Movie: Boxing Helena (1993)
Writer: Jennifer Chambers Lynch

Let's be clear, writers: The only time the words "it was all a dream" will ever fly are when the Notorious B.I.G. raps them every time we hear "Juicy." Otherwise, avoid that intensely maddening plot twist at all costs; not only is it the easiest one to think up, requiring nothing but a quick scene at a story or film's end that needs no connections to all that preceded it, but it's also a foolproof way to waste the precious time of everyone involved, namely the readers/viewers.

Sadly, nobody told this to Jennifer Chambers Lynch, the daughter of the excellent weirdo filmmaker David Lynch, before she finalized her script for Boxing Helena, which she also directed. The central idea tucked within the film's running time is actually a dementedly clever one: A surgeon named Nick (Julian Sands) becomes stalker-mode obsessed with his gorgeous neighbor, Helena (Sherilyn Fenn), and when she's severely injured in a freak automobile accident, he kidnaps her and amputates both her arms and legs.

Fiendishly twisted and perverse, Boxing Helena shows that Ms. Lynch has a rather creepy imagination, yet it also leads one to believe that she's also unable to fully commit to her wildest ideas. The whole dismembered prisoner section of the film is actually an extended dream sequence, which we learn as Nick wakes up in the hospital after Helena, whom he rescued from the accident's wreckage and rushed to the emergency room, makes it through surgery.

From sick and twisted to sappy and timid—that's never a desirable transition.