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With elements borrowed from both 'Vertigo' and 'Rear Window', this is another of director Brian De Palma's inspired reworkings of Hitchcock. It begins with out-of-work actor Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) recuperating after an attack of claustrophobia, spending his time spying on the stripper who lives opposite. All this is fine until Jake witnesses the stripper being brutally murdered with a power tool. After hearing that the police love to pin such crimes on peeping toms, Jake comes to realize that he is caught in a complex plot where nothing is quite as it first appears.
Even Brian De Palma's staunchest defenders had to swallow hard with this gaudily gory bauble of a thriller that is built around a gruesome (yet surprisingly wittily staged) stalking and murder involving a female victim and a killer with a giant power drill. This is De Palma at his most sensational, in a story about a B-movie actor (Craig Wasson) with career problems and a habit as a voyeur. He witnesses the aforementioned murder, then teams up with a porn actress (Melanie Griffith) to try and find the killer. De Palma has a blast going inside the porn film industry, and even films a pseudo rock video with one-hit wonders Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Wasson is an unlikely leading man, bland and pasty, but he is perfect in the role of a decidedly imperfect hero. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com
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Jake is a struggling actor who suffers from claustrophobia. He's not too bright, not too dumb, and he finds out the hard way that his wife is two-timing him. She owns their house so he has to move out. He finds a place to stay, housesitting for an absent owner a modernist home on a stalk that overlooks Hollywood. The guy who helped him find the place points out the owner's telescope, which in the evening can pick out a lush neighbor, a rich woman named Gloria Revel, who regularly does a strip dance in front of her window. Jake thinks he sees her being stalked and does some stalking of his own. One night through the telescope he sees her being attacked. He races over to save her but he's too late. The attacker uses a big power drill to kill the woman. Jake finds himself under suspicion and sets out to try to find out what was going on. And that sets up his meeting with Holly, his realization of what really happened, and his confrontation with the killer who is in the process of burying Holly alive.
This is a first-rate movie, in my opinion. De Palma is often accused of ripping off...I mean, paying homage to...Hitchcock, but Hitchcock didn't own the suspense/humor genre. He just did it better than most. Here, De Palma has come up with a clever plot that builds a nice head of tension and unease.Read more ›
Brian De Palma continued his crusade to push buttons of the sensitive whilst homaging his hero Alfred Hitchcock, with this cheeky, garish, sleazy thriller. Even when moving away from Hitch like movies, he created a storm with Scarface (1983), so the critics of 1984 wondered if a return to suspense thriller territory would put the director back on an even cinematic keel? Not a bit of it! The reaction to Body Double was ridiculously over the top, apparently a misogynistic homage to the porn industry, with exploitation gore thrown in for good (bad) measure, Body Double was the devil’s spawn in the eyes of critics. The public? Not so much, film was a sure fire hit at the box office.
Of course today it seems all very tame, where not even a simulated drilling killing can raise the temperature of the audience, or that frank sexual language and bare bodies no longer makes cinema goers blush. On reflection now it’s easy to view De Palma’s movie as a visionary piece of work, a film gently poking the ribs of Hollywood and the MPAA, and as was always the case with his 70s and 80s work, he was a director who easily elicited a response from his audience. And with his box of cinematic tricks still impressive before he became over reliant on them, Body Double is a fascinatingly lurid viewing experience.
That it’s Vertigo and Rear Window spliced together is a given, but that doesn’t make it a bad film, besides which it bears the De Palma stamp as well, undeniably so.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of De Palma's best and hardest to find films in an excellent Blu-ray package from Umbrella Entertainment.Published 11 days ago by Raven72
After struggling actor Jake Scully finds his girlfriend in bed with another man, he moves out and accepts an offer from fellow struggling actor Sam Bouchard to house-sit for a few... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Corey Newcombe
This film did not play. Tried it on both television and smart box - very disappointed. Would appreciate a refund!Published 5 months ago by Mr Michael Nell
Good bluray transfer. For all our American cousins 'REGION B' the clue's in the title.Published 11 months ago by N. M. Fletcher
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