Poison Ivy: The Secret Society (2008)
A mysterious death of a young college student occurs late one night at a prestigious New England college...
Tells a fascinating and unsettling true story, and does so well, without pretending to have all the answers.
There is, somehow, an interesting story here, as well as some good acting. There are also some good scenes
Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.
I have a bit of a soft spot for bad B-movies made by naive filmmakers who seem to think that they are doing a good job. Those movies that will never get the exposure like 'The Hobbit' gets, due to the very limited release; mostly the umpteenth direct-to-DVD sequels nobody ever heard of from a franchise (loosely applied) they hardly know, and very few will ever rent or buy, especially when it receives a considerable amount of beating from all kinds of review sites.I happened to catch this naughty little underachiever recently in its unrated DVD edition. Now I'll admit that 'Poison Ivy 4: The Secret Society' is a movie to steer clear from: it is a B-movie in any sense of the word, with risible acting, sub-par screenplay, below average directing and very limited production values (the music and photography are too generic to make an impression). In the old days, I would say that it was even worse than a average TV series, but series of late have been of remarkably high quality, so that comparison would not be fair. And yet, there is a thing to say about forming one's own opinion instead of clinging slavishly to the judgment of others. Especially bad movies get an increasingly worse reputation from people who haven't seen it, but simply copy the judgments of others and then add some. I still want to see 'Movie 43' and 'After Earth' and rate them for myself when I am ready for it. Had I obediently followed the recommendations, I would have missed 'Grown Ups' and 'Bitch Slap', which I both loved. And let us not forget the immortal words of the great and late Roger Ebert on 'Basic Instincts 2' (slightly paraphrased): "I cannot recommend it, but... why the hell can't I? Because it's god-awful? What reason is that to stay away from a movie? God-awful AND boring... now THAT is a reason!" Now, you could describe Poison Ivy 4 as 'god-awful', but that would be overstating it. It isn't boring or annoying, I simply found it lacking overall, but too cute to get mad at. Much of that is thanks to Miriam McDonald as the unconvincing leading lady Daisy. She couldn't act her way out of a dating site commercial, but somehow she was cast as a cute freshman out-of-town genius who gets admitted into a highly exclusive college course. She is supposed to be very smart, straight A's and all, yet she is so adorably naive to have sex on the first date with an obvious bad boy who has the word 'womanizer' practically burnt into his forehead. Yet, when he predictably cheats on her (next day already!), I couldn't help feeling a bit sorry for her feeble attempts to sulk and pout. I genuinely hoped that poor Daisy would be more prudent from now on. No such luck: she doesn't get suspicious when she is approached by a sinister secret sorority that is unquestionably linked to the death of her predecessor. It doesn't help that most characters are surprisingly quick to believe the 'it-was-an-accident' explanation, especially since we never hear any convincing details of this accident. The sorority itself is ruled by a queen bee called Azalea (Shawna Waldron) with equally limited acting skills. She is so diabolic and insincerely nice that the word 'bitch' is practically burnt into her forehead. Of course, cute Daisy doesn't notice, not even when she is abducted, more-or-less forced to join, and then exploited. You keep wondering how effective Azalea is as leader of this supposedly powerful and secret society: it is supposed to have influences everywhere, but outside, nothing more than a rumor; yet everyone on campus seems to know and warn about it. When the girls want to burn womanizer's car in retaliation, they even have to do it themselves, out on the open street. What, no lower-level thugs to do the filthy work? Strangely, the secret and sophisticatedly-sounding motto, 'Concordia res parvae crescunt' (small things grow through harmony), is proudly displayed on their headquarters (I assume the writers chose it since it was already displayed on the building where they were allowed to film).Not much is unpredictable or surprising in the remainder of the movie, although this all-powerful organization is surprisingly easily defeated. Some of the older actors (like Greg Evigan as the professor) do a lot better than the younglings, except for the female detective, who even beats Daisy in underacting (but isn't as cute). There is some nice, non-offensive nudity, twice from Azalea pretending to be a femme fatale (at least her body language is better than her acting), and twice from Daisy (she is required to be completely nude for a tattoo on her lower back, so don't worry, all functional :-). Yet, the movie takes itself quite serious, with much less focus on sex scenes and more on plot than comparable erotic B-movies. The fact that it was released by New Line Cinema, a quality house since the 'Lord of the Rings' movies, may signify that they intended to produce a genuinely smart erotic thriller cross-breed of 'The Craft' and 'The Skulls'. Or they simply left it to their direct-to-DVD department to make a few quick bucks. Next time, read the script first, guys.Not wanting to kick an already dead horse, I maintain that while I do not applaud or recommend this movie, judging it has not been without a sense of (guilty) pleasure. It should be mandatory viewing for those who claim that most of the stuff that comes out of Hollywood is really really bad, because nothing puts things back in perspective than a genuinely mediocre movie. I found it quite endearing, which is why I award it 4 stars instead of 2. Thanks to Daisy. You poor thing, you definitely deserve better than to be fooled by womanizers and bitches! You definitely deserve a better movie...
Onetime child stars Miriam McDonald and Shawna Waldron go the Alyssa Milano route, trying to prove how grown-up they are by taking their clothes off in a terrible Poison Ivy movie. All the Poison Ivy movies are awful but this one, which doesn't actually have anything to do with any of the others, makes Milano's look like Gone with the Wind by comparison. The story is impossibly dumb. The acting is uniformly pathetic. McDonald and Waldron may look good but their acting skills have not grown with their bodies. McDonald is bad. Waldron is way beyond bad, turning in one of the most atrocious performances ever seen. The supporting players are all pretty much terrible as well. Ryan Kennedy, who plays the guy involved with the two key girls, is particularly lousy. To be fair none of the performers are helped by a script which is mind-boggling in its stupidity. McDonald plays Daisy, an innocent country bumpkin who goes away to college. She gets mixed up with the school's powerful all-female secret society, the Ivies. This group hasn't got the "secret" part of secret society down as they live in a big house right in the middle of campus and everybody knows all about them. Anyhow, Waldron plays Azalea, the key figure in this cabal of stupid girls. Azalea wants some internship, she's afraid Daisy might get it. So Azalea hatches schemes to take Daisy down and claim that precious internship for herself. The story has huge holes in it. It is neither believable nor interesting. The movie slogs along towards the finish, interrupted by occasional skin displays from its two leads because honestly getting them naked is the only reason this movie even exists. The ending somehow manages to be even dumber than everything which preceded it with quite possibly the worst fight sequence in movie history. This is a movie which fails in every possible way. If McDonald and Waldron were hoping for a career boost from this, well ladies I've seen Alyssa Milano and you're no Alyssa Milano.
Sorry but this LMN waste is nothing but a porno movie and a bad one at that. At least in pornos you get to see more nudity and carrying on. In this we are subjected to these bunch of bimbos, overly made up and lip gloss up to here, go through the antics of being part of a sorority house that is bent in doing evil and murder. The lead gal, a hick from the sticks, is played with a vacant expression throughout the film. The evil one, in a push up bra and tons of eye makeup goes around flirting with all the male losers. In one movie, I'd love to see a character like this get so far in flirting and then be told the guy was gay and she was wasting her time. Just once. So we are forced to sit for two hours just to see them get their uppence. And it is never as exciting as all the bad deeds they do throughout the picture. Those so called sorority girls are all a bit long in the tooth to be playing young coeds. The guys look younger then they do. I wonder what the director was thinking of when he cast this. Boobs, I guess. Certainly not acting.
First of all: I watched this movie on TV and missed the first 20 minutes or so. Therefore it might have been better than I thought. Maybe something super entertaining and Oscar worthy happened...Anywho, What I saw was awful. The acting and setting was good or at least alright. The plot was...odd. Nothing seems to happen very logically. The main character is very stupid and does a lot of stupid things. This is not the actress's fault (because her acting was not the problem).Spoilers!!!!!Here's a good example: When she records the murderous confession, why doesn't she just quietly take it to the police? Why doesn't she use a tape recorder way earlier in the movie? Why does she join the society in the first place? Why doesn't she transfer to a non-insane people school? And come on! All that for an internship?! Imagine creating a complex, murderous web of crime, with incredible risk, over an internship! And why the hell was the ugly brunette Society leader chick believe everything the professor's son said?!!! ( She was waaaay too ugly for that role).And it's a good thing that the other Ivy member (the prettier one) suddenly had a change of heart and decided to help Daisy for no logical reason.On the other hand, this movie is great for men and young boys who are too afraid to buy porn.