New Release: Poison 20th Anniversary Edition DVD

Poison movie scene

Todd Haynes' breakthrough film Poison returns to DVD this May.

Zeitgeist released a 20th Anniversary Edition of filmmaker Todd Haynes’ groundbreaking American independent film Poison on DVD on June 21, 2011.

From the Oscar-nominated director of Far From Heaven, I’m Not There and the HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce, 1991’s Poison is a trailblazing landmark film in the U.S.’s “New Queer Cinema” wave of the 1990s.

Shot in rich black-and-white, Haynes’ first feature film — following the underground short sensation Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story — this movie is a thrilling work of immense visual invention.

Inspired by the writings of controversial French novelist and activist Jean Genet, Poison interweaves a trio of transgressive tales — “Hero,” “Horror” and “Homo” — that build toward a devastating climax. Shot in a mock tabloid-TV style, “Hero” tells a bizarre story of suburban patricide and a miraculous flight from justice. “Horror,” filmed like a delirious 1950s B-movie melodrama, is a gothic tale of a mad sex experiment that unleashes a disfiguring plague. And “Homo” explores the obsessive sexual relationship between two prison inmates.

A cult hit that made national headlines when it was attacked by conservative figures including Dick Armey and minister Donald Wildmon, Poison certainly delivers in the audacity department.

The Poison: 20th Anniversary Edition DVD carries a list price of $29.95 and the movie got a new high-definition transfer created from original film elements, enhanced for widescreen viewing.

Here’s a list of the DVD’s features:

  • Sundance 20th Anniversary Q&A with Todd Haynes, producer Christine Vachon and executive producer James Schamus
  • original poster concepts and collages by Haynes
  • behind-the-scenes polaroids by Kelly Reichardt (acclaimed director of Meek’s Cutoff and Wendy and Lucy)
  • Last Address, a short film by Ira Sachs (award-winning director of Married Life and 40 Shades of Blue)
  • original 1991 U.S. theatrical trailer
  • exclusive 20th Anniversary packaging with an extensive booklet, archival materials and more.


Buy or Rent Poison: 20th Anniversary Edition
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.