20 years after its original release I finally decided to watch Body of Evidence: an erotic thriller starring Madonna, Willem Dafoe and some hot candle wax. Released quickly after the successful Basic Instinct it even has a similar plot about a woman who’s suspected of killing a man during sex but instead of a detective getting involved with the suspect, it’s her lawyer which basically turns this movie into a court room drama with sex scenes as interludes.
Madonna plays Rebecca Carlson, a young women who’s into kinky sex and likes to dominate men, mostly older rich men with heart problems who include her in their will making her an ideal suspect for the D.A. who claims she uses sex as a deadly weapon. Her lawyer Frank Dulaney has the difficult task to convince the jury otherwise, though his approach goes quite smoothly as he’s able to tear apart most of the witnesses on the stand. What he isn’t able to do is to keep the attorney-client relationship professional. He has a happy marriage to Julianne Moore, who is wasted here, but is intrigued by the seemingly naughty type of sex his client engages in he soon finds himself under her, while she’s pouring hot candle wax over his chest.
Body of Evidence is a schizophrenic movie. Dry courtroom scenes in which Madonna has nothing to do than just sit there are intercut with steamy and at certain points basically unsimulated scenes where Dafoe and Madonna engage in sex of the kinkiest kind. First it’s just a little bondage, then come the candles, a bit of cunninglingus while laying in broken glass and even rape play. It’s like two different movies in one, courtroom drama and soft porn.
Like Basic Instinct the main question the movie poses is: is she guilty or not? The D.A. certainly thinks so, but when we meet her we have trouble believing that, supported by all kinds of evidence that acquits her only enforces that believe. But halfway through the movie you don’t actually care anymore if she did or didn’t do it. The eventual outcome of the trial and obligatory twist come to no surprise though I really expected Anne Archer’s character to be more involved in the whole scheme some way.
The only redeeming factor here is Madonna’s body, who has a really great pair of natural boobs. In fact, the movie was released quite shortly after her “shocking” book “Sex”; a period in which she associated herself with pornography. The first time we see Madonna on screen is during the opening scenes and she’s nude. It sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
If somebody took this movie into the cutting room you could get two seperate nice things out of it: an episode of Law & Order and 30 minutes of stuff to put on YouPorn.