Melanie Griffith as a young woman is the only redeeming feat
Gail M. Gary | Hamden, CT | 09/05/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I could figure it as a potential setup from the beginning, that Wasson's clueless character Jake Scully was about to be exploited badly. The compelling nature of the visuals and the overly strong soundtrack (overwhelming, like bad strong perfume) kept me watching, because you knew something was going to happen...unfortunately it was so transparently stupid, so entirely based on Scully's cluelessness, that it never really transcends the stupid.
Unmotivated action in spades: Scully coincidentally just running into people he is supposed to be set up to meet, in a way no setup artist could anticipate or control, and therefore the entire big setup plot could have exploded right there; Scully taking the soon-to-be-murdered-woman's discarded underwear when she throws it away in a public place for no reason (why in the world did she discard it anyway, except to entice him, which should have tipped him off); almost having sex with this woman in a tunnel, after suffering a traumatic bout of his claustrophobia, and she doesn't even mind his groping and kissing, until just suddenly, OK, she really minds (time for a change of underwear again, I guess, and another trip to the mall) and decides she can't do this after all (????); later, his not calling the police immediately when he unmistakably sees this woman being murdered...this, and other puerile and contrived ideas, keep this movie in the bottom of the IQ area.
Once it gets somewhat interesting (after the raunchy porno stuff and the amusing Melanie Griffith), it simply becomes a movie I find impossible to follow. I can't pull the "auteuresque" threads together, except for the obvious one (the husband of the murdered woman set Jake Scully up, and knew just how stupid and vulnerable he was). I don't get the movie. I don't care about the Hitchcock ripoffs; at least those gave the movie some momentum. The rest of it is just blood and salacious enticement. Just another male sex fantasy gone unedited for the most part and made into a movie. Seriously. Skip it, unless you like that stuff. Which some people do.
Also, I don't see it as mysogynist. Instead, I see it as a movie that demonstrates, over and over again, through its slimy lens, that it sees men as stupid, and predictable, and that they can be conned sooooo easily. Is that what DePalma set out to do? Perhaps this movie is a warning to men...
If I were a man, I would find this movie rather depressing."
Jose Lopez | Miami,Florida USA | 06/28/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I thought it was a pretty good film, I saw this movie a while back and Thought it was bizarre. I liked the plot and the ending."
If you're going to rip-off an artiste... may as well be a ma
Mark J. Fowler | Okinawa, Japan | 10/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brian DePalma knows a good film when he sees one. He has made several excellent films (The Untouchables) and some films that are cultural landmarks (Carrie, Scarface). His work borrows heavily from other masterworks. Body Double has plot points and several specific shots that trace their roots directly to two of Alfred Hitchcock's best: Rear Window and Vertigo. Body Double mixes these scenes with a leading man who exists in a world far removed from the world of Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly.
Craig Wasson stars as Jake Scully, an insecure actor who has the lead in a D-List Vampire movie and a serious phobia of enclosed places, which is established in the opening as poor Jake is paralyzed in his on-set coffin. Like Jimmy Stewart in "Rear Window", Wasson is placed into a position where he views his neighbors through the windows of his apartment. Like Stewart in "Vertigo" he is also positioned to become emotionally attached to a woman who is not who he thinks she is, set up as a witness to a false crime that is meant to disguise a murder. Where Stewart's vertigo paralyzes his character with a fear of heights at key moments in that story, Wasson's claustrophobia does the same here. Body Double shares with Vertigo extended sequences where our hero trails the woman he is becoming entangled with in lengthy scenes with almost no dialogue, as well as a swirling 360 degree camera shot when the hero kisses the woman of mystery.
But De Palma falls somewhat short of the master. Let's just say Wasson is not Jimmy Stewart, Melanie Griffith is not Grace Kelly, etc. While most stories require some degree of suspension of disbelief, DePalma puts in a few unbelievable story elements - some add a cheating "gotcha" and some seem to add no purpose other than to linger in a lurid setting.
Here are a few questions if you choose to see this film:
1. One character spends a significant length of time in disguise. Consider how long it would take to put on that disguise. Then consider the shot of the character without the disguise and the next time you see that character IN disguise. Without an accomplice this character apparently applies a makeup job in a minute that would have taken Rick Baker hours.
2. One of the key plot points involves the hiring of Melanie Griffith's character, one of the top porno actresses, "Holly Body". Holly tells Jake at one point that she gets $2,000 a day. Holly is hired to perform an arousing dance for a private audience for two nights. Why not just hire some stripper? Why hire "the top porno actress in the business"?
Plot holes and sub-par acting keep me from giving a full recommendation, but if you're a film director and you're going to steal from someone, you could do a lot worse than Hitchcock and "Vertigo" and "Rear Window". On the other hand - if you have NOT seen Vertigo or Rear Window, you'd be an idiot to even consider watching this movie first instead."