to Fatal Attraction to Animal Instincts to 8mm 2 (yes, 2) to arthouse fare like Mulholland Drive and Red Road. If a movie has a 2 or 3 after it it’s almost like it’s more likely to be included here. Personally my favourite title was Trois 3: The Escort.
This is also probably the only movie at Outlook to feature both Ray Winston and Ted Cruz.
Hugely recommended for fans of billowing curtains and slowly rotating ceiling fans everywhere!
We Kill For Love played at the Overlook Film Festival, and has been picked up by Yellow Veil Distribution for release later in 2023.