Cinematic Hell: Body of Evidence (1993)
Who doesn't love Madonna? Ok let me rephrase, who doesn't love Madonna back in the days when her music was awesome? Yeah sorry her music isn't that great nowadays. But the point is, Madonna is good at what she does when it comes to music. Her voice and dance moves are very impressive along with the many songs she's blessed the world with like "Open Your Heart", "Vogue", "Crazy For You" and of course "Like a Prayer". However she fell into a trap that a lot of pop stars fall into... she wanted to be a movie star. Not only did she want it, she didn't realize she couldn't act until 15 years after her first fiasco "Shanghai Surprise". And I guess my bosses downstairs really want me to look at one of those Razzie winning disasters in Madonna's acting catalog.
Body of Evidence is one of those movies that exists mainly because of another movie's existence. Basic Instinct came out the year before and this movie borrows a lot from the movie that bore the same director as "Showgirls". And honestly, this movie is kind of funny enough to be a Verhoeven movie. If you're patient enough, "Body of Evidence" can be a "So bad it's good" movie. Even if half of the movie is a boring episode of Law and Order SVU while the other half is a porn flick.
Rebecca Carrlson (Madonna) is accused of (no joke) intentionally screwing a man until he died. Yeah there's your first problem right there. How in the hell are we suppose to take this entire premise seriously? Not to say murder and death are hilarious, but this movie has no idea how to handle any serious issue well. Not only is this crime story silly as hell, but just imagine how difficult it would be to prove a case like this. In fact, how did this case even go to trial? I mean when you think about it how would a prosecutor prove that the suspect did this whole fuck until death thing on purpose? Unless there's a message or video from the suspect saying "I'm going to fuck this man until he can't take anymore of my fire crotch" you're going to have a hell of a time proving to a bunch of giggling jury members and an impatient judge that Madonna is too hot for an ice pick.
Oh yeah there's more story (unfortunately), Rebecca's attorney Frank Duanley (Willem Dafoe) starts to fall for Rebecca's sexual charms and coitus ensues between them. This movie mainly focuses either on the bullshit murder trial or the uncomfortable yet kind of hilarious sex scenes between Dafoe and Madonna. Both sides of this movie doesn't hold up very well. Whenever we're in the courtroom we hear nothing exposition of why Rebecca is such a slut. And that's not me judging, this movie has a lot of slut shaming toward Madonna's character. The strange thing is it's hard for me to imagine even in 1993 that any of this stuff that Rebecca does is really that shocking. There's a bunch of scenes where we see the gallery in the courtroom gasp in shock at anything that's said about Rebecca's sex life. Was this movie secretly made by Kirk Cameron or something?
When it comes to the "shocking" sex scenes, yeah they're not that shocking. If anything, they're kind of hilarious. Madonna and Willem Dafoe are one of the most mismatched on screen couples in history. Their scenes might be even more uncomfortable than those scenes Madonna had with her Ex-husband Sean Penn in "Shanghai Surprise". Candle Wax, Champagne, handcuffs and belts are involved and no there's no way you can imagine how unintentionally funny these scenes are unless you watch this movie. To add insult to injury, Madonna is constantly showing us why she is the queen of the Razzies. Every line delivery is served dead pan style and every time Madonna tries to be like Sharon Stone she fails so hard. Madonna can't do simple emotions like sad or angry how is she going to act like a femme fatale? There's only one instance where Madonna tries to give a performance instead of just reading her lines like they're from a teleprompter. But even then that's two minutes out of 1 hour and 39 minutes. There's no escaping that Razzie win for Worst Actress.
I'm not going to spend too much time on the ending of this movie simply because it's 15 minutes of one contrivance after another. Besides, it's pretty funny and really you should see that ending with fresh eyes. Body of Evidence is not as fun as From Justin to Kelly, but it's still an overlooked "So Bad it's Good" movie. The actual crime story is so misplaced, the acting is so amazingly bad (with two exceptions coming from Joe Mantegna and Julianne Moore), the dialogue sounds like it came from the first draft of "Showgirls" and of course that ending alone is worth sitting through boring courtroom scenes or clumsy sex scenes. But we all know.. Madonna would keep going through her acting career even though this movie tanked hard. 30 Million dollar budget with only a payday of... 13 Million bucks. Score: 2/10