The Kiss (1988)

The Kiss (1988)

Taglines: They never should have let HER in the house!

When Felice and Hillary were children, they were separated to live with other people. Felice went off with a relative who possessed an unusual bloodline which was passed on to Felice via a kiss. Now all grown up, Felice is a jet setting model, while Hillary is happily married to husband Jack with a daughter, Amy. One day, Felice calls Hillary and tells her she needs to pass her bloodline onto another relative. When Hillary is killed after the call, Felice slowly makes her way into the family so she can attempt at pass the bloodline onto Amy.

The Kiss is a 1988 American horror film directed by Pen Densham and starring Joanna Pacula, Meredith Salenger, Mimi Kuzyk, Nicholas Kilbertus, Sabrina Boudot, Shawn Levy, Jan Rubes, Céline Lomez, Priscilla Mouzakiotis and Talya Rubin. The plot follows two young women who find themselves haunted by an ancient parasitic curse that was passed on to one of them by a kiss. Film critics and historians have claimed the film to be an allegory of the AIDS epidemic of the late 1980s.

The Kiss (1988) - Joanna Pacula

Film Review for The Kiss

”The Kiss” is the story of a jet-setting Cosmo cover girl (Joanna Pacula) who is actually the essence of evil incarnate. This distinction, it turns out, is not as sharp as one might think.

The film reveals what happens when the witchy, hair-tossing Felice (Miss Pacula) appears on the doorstep of a nice, all-American family in which the mother has just been mangled by a truck. This mother, Hilary (Pamela Collyer), was Felice’s long-lost sister. ”Your mom and I weren’t very close for a while,” says Felice, to explain why no one has ever heard of her. There is a similarly likely explanation for Felice’s heavy middle-European accent.

The film, which is rich in disgusting special effects and poor in every other regard, follows Felice’s efforts to pass on whatever it is that the living dead pass on to the next generation. She attempts to do this orally with her young niece Amy (Meredith Salenger), which explains the film’s title. The object being transferred is some kind of a blood-oozing serpent, the sort of thing that would ordinarily command attention. In the overkill of the film’s climactic scene, however, the demon snake is upstaged by a fire, an explosion, a blood-tainted swimming pool, a chain saw and a hailstorm.

Though Miss Pacula looks glamorously depraved and Miss Salenger is suitably sweet, the only engaging performance comes from Mimi Kuzyk, as a next-door neighbor named Brenda who lacks the good sense to stay home. In one scene, as Brenda and Amy watch ”Blonde Venus” on television, Miss Salenger sees Marlene Dietrich and asks, ”How come she’s dressed up like a gorilla?” ”Style,” Miss Kuzyk says. ”The Kiss,” a film from Coca-Cola-controlled Tri-Star and opening today at the Criterion Center and other theaters, is loaded with suggestions that it’s often nice to relax and have a Coke.

The Kiss Movie Poster (1988)

The Kiss (1988)

Directed by: Pen Densham
Starring: Joanna Pacula, Meredith Salenger, Mimi Kuzyk, Nicholas Kilbertus, Sabrina Boudot, Shawn Levy, Jan Rubes, Céline Lomez, Priscilla Mouzakiotis, Talya Rubin
Screenplay by: Tom Ropelewski, Stephen Volk
Production Design by: Roy Forge Smith
Cinematography by: François Protat
Film Editing by: Stan Cole
Costume Design by: Renée April
Set Decoration by: Gilles Aird
Art Direction by: Suzanna Smith
Music by: J. Peter Robinson
Distributed by: TriStar Pictures
Release Date: October 14, 1988