Today marks the 25th Anniversary of Basic Instinct, a film that pays brilliant homage to classic Hollywood cinema while remaining innovative and groundbreaking in its own right. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the day the movie premiered, here are 25 reasons to love Basic Instinct.
25. The film debut of Jeanne Tripplehorn. Her stunning portrayal of the police psychologist in Basic Instinct later led to roles in movies like The Firm, Waterworld, Sliding Doors, and most importantly the HBO movie Grey Gardens.
24. These books by Catherine Woolf. Umm, where can we get our hands on these??! Catherine Woolf is the author pseudonym of Catherine Tramell, which means these books were no doubt brilliant, violent, and filled with all sorts of fabulous mind-fuckery. We wants for Christmas, Santa!
23. Hazel Dobkins. Former housewife serial murdering mom Hazel Dobkins is scary as hell. She deserved her own movie spin-off.
22. The intense homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Everything from the score to the scenery of San Francisco paints a love letter from director Paul Verhoeven to Vertigo, but nothing so much so as Sharon Stone’s iconic look ala Kim Novak.
21. The music. Listen and find out why Jerry Goldsmith is a God. Kudos to Verhoeven for getting the same dude who scored Alien to score Basic Instinct.
20. The famous cross/uncross interrogation scene. ‘Nuff said.
19. The movie ignores DNA. Although DNA testing in crime labs was totally a thing by the time this movie premiered in 1992, the movie totally ignores it. If this is what a movie looks like when it ignores DNA testing, can we please just agree to get rid of it altogether?
18. Michael Douglas’s reckless driving. A former race car driver, Michael Douglas performed most of his own “stunts” in the movie’s chase scenes.
17. The spoofs it spawned. Everyone from James Corden to Florence Henderson has spoofed the infamous interrogation scene.
16. The sequel it spawned. I don’t care what you say, Basic Instinct 2 is totally worth the watch. The movie is not to be taken too seriously, and Sharon Stone seems to be the only one in on the joke. If you haven’t seen the movie, be sure to get your hands on a copy by clicking here.
15. The sex. Okay, we can’t ignore this. It’s hot. Red hot. Released just after the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Basic Instinct reawakened the collective American libido, inspiring couples all over the world to be unashamed of their sexual proclivities and to be open minded to trying new things… like scarves and rough sex.
14. Roxy. Often referred to as Rocky, this was one bad-ass bisexual bitch.
13. The club scene. It’s the only moment in the movie that looks somewhat dated, but thank God for it reminding us what a big night out looked like in 1992.
12. Beauty and brains. Catherine Tramell is one of the most brilliant characters to ever grace the silver screen. Sharon Stone herself had all but given up acting before getting the role in Basic Instinct. She was studying to become a lawyer, bringing a sharp edge of intelligence to a character that otherwise could have come off as a bimbo.
11. The twist after twist ending. Leaving you guessing right up until the very second the credits roll, this movie employs Hitchcock’s famous twist ending with aplomb.
10. Newman. Any time Newman from television’s Seinfeld can make an appearance in a film, it’s a good thing.
9. San Francisco. Verhoeven’s on location shots of San Francisco are breathtakingly beautiful, capturing the magic of the city.
8. The ice pick. How is it possible that by 1992, no one had thought to use an ice pick as a murder weapon in a movie? Yet another perfect idea perfectly executed by this film.
7. The beach house. Can we just live here please?
6. The opening scene. Rarely have we ever been so shocked by a movie’s opening. Provocative and jarring, the movie’s opening moments set the tone perfectly for the rest of the film. (We won’t ruin it for you here.)
5. The countless lesser 90’s thrillers it inspired. Basic Instinct made the 90’s thriller a genre unto itself consisting of Final Analysis, Fear, Poison Ivy and many more. Sharon Stone herself went on to star in Sliver.
4. Sharon Stone’s use of scarves. Now that’s talent!
3. The script. “What are you gonna do? Charge me with smoking?,” “She’s evil… she’s brilliant!,” and “So read me my rights and arrest me. Then I’ll go downtown. Otherwise, get the fuck out of here…” are among the many classic quotables in the screenplay by Joe Eszterhas.
2. Gus. Yes, indeed. George Dzundza brings so much to the role of Shooter’s best friend, Gus, you can’t help but love the guy. An underrated actor that elevates the movie every moment he’s in it.
1. Sharon Stone has never been better. Sure, she’s un-freaking-believable in Casino, and yes she proves to have awesome comedic chops in The Muse, but Basic Instinct captures all the things we love about Sharon Stone. Her wit, her sense of humor, her immense acting talent, and above all else her unique ability to combine intelligence with sex appeal. Every second she isn’t on the screen in Basic Instinct, we can’t wait to see her again. She embodies the femme fatale and does it so deliciously, you can’t help but root for her.