Scissors


1h 47m 1991
Scissors

Brief Synopsis

A repressed young woman is assaulted in the elevator of her building, and her neighbors try to help her recover.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Thriller
Release Date
1991
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m

Synopsis

A repressed young woman is assaulted in the elevator of her building, and her neighbors try to help her recover.

Crew

Evan Aaron

Craft Service

Del Adey-jones

Costumes

Martin Bosworth

Electrician

John Bramley

Photography

John Branagan

Stunt Coordinator

Andrew Broomhead

Driver

Janice Bussing

Production Assistant

Joseph Cicio

Assistant Camera Operator

Beatrice Dealba

Hair

Frank Defelitta

Screenplay

Andre Ellingson

Special Effects Coordinator

Shirley Fey

Production Assistant

Barry Fink

Production Assistant

Billy Fox

Location Manager

Mark Fragale

Camera Assistant

Richard Franchot

Key Grip

Alan Frazier

Electrician

Betsy Fuhr

Accounting Assistant

Ricardo Jacques Gale

Camera Operator

Frank Gallardo

Driver

Daisy Gerber

Assistant Director

Jan Glaser

Casting

Mark Goldermote

Boom Operator

Greg Gontz

Assistant Editor

Mai Gray

Set Costumer

Stuart Hagen

Production Assistant

Nedra Hainey

Makeup

Dave Hannah

Driver

Ted Hardwick

Assistant

Perry Husman

Transportation Captain

Tim Jones

Best Boy

Alfi Kabiljo

Music

Harry S Knapp

Production Accountant

Rory Knepp

Assistant Camera Operator

Allen Kupetsky

Props

Richard Lederer

Production Assistant

Lisa Leone

On-Set Dresser

Don Levin

Producer

Kara Lindstrom

Set Decorator

Andrew Loo

Production Coordinator

Shaun Madigan

Gaffer

Randy Moore

Art Director

Steve Naya

Other

Christopher Norman

Production Assistant

Kim Ornitz

Sound

Nilo Otero

Assistant Camera Operator

Mel Pearl

Producer

Romney Pearl

Driver

Steve Pearl

Apprentice

Diana Phillips

Unit Production Manager

Hal W Polaire

Producer

Richard Rasmussen

Grip

Jamie Reeves

Transportation Coordinator

Michael Reinhart

Construction Coordinator

Sioux Richards

Script Supervisor

Todd Richardson

Driver

Tony Richmond

Director Of Photography

John Schreyer

Editor

Marc Schultz

Best Boy

Joyce Selznick

From Story

Craig Stearns

Production Designer

Glenn Suffern

Negative Cutting

David Walden

Driver

Christopher M Waldoch

Driver

Dara Lauren Waxman

Property Master

Ken Wheeland

Dolly Grip

Hyle White

Production Assistant

Michael Zieper

Production Assistant

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Thriller
Release Date
1991
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m

Articles

Scissors (1991)


Just a year before Sharon Stone became synonymous with the erotic thriller as neo-femme fatale Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct (1992), she played 26-year-old virgin Angie Anderson in Scissors (1991). The film, written and directed by best-selling suspense novelist Frank De Felitta, is an exaggerated examination of female repression. Angie suffers from a childhood trauma that has made her terrified of men. It puts her in a perpetual childlike state, marked by her preoccupation with repairing and collecting creepy antique dolls. She sees her psychologist, Dr. Stephan Carter (Ronny Cox), consistently but makes little progress. And when she is assaulted and almost raped in an elevator by a red-bearded maniac, her fear of men escalates. After the incident, she tries to put her trust in her neighbor, the daytime actor Alex Morgan (Steve Railsback). However, their relationship is curtailed by Alex’s leering wheelchair-bound twin brother, Cole (also played by Railsback), as well as Angie’s compounded anxieties about sex.

Stylistically, Scissors is certainly a movie of its time as it blends the conventions of mystery with camp. The early 1990s influences of David Lynch and Tim Burton abound, particularly when Angie finds herself trapped in a mysterious apartment turned funhouse – decorated with warped geometric shapes, punctuated with carnivalesque music. The dreamlike space recalls Cooper’s reveries in Twin Peaks. And Angie’s longing for her cat as she desperately tries to hold onto reality in that space anticipates Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance as Selena Kyle in Batman Returns (1992). Like these 1990s directors, De Felitta remixes the canon of horror cinema, alluding to Alfred Hitchcock. Cole, as a scary peeping-Tom, recalls Jefferies of Rear Window (1954). Yet unlike these other directors, who masterfully balance their films’ surrealist take on horror with careful off-color humor, De Felitta is, at times, unintentionally humorous when he means to be serious. Moreover, the film’s violence and nudity are more sensational than necessary.

For a woman who seems to avoid the company of men, Angie is certainly surrounded by them. What remains most unrealistic about the film is the fact that she has no female friends and little interaction with women at all. As a result, every relationship she has in the film is possibly salacious; the audience anticipates that any moment a man might grope her, stalk her, coerce her or assault her. With this exaggeration of ‘predator and prey’ motif, the film takes on qualities of exploitation film and might best be thought of as a variation on the rape-revenge subgenre. Furthermore, Scissors goes through the recognizable rape-revenge three-act structure– first a woman is assaulted, then she is rehabilitated and finally enacts revenge – but not linearly. Angie’s revenge is roundabout and much more psychological than physical. Therefore, her retribution doesn’t quite elicit the satisfying feeling that is a hallmark of the subgenre. Nevertheless, Stone’s hysterics are memorable, especially in light of the broader evolution of her career which also includes a standout role as Ginger McKenna in Casino (1995). And had Scissors enjoyed a wider DVD distribution, it might have been a midnight movie cult classic.

Scissors (1991)

Scissors (1991)

Just a year before Sharon Stone became synonymous with the erotic thriller as neo-femme fatale Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct (1992), she played 26-year-old virgin Angie Anderson in Scissors (1991). The film, written and directed by best-selling suspense novelist Frank De Felitta, is an exaggerated examination of female repression. Angie suffers from a childhood trauma that has made her terrified of men. It puts her in a perpetual childlike state, marked by her preoccupation with repairing and collecting creepy antique dolls. She sees her psychologist, Dr. Stephan Carter (Ronny Cox), consistently but makes little progress. And when she is assaulted and almost raped in an elevator by a red-bearded maniac, her fear of men escalates. After the incident, she tries to put her trust in her neighbor, the daytime actor Alex Morgan (Steve Railsback). However, their relationship is curtailed by Alex’s leering wheelchair-bound twin brother, Cole (also played by Railsback), as well as Angie’s compounded anxieties about sex.Stylistically, Scissors is certainly a movie of its time as it blends the conventions of mystery with camp. The early 1990s influences of David Lynch and Tim Burton abound, particularly when Angie finds herself trapped in a mysterious apartment turned funhouse – decorated with warped geometric shapes, punctuated with carnivalesque music. The dreamlike space recalls Cooper’s reveries in Twin Peaks. And Angie’s longing for her cat as she desperately tries to hold onto reality in that space anticipates Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance as Selena Kyle in Batman Returns (1992). Like these 1990s directors, De Felitta remixes the canon of horror cinema, alluding to Alfred Hitchcock. Cole, as a scary peeping-Tom, recalls Jefferies of Rear Window (1954). Yet unlike these other directors, who masterfully balance their films’ surrealist take on horror with careful off-color humor, De Felitta is, at times, unintentionally humorous when he means to be serious. Moreover, the film’s violence and nudity are more sensational than necessary.For a woman who seems to avoid the company of men, Angie is certainly surrounded by them. What remains most unrealistic about the film is the fact that she has no female friends and little interaction with women at all. As a result, every relationship she has in the film is possibly salacious; the audience anticipates that any moment a man might grope her, stalk her, coerce her or assault her. With this exaggeration of ‘predator and prey’ motif, the film takes on qualities of exploitation film and might best be thought of as a variation on the rape-revenge subgenre. Furthermore, Scissors goes through the recognizable rape-revenge three-act structure– first a woman is assaulted, then she is rehabilitated and finally enacts revenge – but not linearly. Angie’s revenge is roundabout and much more psychological than physical. Therefore, her retribution doesn’t quite elicit the satisfying feeling that is a hallmark of the subgenre. Nevertheless, Stone’s hysterics are memorable, especially in light of the broader evolution of her career which also includes a standout role as Ginger McKenna in Casino (1995). And had Scissors enjoyed a wider DVD distribution, it might have been a midnight movie cult classic.

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring March 22, 1991

Released in United States on Video October 17, 1991

Completed shooting February 24, 1990.

Began shooting January 15, 1990.

Film was "four-walled" at L.A.'s Laemmle Monica theater.

Released in United States Spring March 22, 1991

Released in United States on Video October 17, 1991