Episode 66: Fatal Attraction (1987) REROTICA SERIES

Film chosen by Gali, introduced by Devlin

For a film which formed such a core aspect of the burgeoning erotic thriller genre, establishing so many of its tropes (chief among which, the sexy other woman-turned-homewrecking violent stalker), Fatal Attraction features surprisingly little on-screen sex. But, the politics of sex, desire, monogamy, selfishness, wholly occupy the film in a way that a lot of its later imitators failed to engage with. Establishing “the bunny-boiler” firmly in the public consciousness (a legacy we try our best to tackle within the episode), this stereotype of a commanding woman whose libido leads her and the sap she shacks up with towards violence has been trotted out in countless soft-focus successors, but very rarely do those later films invest so much palpability, authenticity, and intensity in the role of the femme fatale. It’s that tension, the conflicting sympathies and revulsions towards our lead duo that ebb and flow within the audience across the running time, that make this film worthy of analysis and debate to this day.

But, while you’re considering all that, let’s not forget that we’re here to discuss the history and evolution of that sauciest and most fondly remembered genre for a particular generation of youngsters who spied those racy covers in the video shop and pored over the Radio Times for those Channel 4 weeknight/Channel 5 Friday night specials. Don’t forget to play Matt’s patented Erotic Thriller Bingo!

And, another fantastic YouTube playlist by Matt!

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