Kissed (1996)

kissed poster 1996 movie molly parker necrophilia
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Interesting and different type of movie

Could be longer and expanded more

Movie Info

Movie Name: Kissed

Studio:  Boneyard Film Company Inc.

Genre(s): Drama

Release Date(s):  September 7, 1996 (Toronto International Film Festival)/April 11, 1997 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

kissed young sandra necrophilia natasha morley

Nope…perfectly normal childhood activities

Sandra Larson (Molly Parker) has always had a strange obsession with death.  From childhood, she felt that she helped the dead transcend and pass on.  Sandra gravitates toward embalming under the tutelage of Mr. Wallis (Jay Brazeau) and discovers that it could be the key to fulfilling her need.  When she meets a man named Matt (Peter Outerbridge), she shares her secret with him…and Matt hopes to be everything she needs.

Directed by Lynne Stopkewich, Kissed is a Canadian drama based on the Barbara Gowdy 1992 short story “We so Seldom Look on Love” from the collection of the same title.  The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and received positive reviews and controversy due to the subject.

Kissed was part of this small edgy 1990s independent movement that birthed films like Crash (the Cronenberg one not the Academy Award “winning” film) and other dark psycho-sexual films.  I saw Kissed in college when a film club screened it (weird choice) and thought it was rather interesting since it is something so seldom looked at.  Rewatching the film, time has taken away some of the edge, but the film is still interesting.

kissed jay brazeau mortician

So let’s do some embalming!

The film (if nothing else) is completely different.  The story revolves around a woman who is a necrophiliac.  The movie doesn’t necessarily demonize the subject, but it also doesn’t normalize it.  Sandra’s boss shows the completely evil side (he plays with the boys who come in), but Sandra honestly sees herself as helping the spirit and the person move on.  It isn’t right, and it leads to problems which ultimately ruins Sandra’s relationships and life, but she seems to accept it is her lot in life.

Molly Parker takes on the challenging role and is odd enough to make her character seem real but also nice enough that you don’t despise the character.  Peter Outerbridge is the loose cannon character that is a little too much even for the plot.  The movie is rather short and it feels like he needs more development for his character.  Jay Brazeau’s role is small, but he too is interesting as a small background character.

kissed necrophilia molly parker peter outerbridge

So…you like playing with dead things?

The movie is rather low budget and doesn’t spend a lot to look flashy.  It doesn’t really need to.  The movie has an intimate feel which is both comforting and unsettling due to the subject material.  It tries to present Sandra’s view of the events by revealing what she experiences.

Kissed is a completely unique film.  Regardless what you think of the subject material, you won’t find movies like it and that alone is worth checking it out.  It is one of those rare films that I think could be longer, and it even could be interesting the revisit the characters sometime (though I don’t see that happening).  Kissed isn’t for everyone, but it also isn’t forgettable.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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