This John McNaughton-directed thriller became a surprise hit by mixing an old-fashioned noir mystery with very adult, steamy subject matter, boasting one of Bill Murray’s most off-the-wall performances and career-making work from breakout Denise Richards.
Ostensibly the story of a Miami detective (Kevin Bacon) investigating the sexual assault of a high schooler by her guidance counselor (Matt Dillon), the film is filled with so many twists and turns, double-crosses and underhanded dealings, that by the end you’ll need a notepad and pen to track all the shifting alliances.
One key relationship, however, didn’t make the final cut: A romance between Dillon and Bacon. In some ways, the subplot would have been fairly revolutionary for its time period; in others, this is a film where characters are constantly revealed to be in bed together, so it would make a lot of sense. This was to be revealed during a memorable “Wild Things” moment where Bacon’s character emerges from a shower, displaying a full-frontal moment.
“The movie almost came with another surprise for people to talk about, because Matt was gonna climb in the shower with me,” Bacon would later divulge. “I thought it was great because the whole movie is about secrets coming out, right? As reveals go, that one was just huge. Unfortunately, the financiers didn’t like the idea of men making out. They felt it went too far. They felt it wasn’t right.”
Dillon, however, was happy to see the subplot dropped. “I was relieved when they got rid of that scene,” he explained in 2005. “Kevin seemed pretty attached to it, though.”
“In the original version of the scene, Matt walks into his bathroom to take a shower and there’s Kevin,” he recalled in 2023, saying that the scene never even got filmed. “They were supposed to look each other up and down and then wham — go at it.”
According to the filmmaker, one of the actors — he won’t say which — put the kibosh on it.
“I love surprise, and I love stuff that I don’t see coming,” he said of that particular day of filming. “But in that moment it was like ‘You win some, you lose some; we’re moving on.'”