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Kissed (1996)

By Ian Grey | Posted

Comely if somewhat spaced mortician's assistant Sandra (Waking the Dead's Molly Parker) doesn't just see dead people--she, well, fucks them. This is no new kink--she's been into the pulse-challenged since she was a kid. (A flashback in which an adolescent Sandra ecstatically rubs a deceased bird all over her body is, to say the least, memorable.) Eventually, she falls for a nondead guy (Peter Outerbridge) who disapproves of her proclivity for taking her corpse-preparation duties too far. Predictably, the relationship has problems. With celestial choirs and ghostly white-out cinematography making palatable its taboo couplings, Kissed spins an utterly nongoth necromantic fable located in a weirdly luminous territory that suggests Wild at Heart-period David Lynch, with occasional bum-note moments reminiscent of an extended Enya video gone terribly amiss. Still, director Lynne Stopkewich can't be faulted for lack of ambition: The death/sex angle works as a (sometimes too obvious) metaphor for everything from oddball user-defined spirituality to the existential division between all couples to a woman's right to pursue an authentic mode of sexual expression. Kissed is occasionally pretentious and overreaching in its themes, but it's seldom anything less than unforgettable.

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