Video Review

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)

MPAA Rating: NC-17
EW's GRADE
C-

Details Movie Rated: NC-17; Genres: Drama, Romance; With: Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas; Distributor: RCA/Columbia Home Video

Spain's bad-boy director Pedro Almódovar got himself tied up in a tussle with the MPAA earlier this year over the rating for this sexually themed drama. Originally slapped with an ''X,'' Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is one of the movies that prompted the creation of the NC-17 rating, which is how this video release is rated.

The rating controversy is the most dramatic thing about this picture. This movie ties you down not like a kinky lover but like a boring, pointless job. The story involves a recently released mental patient (Antonio Banderas) who kidnaps a former porn star (Victoria Abril) and holds her hostage in her apartment until she capitulates to him. It's a slow, tedious telling of a predictable tale, only occasionally redeemed by Almódovar's sassy playpen colors and kooky sense of design, which do happen to befit the small screen. C-

Originally posted Dec 14, 1990 Published in issue #44 Dec 14, 1990 Order article reprints