1985: Fear Sex. Jagged Edge & AIDS (Erotic 80s Part 8)
Just as the AIDS-related death of Rock Hudson was finally forcing straight people – and Hollywood – to acknowledge that epidemic, a film was released that transposed the new climate of sexual fear into a murder mystery. The sleeper hit of 1985, Jagged Edge turned Glenn Close from a respected actress into a star, and established the brand of screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who would later write Basic Instinct and Showgirls. Almost a decade after radical feminists began to call for a crackdown on violent sexual imagery, Jagged Edge tried to have its cake and eat it, too: infusing its sex and violence – and its depiction of a career woman – with a fundamentally conservative point of view.
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