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for better or worse , the appearance of basic instinct in the movie marketplace gave the greenlight to a whole slew of overheated , oversexed , underwritten thrillers .
apparently not having joe eszterhas as the writer doesn't change a thing , since body of evidence wasn't written by him , but has a puzzling eszterhas-ish presence all over it .
in other words , it's a ) really dirty and b ) really , really stupid .
madonna ( first warning sign ) stars in body of evidence as a woman who has piles of money and no apparent job ; she lives on a houseboat and likes to parade around semi-naked , presumably for the edification of the shrimp .
she's been accused of having murdered an older man who was her lover .
already two classic examples of hollywood sexism are in effect -- the first being that any woman in a movie cannot be sexual unless she's under thirty ( or at least looks it ) , and that they usually only exist for the sake of studs or filthy rich older men .
what's worse is that the movie confirms all the above , and wallows in them as well .
madonna's character is accused of forcing sex on the old goat when she knew darned well he had a heart condition .
( and yes , there are the obligatory cracks from the cops about how at least he died happy .
this movie leave no scummy stone unturned . )
anyway . willem dafoe ( very good but completely wasted ) also stars as the lawyer who is doomed to run afoul of madonna's sexuality .
how do we know this ?
because his character is set up with the token wife and kids .
how obvious is it that he's gonna cheat on her and have to fess everything up ?
and get kicked out of the house ?
and get welcomed back anyway ?
don't skip to the end yet ; we're just getting warmed up .
dafoe and madonna have a lot of sex in this movie .
most of it is about as erotic as open-heart surgery , since it involves such goodies as hot candlewax ( always the kink of choice among screenwriters who don't know the first thing about * really * kinky sex ) and smashed light bulbs .
don't ask .
another thing that people are starting to realize about explicit sex in movies is that unless it is critically important to the story , it's insanely dull .
what's worse is that body of evidence is dull * everywhere * , not just in the sex scenes .
the stuff in the courtroom is recycled ninth-hand from other bad courtroom drama scenes .
the thriller business itself is ridiculous -- it involves nasal spray bottles and drugs , and juergen prochnow as a surly doctor .
and the ending -- another homage to eszterhas , maybe ?
-- is one of those endings where you can almost see the exact * frame * where one of the five or six various endings to this mess was spliced in .
the director is uli edel , all the more disappointing since he also directed the elegiac and powerful last exit to brooklyn and christiane f . everyone has to eat , i guess , but this isn't a meal ticket , it's leftovers .