We Kill For Love is a serious lecture and somewhat of a love letter to the erotic thriller genre of the '80s and '90s. This could have been a ton of fun to watch with some great anecdotes from the set, but ultimately, the filmmakers went serious with it over a three-hour run-time. It's long but informative. The 1080p HD transfer looks great and the DTS-HD 2.0 audio track sounds wonderful. The bonus features are sparse but are worth it to the lovers of this type of cinema. For Fans Only.
Names like Shannon Tweed, Joan Severance, Zalman King, and even Jim Wynorski were words that oozed out of almost every teenager and young adult through the '80s and '90s. Soft-Core Porn or how it was coined later with Skin-A-Max on those tube television sets was an art form that some people have forgotten about. There were a couple of decades where the likes of this sub-genre of sexual movies graced those home video aisles at the local rental store that gave men and women big eyes and even larger appetites for entertainment. Luckily there is a documentary called We Kill For Love: The Lost World Of The Erotic Thriller that brings back all the nostalgic films and their cast and crew to discuss the lost art form.
Director Anthony Penta delivers a 163-minute documentary on the subject but rarely finds the fun and entertainment value in making a documentary feature of this nature. He takes it to a more serious level which can be tiring a lot of the time considering its almost three-hour run time. In the late '60s and early '70s, the only real way to see erotic movies was at an actual theater in public. But this documentary doesn't necessarily discuss those in detail with the exception of that genre's birthplace and how Alfred Hitchcock paved the way for these films. Instead, those late-night erotic thrillers that had titles like Forbidden Sins or something similar with a gorgeous gal, (usually Shannon Tweed) on the cover with a lace wardrobe and some kind of weapon that promised a crime and tons of soft-core sex are the big focus here.
Armed with quite a few big players in the industry, but sadly without Tweed or King, these talking head interviews reveal what a magic and busy time this genre created for them. Some of the actors even discuss that they don't remember what movies were which because they were in so many. Also along for the ride of a few film scholars and an archivist who had the hefty job of cataloging the endless titles during those two decades. Again, at three hours long, it's a slog at times whereas a ninety-minute runtime could have solved a lot of this documentary's packing issues, due to the serious nature of it all.
A great segment discusses when the frowned-upon erotic thriller became mainstream when Glen Close, Madonna, and Sharon Stone entered the chat with Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, and Body of Evidence - all of which made millions upon millions of dollars. Those are exceptions to these types of films that are ultimately being discussed here. But with the scholars and filmmakers re-counting in some candid ways the industry, Holywood, and the societal impact this genre had on the collective audience - it's great to see that this sub-genre is still popping up in those smaller streaming services and boutique physical media outlets still to this day.
We Kill For Love is a slow and extraordinarily long documentary, but one thing it does super well is that it brings those once-lost films back into the limelight with their original directors and actors to talk about that simple time and place where an erotic thriller didn't make people uncomfortable. At 163 minutes, would it have killed anyone to have an ounce of fun with some editing or gimmicks here, instead of playing the serious collegiate lecture card? That being said, it's great that this exists for any new film fanatic looking to discover a new genre.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
We Kill For Love seduces its way to Blu-ray via Yellow Veil Pictures and OCN Distribution. The single disc is housed inside a hard, clear plastic case. The artwork is reversible with a television set with two people kissing on the front. The reversible side features three television sets with more images. There is a 22-page booklet with essays to boot. There is no insert for a digital code. If you ordered through Vinegar Syndrome your set comes with a limited edition slipcover.
We Kill For Love comes with a 1080p HD transfer that has a lot of elements that are sourced from different projects. The main documentary itself with talking head interviews has a fun, noir vibe with tons of blues and purple lighting in the background. It's a stylized shoot for sure that feels nostalgic for those '80s and '90s movies. The archival clips of TV shows and movies all look a bit better here, but bring those VHS quality issues to the forefront. The detail in the new interviews look great with facial pores and individual hairs easily revealed. Textures in the clothing also stand out. The big difference between this documentary and others is those stylized lighting features that keep within its erotic thriller wheelhouse which was a great use of something original.
This release comes with a DTS-HD 2.0 audio mix that does a great job of releasing the narration and talking head interviews. The archival footage from the films sounds a bit more agitated over time, but there are some hefty moments in the newer interviews that sound solid. The score of the documentary is great as well. Dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. There are no audio drop issues to speak of.
It's not surprising that there isn't a ton of extras here, due to the long-winded feature documentary this already is, but nonetheless, there are more deleted scenes and a very good commentary track to go with it. Plus a wonderful booklet of essays on the subject.
We Kill For Love is an ultimate look at the erotica thriller genre with tons of actors and filmmakers coming back to reminisce about their time on set. Sadly, this is more of a serious outing rather than anything entertaining or fun, and with a three-hour run-time, one would hope for the latter. The 1080p HD image looks very good and the DTS-HD 2.0 audio mix sounds great. The bonus features are few, but worth the watch if one is a fan of the subject matter. For Fans Only!