Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Not so much suspense ... most viewers will figure this one out quickly.
Masterfully executed, even though it shows it's age in terms of cinematography, score and acting. Showcasing a lot of De Palma's thrilling set-pieces and characteristic dual-aperture shots, it also features a lot of odd acting, definitely outdated for modern standards.
However, the INCREDIBLY sexist and transphobic nature of the narrative is absolutely unacceptable, even for the 80s (when the information on transgenders, cross-dressers and mental illness was not as mature and available as it is today).
Interestingly, this movie is has become one of the most dated pieces of art, that demonstrates very clearly the aesthetic and sociological aspects of its time.
Brian de Palma once again brings forth another work of art; macabre in the form of murder and desire
Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, and Nancy Allen star in an erotic thriller
Kate Miller, wife/mother who is sexually repressed having affairs and constantly being pulled towards desire
She sees her psychiatrist Dr. Elliot on a daily basis, the latest session seems to go as usual but when she makes sexual advances on him he respectfully declines
A murder then takes place using a razor blade during her sexual relations in an elevator and an innocent female bystander Liz Blake witnesses the whole thing
The thing is she's a prostitute and she's so used to leveraging her body to get what she wants, she finds successful doctorate men attractive and understands the perks of the job, although no one not even the police can find her story credible about this killer
Now only Kate's genius son Peter and this lady may be the only ones who can count on one another to bring in the culprit
What's the big twist here? Well it turns out the killer is transgender and blames Dr. Elliot not treating him of his condition, this killer feels trapped in another body
I'm actually amazed de Palma tackles something that was rare back in the days of cinema, he covers psychological/homicidal behavior with trans people revealing certain aspects of their lifestyles
This has elements of ‘Peeping Tom' and ‘Psycho'
There's even a very well done scene involving an art museum that almost seems endless like a giant maze with the music ramping up and the camera moving from room to room just to get to its tipping point
But I gotta say the twist was very smartly pulled off, totally turned everything around
There may be social commentary issues that dangle during the storytelling but this movie does transcend that even though these women are marked to be killed they're pretty much framed by a culture where their sexual prowess is a crime
It's controversial, chills the viewer to the bone, and Brian de Palma utilizes classic filmmaking techniques making it stand out above the rest
Ok not everybody will approve of it but it shows a director like this still has craft and a knack for likable stars
I like how the movie starts all sweet and romantic as if to underplay how dark and fucked up things are going to get as the movie progresses. The husband is definitely emotionally distant and an obvious douche by the way he pats her on the cheek after sex as if telling her, "good job sport". That scene in the shower at the beginning was either a dream or maybe a dark fantasy of hers since her husband seems to neglect her.
Holy crap what a terrible way to find out that the person you just did it with had a venereal disease. Don't go cheating on your husband, let that be a lesson. Ok the slasher is obviously a dude dressed up in disguise as a woman. My bet is that it's the psychiatrist, Michael Caine. Wow, that whole elevator scene was intense and so well edited. Like how it showed every detail and slowed things down with the reveal of the killer still in the elevator and the call girls face. So good.
Ok, I don't understand. The reason Caine's character doesn't want to give information to the police about the psycho killer is because he is his patient and he doesn't wan't to jeopardize confidentiality? What the fuck?! Turn the fucker in! He's obviously mentally unstable and now he's wanting to get a sex change, and who knows if he'll keep killing. They better catch him before it's too late and he has a vagina!
I loved the dialogue between the call-girl and the crude cop. That's good ole New York I don't give a shit attitude dialogue at it's finest. The cop is a real New York hard ass but charming at the same time. I guess he sort of provides the comedic relief in the movie. The kid who played Peter did a great job and he unexpectedly played a vital role in the investigation. Ahh the early 80's. Good ole fashion stereotype racism where a gang full black punks are trying to harass the white girl at the train station.
Damn, Nancy Allen was fine little thang back in the days. I knew it! I knew it was the fucking doctor! That depiction at the end of the psychiatric ward was great. Basically portraying it as a feverish nightmare. Why the fuck was that nurse that was working in the ward so hot and have all that makeup on? Was that intentional or is it just the doctor dreaming? And all the the other patients watching from above as he does his deed is so creepy. Jesus Christ that fucking high pitched screech at the end scared the shit out of me. Moral of the story: temptation and lust can make people do dumb things and then bad things start to happen to them and also I guess transexuals can be psycho murderers too.
I can appreciate De Palma's fascination with attention to detail and the free flowing movement of the camera in this movie. The way the camera moves through the museum and little things like when the lady lies down in the cab and the camera tilts sideways to show that it's her point of view. The lighting in the movie was also very well done. Visually, this movie is very pleasing to the eyes. Great great movie! I really enjoyed the ride.
Dressed to Kill is the best Macabre of the early 80's. it's really beautiful filmmaking beautiful musical score and the best erotic thriller/horror film and it's a true independent masterpiece of all time.
The biggest problem with copying the style of another director is that it means all of the "techniques" have been seen before. If these "techniques" are all there is to the movie, all you are left with is a boring picture full of shots were nobody says anything. A film shot in a thriller's "style" alone does not make a thriller movie, and this movie is very short on thrills. The dime store psychology at the end of the movie linking it to Psycho just makes things more infuriating.
The period-specific transphobia aside, De Palma's Hitchcockian thriller is a frequently brilliant exercise in brash flash that skirts the border of exploitative trash, lurid in the way the camera lingers on the female body and the screenplay leans into erotism, yet brimming with undeniably alluring choices, from the initial shower fantasy (an homage to PSYCHO) to the breathtaking museum sequence (VERTIGO) to the stormy climax (REAR WINDOW).
It was sooo scary
Even more scary than blow out. U even look at the new york subway train different. The music was great. Gave me nightmares.
De Palma's update on Psycho is neither as good a many of his best films, or worthy of the film it's homage-ing. Its camp isn't as successful in its intended sleaze, often coming off as laughable instead of intriguing. Still, if you wanna see a modern-ish remake of the Hitchcock classic, it destroys Van Sant's abominable remake.
Awesome movie for its time.