In San Francisco, an unstable police detective is working on a string of homicides involving an ice pick. As the investigation unravels, he ends up falling for the main suspect, a seductive novelist whose recent book also features a killer who uses an ice pick to murder their victims.

MUBI's take

After his provocative explorations of America’s cultural attitudes to violence with Robocop and Total Recall, arch-satirist Paul Verhoeven turned to the question of sex with this dazzling psychosexual noir. Featuring Sharon Stone in a star-making turn, Basic Instinct is the ultimate erotic thriller.

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