Special Effects (1984)

Special Effects


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Movie Info

Unlike other films by this title, the subject matter of Larry Cohen's murder mystery is a dastardly film director whose last movie plummeted at the box office in spite of flashy special effects. He wants to climb back up from this failure, so when he murders an aspiring actress in a Soho apartment, in a twist of his already twisted mind, he throws himself into a scheme to film a re-creation of the murder. As the movie plot, which is the director's plot, becomes more and more convoluted, he gets … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Larry Cohen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 1, 2004


as Andrea/Elaine

as Keefe

as Det. Delroy

as Det. Vickers
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Critic Reviews for Special Effects

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 21, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

An uneven homage spoof on auteurs like Hitchcock, Powell and Ferrara.

Full Review… | June 6, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A significant (if ultimately chaotic) entry in the director's canon of ramshackle tributes to the dark, dangerous, voyeuristic allure of the cinema.

Full Review… | February 6, 2006
Lessons of Darkness

Audience Reviews for Special Effects

Have you ever noticed that there is always one guy who ruins the topless photo shoot for everyone else? In this case, it is Keefe(Brad Rijn) who tries dragging his wife Andrea(Zoe Tamerlis) back home to Oklahoma from New York. She will have none of it, escaping out the bathroom window before seeking out disgraced film director Chris Neville(Eric Bogosian). However, she realizes too late what he intends his next project to be...

Wearing its low budget proudly on its sleeve(so much so, that some of the dialogue seemed to be fading out at times), "Special Effects" is a movie that wants to have its exploitation and complain about it, too. That it works as well as it does is down to Eric Bogosian's natural intensity. In this case, he puts it to good use playing a director who cannot tell reality from make-believe anymore. With a backdrop of a gloriously sleazy and tawdry 1980's New York City and a loft that is alternately tacky and awesome, this movie could also be seen as a warning against the glamour of filmmaking.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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