Poison intertwines three different stories of three different genres, and the main themes that bind them are fear and social marginalization. Hero narrates the story of a 7 year-old boy who shoots and kills his father. In Horror, a scientist creates chemical products to boost his sex drive. However, when he accidentally drinks some of his products, he becomes some kind of monster that is rejected by society. Finally, Homo depicts a prison romance between two inmates.


After directing a medium-length short on Karen Carpenter’s anorexia acted out by Barbie dolls and entitled Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Todd Haynes decided to stick to his groundbreaking and experimental style. In Poison, his first feature-length film, Haynes turns to genres such as TV science fiction, documentary and drama. The outcome is a story about outsiders and is loaded with implicit homosexual overtones, which caused quite a stir when the film was first released. Its black-and-white and grainy look has contributed to make of Poison an unquestionable cult film.

Year: 1991
Runtime: 85 min
Director: Todd Haynes
Cast: Edith Meeks, Larry Maxwell, Susan Norman
Genre: Experimental Drama