Naked Matricide, Naked Patricide

LizzieBorden_ChristinaRicci

Fasten your seatbelts, kiddies: Lizzie Borden Took an Ax promises to be another trip to Krazy Town courtesy of Lifetime, the network that gave us Lindsay Lohan in Liz and Dick. The movie’s poster shows a scary-skinny Christina Ricci holding the aforementioned ax with a sexy smirk and tight crinolines discretely splattered with blood, while its tagline “It’s Time to Bury the Hatchet” screams instant camp classic.

Ricci seems to be in on the joke. She recently tweeted “Saw my new movie ‘Lizzie Borden’! Naked patricide, always a crowd pleaser.” Lifetime dropped its slogan “Television for Women” back in 2006, but recent movies about Anna Nicole Smith, Amanda Knox and Donatella Versace show the network is still all about the ladies—the more mentally unbalanced the better. Lifetime movies are so over-the-top that the network, in a stroke of genius, introduced the most meta of reality series, My Life Is a Lifetime Movie.

The real Lizzie Borden was tried and acquitted of the ax murders of her father and stepmother in 1892. And despite the exaggerations of the famous skipping rhyme, Abby Borden’s skull was actually crushed by 18 or 19 blows while Andrew Borden was struck 11 times. But Lizzie Borden Took an Ax doesn’t bother with boring old facts or Did she or didn’t she? ambiguities. As Ricci said in a recent interview [spoiler alert]: “We wanted to come at it from the perspective of we know she’s guilty and this is the way she behaves afterward.”

It remains to be seen if Lizzie Borden Took an Ax will join the Lifetime pantheon of Cyber Seduction, Co-Ed Call Girl and Fifteen and Pregnant, but the casting of Ricci as Lizzie Borden doesn’t hurt. Ricci made her screen debut in 1990 at age 10 as Cher’s daughter in Mermaids. She graduated from child star in Casper and The Addams Family to sexy, disturbed teen in The Ice Storm and The Opposite of Sex. Ricci herself acknowledges that at barely over five feet tall she is too short to be an A-list actress. But anyone who has enjoyed her unique style in movies like 200 Cigarettes, Sleepy Hollow, Prozac Nation and Monster knows Ricci will elevate Lizzie Borden above the usual Lifetime fare. It took 122 years for the Lizzie Borden story to get the Lifetime movie treatment. We’ll soon know if it was worth the wait.

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax premieres this Saturday on Lifetime.

Photo courtesy of Everett

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