If you believe this morning's Hollywood Reporter, the primary reason that Basic Instinct 2 (and Jade, and Body of Evidence, and Showgirls) failed so miserably at the box office is because the American political climate is such that, as Paul Verhoeven put it, "Anything that is erotic has [essentially] been banned ... We are living under a government that is constantly hammering out Christian values. And Christianity and sex have never been good friends." And it's not just Verhoeven that feels that way - the article is full of quotes from screenwriters and directors, most of whom attribute the downfall of the "erotic thriller" to the country's current "big puritanical mode." Um, what?! Have these people seen any of the movies they're talking about? They failed because they're terrible, not because of politics. I mean, sitting through Body of Evidence and looking at what the makers thought was sexy was one of the most deeply humiliating experiences of my life -- I shudder at the mere memory.

There are, however, some signs of sanity in Hollywood: the calmer interviewees point to factors including the decreasing interest of foreign markets in erotic American films, the lack of good scripts in the genre (Ding! Ding! Ding!), and a fear on the part of agents of putting their clients in films that they see as "risky."

What about you? Would you go see a good "erotic thriller," or do you feel that sort of thing should be kept out of theaters, no matter the quality? And has your opinion changed since the crazy, sexy 1980s?