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Special Effects
Special Effects
Actors: Zoë Lund, Eric Bogosian, Brad Rijn, Kevin O'Connor, Bill Oland
Director: Larry Cohen
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     1hr 33min

From the mind of Larry Cohen (Phone Booth) springs this kinky (Chicago Reader) thriller about voyeurism, filmmaking and murder. Starring Zoe Tamerlis (Bad Lieutenant) and Eric Bogosian (Wonderland), Special Effects is a ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Zoë Lund, Eric Bogosian, Brad Rijn, Kevin O'Connor, Bill Oland
Director: Larry Cohen
Creators: Paul Glickman, Robert Levi, Larry Cohen, Armond Lebowitz, Barry Shils, Carter DeHaven, Paul Kurta
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/01/2004
Original Release Date: 11/16/1984
Theatrical Release Date: 11/16/1984
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Rough-hewn movie buoyed by great lead performance.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 10/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The presence of Ms. .45 star Zoe Tamerlis was what made me rent this DVD in the first place. Unfortunately, since her role in Ms. .45 was as a mute, I had no idea how bad her dialogue delivery could be. She has physical presence and an unusual beauty, but her performance in Special Effects is simply amateurish, like watching an acting student in class. This effectively ruined her character, no matter how much flesh she was willing to show and how victimized the character is.

Luckily, bug-eyed Eric Bogosian delivers the goods big-time as an obsessive, borderline psychotic film director who recreates his murder of an actress in his own film. Bogosian doesn't overdo the mental instability of the character (unlike, say, Joe Spinell in Maniac), relying on low-key menace and internal intensity to do the job, and it succeeds grandly. Fortunate for the film, because Special Effects is an otherwise rough, oftimes pretentious movie with a laughable music score that makes the whole thing look like a porn parody. However, one or two effective thrill sequences (the lights-out ending is great, as well as the murder by film strip) added to Bogosian's terrifically unnerving presence make for a watchable thriller whose strong moments do reward you for enduring through the weak ones. Worth a look."
A disappointing Cohen film.
NoWireHangers | Sweden | 09/02/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Larry Cohen usually made entertaining movies based on interesting concept, and there's nothing wrong with the concept here; a film director makes a movie about the murder that he himself committed. Unfortunately, a good idea isn't enough to make a good movie and the script here is much below average for Cohen and the pace is much too slow. The soundtrack distracts from the suspense rather than add to it. Don't bother with this movie unless you feel you need to see all of Larry Cohen's movies."
Very Little Effect!
Steve67 | Dallas, Texas United States | 04/06/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Genere favorite Larry Cohen wrote and directed this film, which offers a little more than your typical slasher pic from the 80s. In this movie we follow a husband as he goes to the big city in search of his wife,whom moved from the country in hopes of making it big as an actress. Clues lead the husband to a known director, whom apparently was the last to see his wife. Little does he know that the director actually murdered the wife and caught it on film, which also bcame the inspirationof a new movie featuring the deceased woman's characterand guess who plays the husband inthe film. Yes the real husband actually plays the woman husband in the movie, and the girl they got to playthe role actually looks a lot like the original girl. A case of deja-vu occurs when the director attempts to recreate the actualmurder in his film, where he begins to question fantasy from reality, and ultimatley putting the new girl and husband life in danger. Although the movie does bring an intresting formula to film, the low budget, poor performances,and unintresting characters cause the project to suffer.The film has its up and downs, but do to the slow pacing and seemingly clueless characters, we're left rolling our eyes more than pondering what will happen next. Had they gotten better actors and fxed the script up, then maybe we could have a tense picture.Overall we had poor acting and low budget,it could have been an intresting hitchcockian- thriller was nothing more than a dull interpretation of a would be fake snuff film."