Mike W. from SPRINGFIELD, MI Reviewed on 1/21/2009...
BODY DOUBLE IS ONE FRANK DRAMA. EXCELLENT CAST. I SEEN THIS MOVIE ON HBO THE FIRST TIME IT WAS ON AND IT WAS A VERY ADULT AND VERY SQUEAMISH MOVIE. IT IS A GREAT MYSTERY THRILLER FROM THE MASTER OF SUSPENSE, BRIAN DEPALMA. DON'T MISS IT.
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The nastiest movie I ever saw in the theater...
Dubyac99 | San Francisco, CA | 09/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...with my parents.
I'll never forget seeing this movie in the theaters with my parents. We happen to see the quite young daughter of a really good couple friend of my parents, right before we went into the theater to watch this. My parents had no idea how bad this one was. My mother, just out of the blue, invited the young lady to join us. Brian DePalma has always been one of my favorite directors, and I only had a slight hint of how bad/good this would be. Well, I don't need to tell you the rest of the story, if you've seen this movie. My parents apologized profusely to her parents, later after we watched it. AND I WAS LOVING IT!!!
I bought this on laser disc right when it came out, and recently, about 1 year ago, bought the DVD. I really like the movie, one of my favorite Brian DePalma flicks. I'll tell you some of my favorite parts.
1) The music playing, when Scully, the Craig Wasson character, gets excused from his movie scene, and is driving home to spend some unexpected quality time with his live in girlfriend. That is probably the greatest sound track music I've ever heard, by Pino Donaggio.
2) The edit cuts, between the viewing of the murder, through the eyeglass, that Scully is looking through, and the real life view, in the living room of the murder victim. I still remember the sound effects and cries of pain by the actress.
3) The twirling effect of the cameras, when Scully and the female are kissing no the beach (no, it didn't make me dizzy, like other reviewers.)
4) The "B" Acting of Melanie Griffith. You' d think she really was a porn star, the way she's acting.
5) The police detective that interviews Scully. That guy was so creepy. Reminds me of the actor Fred Gwynne. Very entertaining.
Rent or buy this movie, and you shall not be disappointed.
Little known fact about this movie: Brian DePalma interviewed a real porn star (can't think of her name off hand, but she was extremely popular at the time this movie was being made) and rejected her based on her poor acting skills. Too bad they don't include her trial tapes in the DVD extras That would be bangin'!!! There is a book I own, called Double DePalma, which gives in great details the behind the scenes of this movie. I just checked, and it is also available for as little as $2.11. I highly recommend that item too.
Dubyac99 aka MC White said: Ch-ch-ch-check it out!!! EDIT: I'm the 69th reviewer of this version? Coincidence? I think not!
EDIT: 10/27/2006 Well, I have finally received my copy of this DVD from Columbia House, and let me tell you, it was really great! I would have liked some commentaries from Brian De Palma, but I notice he does not like to do commentaries, for the most part.
Still, this movie is one of my all time favorites by him.
Voyeurism and Hitchcock a-go-go!
Cubist | United States | 10/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the early 1980s, Brian De Palma made two movies about obsessed voyeurs with Blow Out and then Body Double. With its perceived misogynistic views of women exacerbated by the violence depicted towards them and the ample use of nudity, the film became a lightning rod for controversy when it was initially released. This new Special Edition is a double-dip for this title with brand new extras and new interviews conducted with cast and crew made specifically for this release.
Throughout his career, De Palma has been dogged with the criticism that he blatantly rips off the films of Alfred Hitchcock. And to be fair, there are several overt references in Body Double. Like Jimmy Stewart's character in Vertigo, Jake has a debilitating fear that affects him at the worst possible moments. He also ends up remaking a woman into an idealized version of one he was obsessed with previously, much as Stewart does with Kim Novak's character in Vertigo. And like Stewart's character in Rear Window, Jake witnesses a crime being committed from afar and is powerless to stop it.
Body Double shows the ugly, moral tawdriness of the bottom rungs of the Los Angeles acting scene. When we first meet Jake he's in danger of being fired from Z-grade horror film. De Palma has crafted a beautifully structured thriller with a mystery that we piece together along with Jake.
"The Seduction" examines the origins of the film. De Palma got the idea for it while working on Dressed to Kill and originally set it in New York City but he spent a lot of time in L.A. while making Scarface.
In "The Setup" De Palma explains that the premise of Body Double is a postmodern spin on Hitchcock, specifically Vertigo. He also talks about the notion of voyeurism and how he called attention to it repeatedly.
"The Mystery." The porn music video was inspired by De Palma watching countless hours of MTV. A colleague recommended using the song "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood who, as it turned out, were big fans of the director.
Finally, there is "The Controversy" which examines the critical savaging Body Double received when it came out, claiming that it portrayed women negatively and that it was too violent."
Good Clean Fun--OK, Maybe Not So Clean
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 09/18/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have a love/hate relationship with Brian De Palma. His name is a brand, and a couple of his films are among my favorite--"Carrie" and "The Untouchables", for example. But he certainly has just as many misses--"Bonfire of the Vanities", anyone?
He has done a number of films with direct links to Hitchcock--"Sisters", "Dressed to Kill", and this "Body Double". These films all borrow heavily from Hitch in terms of imagery and plot. It has alternately been called, during his career, paying homage or being a rip-off. There are critics in both camps. My sentiment is that if you're going to borrow elements from another director, you could do a lot worse than THE MASTER.
That being said--"Body Double" is a loopy combination of "Vertigo" and "Rear Window". It's an entertaining, if not particularly, artistic film.
A young Melanie Griffith stole the show, for me, as porn star Holly Body. And what could be better than using Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax" to score the porno film within the film that she stars in? Not much, in my opinion.
So put your brain on hold, and you'll likely enjoy this lurid little film. Ultimately, it's just a pulpy B-movie--and as long as you don't expect ART--you do get entertainment. KGHarris, 9/06. "
A very enjoyable thriller to become a classic in the genre
peterdao | Springfield, VA United States | 04/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Controversial movies like this always result in a lot of contradictory feedbacks. After reading all other viewers' comments, I just want to add a few things. 1. If you label this movie as a "porn" or "soft porn", you may never have watched a "real" porn flick, or you must have missed one topnotch line in the "porn film shooting" scene of this movie, a line that defined so well the difference between erotic and pornographic cinema (a crew member asked the director, "so where's the come shot? I thought we were doing "Body Talk", not "Last Tango".) 2. It's quite unfair to blame Brian de Palma for "borrowing" Hitchcock's ideas from "Vertigo" or "Rear Window". Because if that's true, Hitchcock would have been pleased to see his ideas beautifully revived and enhanced in this very entertaining thriller. Over the years, I personally don't find all Hitchcock films as enjoyable as they used to be, while some of Brian de Palma tend to become classics themselves. There's something to make me think of Hitchcock though: Twenty-one years after Tippi Hedren gave a pretty nice performance in "The Birds" (1963), her daughter Melanie Griffith really delivered a much better one in "Body Double" (1984)."
Trashy, entertaining, if somewhat illogical erotic thriller
Max Zorn | Chicago | 12/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As cinemaphiles know, Brian De Palma has a predilection for paying homage to Hitchcock in his films, and here tries to bring Hitchcock's affinity for sexual dysfunction, shocking plot twists and character "sudden death" that make the masters films extremely watchable until this day. But De Palma has a taste for the "low-life" that Hitchcock could not truly explore back, and really exercises the id here with this wild allegory on Hollywood, psycho-babble and the world of porno. Body Double is one of the seminal (no pun intended) 80's erotic thrillers (right up there with Fatal Attraction, Sea of Love and De Palma's Dressed to Kill, and a fun, trashy view.
The plot revolves around a failing actor (who could use some serious couch time, if you know what I mean), who becomes obsessed with a sexy neighbor whose `jones' for late-night dancing in the all together and abhorrence for window blinds makes house-sitting worth the lousy pay. And as we've seen in dozens erotic thrillers, someone dies, and our hero must get the bad guy and save the girl. Nice twists along the way keep this one very intriguing (though some "haters" will surely say they figured this one out long before the credits roll). What makes this film unique and a great view are:
A spectacularly hot, 28 year old Melanie Griffith, who about steals the movie and registers a "'10' on the peter meter" whenever she's on-screen.
The beautiful mystery brunette (Deborah Shelton) with unbelievable bedroom eyes. Tons of sexy skin, stripping and erotic situations that'll get your blood going. Great inside-the-movie-biz references, including a plunge into LA's adult film world. Fine performances by the actors, with a story that reels you in and sound direction by De Palma. An appearance by 80s group Frankie Goes to Hollywood, performing "Relax" (that song never gets old to me, at least).
Sure, there are elements of real, American "cheese"; leaps in logic (the plot tenuously hinges on a couple "fortunate" things happening at just the right time) and an overall "over-the-top" feel will turn some viewers off and have them scrambling for the remote. But Body Double is truly one of those late night cable classics that many have duplicated, but few have surpassed. It has just enough art and just enough brains to keep your attention - and did I mention Melanie Griffith?"