Kissed (1996) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I think I can say without any hesitation that Kissed is the Citizen Kane of corpse-fuckin' films. Not only that, but it is the only necrophilia film I can name in which the corpses are male! I guess it is fitting that it comes from Canada because it is a very cold country where they need corpses as a source of relative warmth. Think of huskies burying themselves in the freezing snow to escape the even more freezing winds. Based on one of many odd short stories in "We So Seldom Look On Love" by Canadian author Barbara Gowdy, Kissed treats a woman's necrophilia not only as an obsession, but as sheer lyric poetry, and as transcendence, perhaps the only way a live person can experience the sheer bliss of "crossing over." The lead character says, "It's like looking into the sun without going blind. I'm consumed."

If you haven't already figured it out, this is not an exploitation movie about fucking corpses, but an art movie about loving them romantically.

The film begins in first person narration as Sandra Larson looks back on her childhood and says, "I've always been fascinated by death. The feel of it, the smell of it, the quietness of it," and the flashbacks begin. When other girls are first sticking their tongues in boys' mouths, Sandra is first sticking her tongue into the vital organs of dead birds. When other girls are masturbating to posters of rock stars, Sandra masturbates by rubbing dead animals on her thighs. When she is finished with the dead critters, she buries them, then strips down and does the traditional ceremonial death dance in their honor. I'm not sure that "dance" is the right word, since there is no music and the ritual basically just consists of spinning around in circles while wearing underpants, but that's the word the author used, and I just couldn't come up with a better one.

At any rate, I think you now have the idea. If not, let's just say this girl loves death so much that she makes Jim Morrison seem as life-embracing as Zorba the Greek.

Say, boys and girls, can you guess where she chooses to work when she grows up? I knew that you could. Can you guess what she does with the bodies? If you can't, give further consideration to the word "stiff." Of course, before she actually climbs onboard, or perhaps the two word version "on board" would be more appropriate here, she once again performs the ceremonial underpants dance. Childhood habits are difficult to break.

The dramatic tension in the film comes when a medical student falls in love with her, then figures out all her secrets. He's not scared or repulsed by her necrophilia, but since corpse-fuckin' is the only thing that turns her on, he is very confused about how he can become a sexual partner capable of gratifying her.


He figures it out.



You will probably be surprised to hear that this obscure film, which originally appeared on eight screens, has now attracted 47 comments and nearly a thousand votes at IMDb. You may also be surprised to hear that 80% of the voters have scored it a six or higher, and that there are very few scores at the minimal level. Many people felt it was an excellent effort, and even the mainstream middlebrow reviewers generally gave it a good reception. (Roger Ebert awarded it three stars.) These reactions mean that (1) the film is handled as tastefully and artistically as possible (2) the film is rarely seen by anyone likely to be repulsed by the subject matter. The creators of Kissed make no secret of the fact that it is about necrophilia, so the people who seek it out and watch it are probably likely to approach it with an open mind.

For what it's worth, I have to admit that my own mind appears to be more closed than I had thought, or at least more closed than the minds of the reviewers and IMDb commenters who praised this movie. I found that the subject matter was so unpleasant and so ... well ... morbid ... that I couldn't relate to the film in any way, and just couldn't get anything from the experience of watching it. On the other hand, that reaction simply reflects my own interests and prejudices, and is not really a commentary on the quality of the film itself.

In addition to my problems with the subject matter, I found the lofty whispered lyrical narration unrelentingly pretentious, like the poetry of a pre-teen girl trying to describe a world beyond her own mundane life. The following sample quotes from the book will give you the idea, although not all these lines are in the movie:


"... animals I'd just unwrapped. When I was covered all over with their scent, I put them aside, unwrapped the new corpse and did the same with it. I called this the Anointment. I can't describe how it felt. The high, high ..."
"... you act upon it, seems to set you on a trajectory. By the time I was sixteen I wanted human corpses. Men. (That way I'm straight.)
"For fifteen years, ever since Matt died, people have been asking me how a woman makes love to a corpse. Matt was the only person who figured it out. He was a medical student, so he knew that if you ..."
"'I've never told anyone else,' I said. 'With men or women?' he asked. 'Men. Young men.' 'How?' 'Cunnilingus.' 'Fresh corpses?' 'If I can get them.' 'What do you do, climb on top of them?' 'Yes.'
"I'd told him about how I danced before climbing on corpses. 'No.' He swept the books off the bed. Then he undressed me. He had an erection until I told him ..."
"... Thursday evening after my embalming class, and as soon as I left his place, if I knew there was a corpse at the mortuary- any male corpse, young or old-I went straight there and climbed in a basement window. Entering the ..."
"... felt as if I were being blasted by white light. Almost blinded, I climbed onto the table and straddled the corpse. I ran my hands over his skin. My hands and the insides of my thighs burned as if I were ..."
"He'd try to prove that my feelings were delusory. 'A corpse shows simultaneous extremes of character,' I told him. 'Wisdom and innocence, happiness and grief, and so on. Therefore all ...'"
"... One night he announced that he might as well face it, he was going to have to make love to corpses, male corpses. The idea nauseated him, he said, but he said that secretly, deep down, unknown even to himself, making ..."
"... but because I was irradiated . The whole time that I was involved with Matt, I was making love to corpses, absorbing their energy, blazing it back out. Since that energy came from the act of life alchemizing into death ..."

Isn't it necromantic?

Your reaction to the above quotes should give you a very clear snapshot of your response to the film. If you like that kind of pseudo-poetic approach and if you have an open mind about the subject matter, you may be impressed by the skill and maturity with which the film approaches the topic.



  • No features except the original theatrical trailer
  • The transfer is widescreen, but is letterboxed, not anamorphically enhanced


Molly Parker does full frontal and rear nudity in a necrophilia scene.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Super-panel consensus out of four stars: three stars. James Berardinelli 3/4, Roger Ebert 3/4

  • It was nominated for 8 Genies, winning one. (Best actress: Molly Parker)

The People Vote ...

  • It grossed $465,000 after opening on eight screens.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C+, a cult classic which is loved by its admirers, but which obviously has no mainstream appeal.

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