The Horror Honeys: 'Malice': Her Doctor Wasn't Playing God. He Thought He Was God.

'Malice': Her Doctor Wasn't Playing God. He Thought He Was God.

A Revenge Honey Erotic Thriller November Review with Linnie

Malice (1993) ~ Bill Pullman Double Feature Part One!

Ahhhh, the 90s. They were a special time, a unique time, a time when a guy like Bill Pullman could be considered a sex symbol right along side a guy like Alec Baldwin. Remember, dear kiddies, once upon a time, Alec Baldwin was a beautiful specimen of a human being and not that drunk uncle you only see at Thanksgiving who says racist and homophobic shit without the good sense to feel bad about it.

But I digress. Bill Pullman was the kind of guy both you and your mother could look at and agree... "Well, that guy is kind of handsome AND he seems pretty nice!" Which not something we see a lot of these days, unless both you and your mom see Magic Mike together and have similar conversations about Matt Bomer (guilty on all counts). Because Bill Pullman was such a prolific guy in the 90s, he appeared in more than his share of erotic thrillers, two of which we will cover today!

First up, Harold Becker's medical/law-based erotic thriller, Malice!

"I have an M.D. from Harvard, I am board certified in cardio-thoracic medicine and trauma surgery, I have been awarded citations from seven different medical boards in New England, and I am never, ever sick at sea. So I ask you; when someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their wife doesn't miscarry or that their daughter doesn't bleed to death or that their mother doesn't suffer acute neural trauma from postoperative shock, who do you think they're praying to? Now, go ahead and read your Bible, Dennis, and you go to your church, and, with any luck, you might win the annual raffle, but if you're looking for God, he was in operating room number two on November 17, and he doesn't like to be second guessed. You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God."

I think that chest certifies you as A god.
The Story: Professor Andy (Pullman) and teacher Tracy (Nicole Kidman) are a happily newly married couple living in Western Massachusetts, restoring a beautiful old house, and trying to start a family. Andy's old high school (sort-of) friend Jed (Baldwin) has just returned to town as a prestigious and well-respected surgeon. But when Tracy needs emergency reproductive surgery and Jed negligently removes a healthy ovary, leaving her unable to have children, Tracy and Andy sue Jed for a shit-ton of money. But this is an erotic thriller written by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network, A Few Good Men), so it's safe to assume that nothing is what it seems.

Malice is a distinctly 90s erotic thriller, in that it focuses on both the increasing fears of the power of doctors over their patients, as well as the rising prevalence of litigiousness in American culture. But what makes Malice such an interesting movie is that it is so distinctly Aaron Sorkin in its style while still paying tribute to the noirs that inspired it: a beautiful femme fatale with a past, a dupe of a hero who is smarter than he seems, a villain who isn't as smart as he thinks he is, red herrings aplenty, and one of my favorite twist endings in erotic thriller history. It's the kind of thriller that keeps you engaged beginning to end, and is all the better if you haven't had any of the plot ruined for you.

Malice is also supremely elevated by an exceptional cast of brilliant actors who, while not doing their best work, are certainly more than game. Anne Bancroft, George C. Scott, Bebe Neuwirth, and Peter Gallagher all appear and all seem to be really having fun with the material. Malice isn't Shakespeare, but its cast sells it, making it a blast.

Now, I will say that I am torn over one particular plot element in Malice, a storyline that is essentially irrelevant to the plot in almost every way possible. Except for one... Scattered throughout the film is a story involving a campus rapist/murderer. The only reason this story seems to be a part of Malice is a legitimate excuse for the police to get their hands on Bill Pullman's semen (giggidy). It's pointless, kind of annoying, and distracts from the central plot. However, it is because of this story line that I get to enjoy the visual of Gwyneth Paltrow's dead body. And THAT my friends, is worth an extra point right there.

Practicing the spoiled brat face she'd be making for the rest of her life.
Throughout Erotic Thriller month, we are going to be working on a far more stringent rating scale than usual. That means that if I REALLY like a film, it will probably get a three star rating. If I love a film, four stars. If I want to take a movie behind the middle school and get it pregnant, that's a five star rating right there. So with that in mind, Malice gets:

Erotic Thriller Rating: 4 dropped panties out of 5

Malice is available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Google Play, & blu-ray/DVD

Would you have picked 90s Baldwin or Pullman?
Tell me on Twitter: @linnieloowho