Boxing Helena (1993) Review



**Review contains some strong language, and some minor spoilers**

Plot: A surgeon becomes obsessed with the seductive woman he once had an affair with. Refusing to accept that she has moved on, he amputates her limbs and holds her captive in his mansion.

What the fuck. Nice way to open a review, Zach. “What the fuck.” That was going through my mind as I attempted to watch this movie. That, and “oh shit”, “holy hell”, and the many many blank stares of confusion and disbelieve on my face while trying to make some sense of what I just witnessed. Yes, this movie is THAT ridiculous.

I am a huge David Lynch fan, so when I saw that his daughter is also a filmmaker I jumped at the opportunity to see this movie. Not such a good idea, as it turns out.



The film stars Julian Sands as Nick Cavanaugh, a slightly depressed and lonely Atlanta-based surgeon who is absolutely obsessed with a woman named Helena, played by Sherilyn Fenn. He even goes so far with his obsession after she has a hit-and-run accident that he kidnaps her and amputates her legs so she can’t leave his company. He also amputates her arms as well, so she becomes like a helpless statue that he can keep locked up for as long as he likes so he can feed his depravity. Julian Sands wasn’t too bad as Nick, neither was Sherilyn Fenn as Helena, but the real watchable standouts here were Kurtwood Smith and Art Garfunkel, two doctor colleagues of Nick’s.



Now it’s not like the plot of this movie is bad, infact I thought it’d make a fine story – if executed right. What we have here is an overly-creepy, awkward, and muddled mess that tries to randomly throw sexuality on top of a story that doesn’t need it – making the scenes even more creepy. The film was co-written by Philippe Caland and Jennifer-Chambers Lynch, and the screenplay was absolutely atrocious. Bad dialogue, uneven tones, and the sheer absurdity of each scene just drug this movie down even worse. Which is quite the shame because I loved Jennifer’s film Chained very much. The direction was the best thing about the movie, Jennifer managed to balance the creepiness and obsession throughout each way just enough so it feels somewhat classic-Lynchian.



In conclusion, “Boxing Helena” is just a goddamn hilarious mess, a weird, uneven, and quite bad film about obsession. While some things about this film felt Lynchian, it is not really worth the viewing to find out what. Maybe watch this on a bad movie night, I have no idea how this became a cult-classic over the years. See Jennifer-Chambers Lynch’s 2012 horror-psychodrama Chained instead.

Obsession….by Calvin Klein

My Rating: 3.5/10 (So ridiculously bad that it becomes somehow watchable, only to make fun of)

Thanks for Reading!




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