Film

FILM REVIEW: PAMELA & IVY

I may not be as versed as most when it comes to the DC world of Superheros, but lord do I love me a (Super) Villain. Tales of their fantastical adventures and incredible superpowers are a dime a dozen, but the story of how they came to be is rarely told.

PAMELA & IVY is the dark origin story of infamous Batman foe Poison Ivy. We all know Poison Ivy. She is a dangerous and unstable Eco-terrorist that plagues Gotham City. On film, we know Poison Ivy to use her hyper-sexualized nature to disarm her prey, followed up by her crazy side finishing the job. That persona has been lazily slapped on most, if not all female villains (looking at you Catwoman) throughout the years. What this film does is show how abuse, manipulation, isolation and trauma can manifest a monster like Ivy out of a once sweet young girl named Pamela as a means of survival.

After breaking free from her abusive captor (played to perfection by Eric Roberts), young Pamela is reunited with her parents. In most cases, this is where the film would end. Gift wrapped in a warm family reunion that washes right over all the trauma incurred and everyone walks away happy. This is not that film.

We see Pamela grow up and mature physically but the legacy of abuse she has navigated her whole life has a strong stranglehold on her ability to make good choices and thrive.

Writer/director Leah McKendrick and Producer Mariah Owen have created another fantastic, tension filled survival story from the female gaze.  Their 2017 festival favorite M.F.A hit like a bulldozer and with all the acclaim they received, created high expectations for what they would do next. Now, add in the unexpected and unwelcome arrival of a global pandemic that could have completely derailed PAMELA & IVY from being released. Nevertheless, they persisted.  

” PAMELA & IVY is a fantastic, tension filled survival story from the female gaze”

4 Tombstones out of 5…

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Amy

Amy

Amy Seidman is a Toronto based writer for Thrillist, Rue-Morgue, Shock Till You Drop and FANGORIA magazine. She has a tattoo tribute to Castor Troy from Face/Off. She is proud of all her life decisions.

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