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Butterfly Kiss
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by Scott Weinberg

"Lesbians, shackles, and murder. Oh my!"
3 stars

Butterfly Kiss (a.k.a. Killer on the Road) is a bizarre and downcast road flick best described as Thelma and Louise meets Natural Born Killers, only with a lot less flash and a lot more lesbianism.

Amanda Plummer delivers a truly bizarre performance as a homicidal lunatic drifter who wanders the English countryside looking for a woman called Judith. Through the course of her travels, the plainly insane Eunice finds herself a slow-witted but sweet new girlfriend named Miriam (Saskia Reeves), and the two hit the road to enjoy fast food, random homicides, and a fairly disturbing love affair.

It’s an interesting movie, one that often becomes quite unpleasant and even grating at times. First off, Amanda Plummer’s performance dances on the edge of absurd on a consistent basis. Hearing her arcane Cockney accent reminded me of Dana Carvey impersonating Paul McCartney, and things only get weirder once Plummer drops her top and displays a collection of clamps and chains connected to her pale, skinny bosoms…and she does it about a half-dozen times. As the devoted and depressingly servile Miriam, Saskia Reeves is quite good, although much of that may be attributed to the fact that she emotes calmly and sadly, plus she has no hooks through her nipples like her co-star does.

Butterfly Kiss is most assuredly an ‘art flick’, in that A) it’s pretty darn weird, B) it gets pretty slow in spots, and C) there are symbols, subtexts, and metaphors flyin’ all over the place. (Hmmm, a man-killing lesbian who wears chains and shackles under her blouse….What could that mean?) Directed with a dank and downbeat visual sense by Michael Winterbottom (who would go on to direct more accessible art house faves like Jude, Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland, and The Claim), and featuring some truly dark humor, Butterfly Kiss isn’t a whole lot of fun, but you may gain a little insight into how your average homicidal lesbian thinks, plus you’ll have the vision of Amanda Plummer’s pierced chicken chest forever etched upon your brain.

If you're looking for something a bit brazen and ballsy, give it a shot. Though it's bizarre and kinda depressing, Butterfly Kiss is still a quality film, but it's a difficult film to really enjoy.

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originally posted: 07/09/02 11:10:07
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User Comments

10/12/17 Louise Didn't like it much and found it forgettable. 2 stars
1/24/07 whui great 4 stars
9/10/04 Jody i felt it 4 stars
1/09/04 Kelly Parker A starteling and deeply disturbing thriller that will leave you exhilarating 5 stars
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  26-Apr-1996 (R)



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