Kissed – Canada, 1996

kissed

Kissed is a 1996 Canadian film, directed and co-written by Lynne Stopkewich, based on Barbara Gowdy’s short story “We So Seldom Look On Love”.

The film stars Molly Parker as Sandra Larson, a young woman whose fixation on death leads her to study embalming at a mortuary school, where in turn she finds herself drawn toward feelings of necrophilia. Peter Outerbridge also stars as Matt, a fellow student who develops romantic feelings for Sandra, and so must learn to accept her sexual proclivities.

Sandra Larson stares at a human corpse while she reminisces about at her childhood fascinations with death. As a young teen Sandra was enthralled by the feelings invoked by the stillness and smell of death. At night, she would dance with the corpse of an animal rubbing it on her body, before giving the animal a funeral.

Sandra learns of an opening for a chauffer at a funeral home. She asks Mr. Wallis (Jay Brazeau), the mortician, for the job. The funeral home’s janitor Jan (James Timmons) believes, like Sandra, that dead bodies still have a soul in them.

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Mr. Wallis apprentices Sandra in embalming. She starts studying mortuary science in college, where she meets a med student named Matt (Peter Outerbridge). Matt and Sandra begin to date, and he is intrigued by Sandra’s death fascination. Occasionally they would spend night’s together in Matt’s basement apartment, but Sandra would leave for late night visits to the mortuary to celebrate the dead bodies of young men with dance ceremonies which escalate into necrophilia as her death fascination increases to an extreme obsession. Matt becomes distraught when he discovers that he is competing with dead bodies…

Wikipedia | IMDb | Related: Nekromantik 

“Stopkewich has taken on a subject that can’t help but be controversial but presents it in a way that is completely non-exploitive and non-sensational. Don’t underestimate that achievement. In fact, she’s made a film that is, and I don’t use this word lightly, lyrical. It’s an effect aided in no small way by Molly Parker, who plays Sandra. Possessed of a delicate face able to convey an odd blend of introspection, reverence and puckishness, she seems to be keeping a secret that amuses her no end, which of course, she is.” Killer Movie Reviews

“Of course, it’s quite unsettling at times, a bit gobsmacking and obviously extremely thought-provoking, but due to the fact that we get to see “beautiful”, the sensitive, the somewhat spiritual side of necrophilia, you can’t help ending up mesmerized and moved by seeing that woman’s adoration for the mortal, the dead and death itself.” Maynard Morrissey’s Horror Movie Diary

“Ultimately, Kissed is more of a love story than a horror tale. Maybe that’s why I’m disappointed. In the end, Matt proves he’ll go to extremes to get to know Sandra intimately. Maybe that’s part of this film’s grotesque point, that we’ll change the very core of ourselves to stay alive with someone we want to be with.” Fister Roboto

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Categories: 1990s, adaptation of a short story, Canadian

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