(1992)2.5Matthew TobeyBy 1992, Drew Barrymore had already lived a full life of hard living that left her a sultry-looking, 17-year-old bad girl, ripe for the lead role in a movie like Poison Ivy. And just as one would expect, she's a perfect fit for the part of Ivy, the Lolita-cum-femme-fatale at the center of this delightful sleaze-fest. After a string of pure garbage throughout the late '80s that included Stripped to Kill and Dance of the Damned, director Katt Shea and writer Andy Ruben finally proved that they were capable of pulling off at least a half-decent sexploitation thriller. And while the instinct is to give most of the credit to Barrymore, Shea's ability to make the entire screen appear soaked in sweat and Ruben's over-the-top dialogue must be recognized for being at least half the reason the film is so much fun to watch. Mention must also be made of Tom Skerritt, who seems almost as creepy as his cradle-robbing character just for taking the role. Poison Ivy is by no means art, but it's sexy and kitschy enough to make it one of the best films of its kind. Its dull and unworthy sequels should be avoided by anyone looking for anything more than celebrity skin.