Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (ATAME!) [VHS]
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Product Description

Perhaps only Pedro Almod車var could come up with a story about a mental patient who stalks and kidnaps an ex-porn star--and turn it into a tender love story. But that's exactly what happens in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, a lively installment from the Spanish director's wacky middle period (after the scruffy early films, and before his mature melodramas). Two of Almod車var's sexiest stars, Antonio Banderas and Victoria Abril, play the leads: a cracked young man with dreams of bourgeois domesticity, and an actress who used to specialize in porno and heroin. Despite that fact that he binds her limbs with cord when he leaves the house, he always returns with a cheerful "I'm home!" For all Almod車var's outrageousness, there's a touch of classical Hollywood in his construction. And while this movie is not for the politically correct, it does play by its own warped rules. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews:

  • Absolute gem!
    This is an amzing movie, one of the best Almodovar's ever! And it is also worth seeing an Antonio Banderas from his 'pre-Hollywood' age, much, much better than now!...more info
  • BEST ROMANTIC MOVIE EVER ...if a little weird!
    Unfortunately, there are only five stars to rate this film, but it deserves ten! Both Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas shine as lovers in the strangest of love stories only a genius like director Almod車var can imagine!

    If you sometimes feel "all alone in the world", if you've ever been kidnapped by love, or begged to be forever tied down to the person you're nuts about, this is your dream movie! It's tender, sexy, funny and outrageous! It's "The Collectionist" meets "Hello Kitty!"! It's a true MASTERPIECE about all what love is all about. I'm sure you don't want to miss it!

    P.S.: Sure, it's got sex and nudity, but if you object those things... ...get a life!...more info

  • Perceptively witty / sexy comedy. Banderas as psycho!
    `Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down' directed by the Spaniard, Pedro Almodovar and starring Victoria Abril and a young Antonio Banderas strikes me as great fun with at least a few sparkling moments of insight or perception worthy of Woody Allen.

    The dominant aspect of this 1989 movie for us today is the Banderas performance that I kept comparing to the performances of Mel Gibson and Brad Pitt as psychopaths in `Conspiracy Theory' and `The 12 Monkeys' respectively. Banderas plays a newly released inmate from an insane asylum who, on the face of it, immediately takes up his asocial behavior by stalking a porno movie / Wes Craven type movie star who is just finishing up her work on a `movie within a movie'. While Gibson and Pitt really pushed their characterizations over the top, to the point where Pitt was nominated for an Academy award for his role, Banderas keeps his nuttiness toned down to be almost imperceptible. This is good, because it makes his motive for stalking the actress more believable. He is claiming that an earlier meeting he had with the actress turned him around and led him to convincing his parole board to free him from the asylum.

    The major perception used in the plot is based on the fact that the female lead has a bad toothache, but since she was once a heavy user of opiates, most painkillers no longer work for her, so she needs either the very strongest prescription drugs or illegal morphine or heroin.

    This is rated NC-17, but as a rather farcical satire, the few scenes or explicit sex and nudity are more funny than they are titillating. That still doesn't mean I would let a 12-year-old watch the movie, but I would get it for a great `stay at home' date movie.

    I suspect there is enough substance in this film to warrant two or three viewings and I would especially recommend it as one of the great sexy comedies, at least until I see and review more of Almodovar's films.
    ...more info
  • BRINGS YOU UP ... NOT DOWN
    Perhaps Pedro Almodovars'most talked about film. This Video starring Antonio Banderas as a psychiatric patient obsessed with a former porno star / prostitute, played by beautiful Victoria Abril, is not one of Almodovars' best films, but definately worth a look.

    Ricky (Banderas), recently released psychiatric patient, kidnaps Marina (abril) and is convinced that he can get her to fall in love with him. Banderas and Abril champion their roles, as the psycho who just needs love and the hooker with a big heart, which fits perfectly with Almodovars directorial style. Some viewers will consider this "over the top" while others, familiar with Almodovars work, will find it very entertaining, quite funny and a must see! The film is loaded with frantic, frenzied bondage scenes as well as finely exploiting the sexual tension between the leading actors. Sometimes wonderfully erotic and sometimes cartoonishly comic this film is a fun avant-garde romp. Oh yes and did I say Abril is a beautiful women - you can't keep your eyes off her. Oh and make sure you get the "unrated" version. You don't want to miss the controversial "bathtub scene" involving Abril and that naughty toy submarine ! Yep, that's right! ... Enjoy !...more info

  • The Wild & Erotic World of Almodovar
    Pedro Almodovar followed up the success of his international hit, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," with this wild, erotic comic fantasy starring his long-time leading man and soon-to-be Hollywood star, Antonio Banderas.

    Fresh from his incarceration from an asylum in Madrid, Banderas plays a ex-lunatic who leaves in search of the object of his affection, a popular Spanish porn star (played by Victoria Abril).

    After meeting, then kidnapping her, Banderas' character is more determined to make her fall in love with him, and does whatever he needs to do in order to win her love. However, Abril, refuses to love a man who has made her a prisoner of her own home. The title, which is a translation of its' original Spanish title, "Atame!," reflects the method Banderas uses to coax and subdue Abril's character in falling in love with him (he ties her up in her bedroom).

    While the story seems far-fetched at times, the chemistry that Banderas and Abril emit makes the film work. Supporting actresses Maria Barranco and Rosie de Palma lend their unique comic talents in helping the director weave a tale of love and desire that only Almodovar can tell.

    Upon release in the United States, this film was slapped with the newly created and feared NC-17 rating due to his sexual themes and minor violence. Compared to R rated films of the present such as "Basic Instinct" and "The Matrix," this film is tame. Refusing to edit his work, Almodovar criticized the MPAA for its' decision to market the film with an NC-17 rating. Due to this rating, the film did not do too well at the box office as expected.

    This film marks Banderas' final film in Spain, before departing to the United States to start his successful career in Hollywood. The film contains glimpses of Banderas' backside, as well as a whole lot of Abril's figure, and the sexual scenes are soft-core porn quality. If you are offended by glimpses of the naked body or sexual themes, then skip this film.

    "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" is one of Almodovar's rare gems. As a true master of the Spanish cinema, his work truly reflects his gifted talent. A great film with a comic ending!...more info

  • Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
    Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (?芍tame!) is one of the two movies by renown director Pedro Almod車var (the other being Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) that got wide attention in the US, albeit in the art house scene. Nothing since Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (made in 1990) has gotten nearly as much attention, despite several efforts since than by Almod車var. Both movies have a similar style, but Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is a bit more disturbing as it revolves around a kidnapping.

    Marina Osorio (Victoria Abril) is a former porn actor and junkie trying to make a more respectable living as a B movie actor. Ricky (Antonio Banderas), is a troubled youth who has just been released from a mental institution where he had spent the last several years due to his constant running away from orphanages and reform schools. Somehow Ricky has decided that Marina is his future wife and after some very lame attempts to get her attention on the set of her new movie, decides to break into her apartment and "kidnap" her until she is convinced to love him as he does her.

    This seems somewhat straightforward, but most would assume that this would be a terror-filled, disturbing film about stalkers and people who's reality is warped. It is disturbing, but not for those reasons, but rather for its very light-hearted atmosphere and slapstick comedy in the face of this rather serious situation. One might call it a black comedy, but the mood is generally so light, that a better term might be "gray comedy." Marina, though occasionally showing some terror, seems more angry and annoyed at being tied up and kept captive than in fear for her life. One thing ran through my mind when watching this - that quote from Die Hard with the expert commentator on the news talking about how kidnapped victims sometimes go through the "Helsinki Syndrom" and start empathizing with their captors. Well, it does not take all that long for Ricky to actually convince Marina to love him. This again, leads to the very light-hearted and surreal nature of the film, and everything in the film seems to have this quality, almost as if what is happening is not real, but being acted on stage. This relates to the film that Marina is acting in at the beginning of this movie, where likewise, everything is pretty fantastic and unreal.

    Other than the shear oddity of this film, the main other noteworthy quality seems to be in its steamy sex scenes with Abril and Bandaras. The film actually got an NC-17 rating due to this, which shows the hypocrisy of the MPAA which gives incredibly violent films like Saving Private Ryan an R, but because of a little sexual content will brand a film with NC-17 and make it hard to sell at the box office in most communities.

    The DVD is lackluster, containing no special features except for a Trailer. The anamorphic transfer is a good one, very clear with vibrant colors. The audio is the original mono Spanish and is very clear for a mono soundtrack.

    If you are a fan of the offbeat, you may enjoy this film for the shear "different" quality it has compared to most mainstream movies, but its light treatment of very disturbing theme may be too much for others....more info

  • The Wild & Erotic World of Almodovar
    Pedro Almodovar followed up the success of his international hit, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," with this wild, erotic comic fantasy starring his long-time leading man and soon-to-be Hollywood star, Antonio Banderas.

    Fresh from his incarceration from an asylum in Madrid, Banderas plays a ex-lunatic who leaves in search of the object of his affection, a popular Spanish porn star (played by Victoria Abril).

    After meeting, then kidnapping her, Banderas' character is more determined to make her fall in love with him, and does whatever he needs to do in order to win her love. However, Abril, refuses to love a man who has made her a prisoner of her own home. The title, which is a translation of its' original Spanish title, "Atame!," reflects the method Banderas uses to coax and subdue Abril's character in falling in love with him (he ties her up in her bedroom).

    While the story seems far-fetched at times, the chemistry that Banderas and Abril emit makes the film work. Supporting actresses Maria Barranco and Rosie de Palma lend their unique comic talents in helping the director weave a tale of love and desire that only Almodovar can tell.

    Upon release in the United States, this film was slapped with the newly created and feared NC-17 rating due to his sexual themes and minor violence. Compared to R rated films of the present such as "Basic Instinct" and "The Matrix," this film is tame. Refusing to edit his work, Almodovar criticized the MPAA for its' decision to market the film with an NC-17 rating. Due to this rating, the film did not do too well at the box office as expected.

    This film marks Banderas' final film in Spain, before departing to the United States to start his successful career in Hollywood. The film contains glimpses of Banderas' backside, as well as a whole lot of Abril's figure, and the sexual scenes are soft-core porn quality. If you are offended by glimpses of the naked body or sexual themes, then skip this film.

    "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" is one of Almodovar's rare gems. As a true master of the Spanish cinema, his work truly reflects his gifted talent. A great film with a comic ending!...more info

  • Misogynistic Garbage
    Someone should have informed the makers of this movie that women do NOT enjoy being beaten unconscious, held prisoner, victimized. The ridiculous plot glorifies this disgusting behavior and it is sickening. Lame attempts at humor fail, rampant drug use is also portrayed and glorified. Is the audience actually to believe the woman would fall in love with her attacker and live happily ever after? The only thing they got right was rating it NC-17. NO minor should see this movie. Calling itself a comedy does not a comedy make. I tossed this one into the trash. There are plenty of other far superior Antonio Banderas films to watch. ...more info
  • Unsophisticated-- primitive desperation as romance for clods
    I found nothing whatsoever sympathetic about Ricky. His pathetic view of romance is the same as the highschool kids that jump off a cliff together. Her view of the romance was pity for that pathetic. Disturbed individuals will see this validating their own twisted view of romance, not a behaviour to encourage. The story is essentially "The Collector" (1965) with a "they all live happily ever after" ending. Modern cave-man still drags his mate off by the hair, and you all go "oh, isn't that romantic." "The Taming of the Shrew," or "Zandy's Bride," are far better "battle of the wits," romances, if that's how you prefer to define it. This was simply the battle of the witless......more info
  • bizarre comedy that recommends an unorthodox way to fall in love
    This is the story of a mental patient who happens to be a hunk (a very young Banderas), who attempts to use an original method to get a b-film star to fall for him: abducting and then tieing her up. It isn't all that funny if you ask me, but it is well acted and interesting in spots. Really a strange drama. Almodar's later dramas are infinitely superior....more info