In this stylized art film, which marked the directorial debut of second-generation filmmaker Jennifer Chambers Lynch, a surgeon with a mommy fixation and a problem with premature ejaculation grows obsessed with a vivacious young libertine, to the detriment of her mobility. Dr. Nick Cavanaugh (Julian Sands), the son of a frosty, unfaithful society matron, can't get lovely neighbor Helena (Sherilyn Fenn) out of his head. Although the two only ever shared a one-night stand, Nick won't let Helena go -- a hang-up that bodes ill for the health of his plodding romance with the smitten Anne Garrett (Betsy Clark). After Nick's mother dies, he moves into her mansion and promptly throws a lavish gala just so he can lure Helena into his orbit. She spurns him for another bedmate, but not before Anne figures out something fishy is going on. Discovering that Helena forgot her purse during her hasty exit, Nick uses it to lure her back to his place for some attempted courtship. When she storms out, furious, she's the victim of a hit-and-run. Rather than simply call 911, Nick performs an emergency amputation of her legs and lets her convalesce in his house. When the hobbled Helena tries to leave, he makes her his prisoner, eventually removing her arms to prevent her escape. But when Ray O'Malley (Bill Paxton), her leather-trousered former lover, starts sniffing around to discover her whereabouts, Nick's fragile little fantasy world threatens to pop like a bubble. After Madonna and Kim Basinger both dropped out of the title role, Lynch settled on Fenn, who had risen to prominence working with the writer/director's father, David Lynch. After a lengthy breach-of-contract lawsuit, Basinger was eventually ordered to pay the film's producers eight million dollars in damages.
- MPAA Rating: R
- Genre(s): Drama
- Run Time: 107min.
- Theatrical Release Date: 07/11/1993
- DVD Release Date: 04/10/2001
Jennifer Chambers Lynch
- Themes: Woman In Jeopardy,Obsessive Quests,Unrequited Love,Crimes of Passion
- Tone: Disturbing,Lurid,Moody,Sexy
amputation, fantasy, love, prison, psychopath, surgery, murder, mutilation, obsession, sex
- Language: English