Boxing Helena

Boxing Helena is a 1993 American mystery thriller film with horror elements directed by Jennifer Lynch, and starring Sherilyn Fenn, Julian Sands and Bill Paxton. The plot follows a surgeon whose growing obsession with a woman leads him to amputate her limbs and hold her captive in his home after she suffers a car accident. The film garnered notoriety prior to its release after notorious legal battles with Madonna and Kim Basinger, both of whom backed out of the leading role of Helena. It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1993, where it received critical praise. After receiving an NC-17 rating by the MPAA, the film was given an R-rating on appeal and released in the United States in September 1993, but received critical backlash and was a financial failure.


Nick Cavanaugh is a lonely Atlanta surgeon obsessed with a woman named Helena, whom he had one intimate experience with. Nick is in love with her while Helena holds disdain for him. After she suffers a high grade tibial fracture in a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident in front of his home, he kidnaps and treats her in his house surreptitiously, amputating both of her legs above the knee. Later, he amputates her arms above the elbow after she tries to choke him.