Body Double - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Body Double Reviews

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½ October 14, 2016
While I wouldn't call this top tier De Palma, I think it's definitely better than it's relatively poor reputation would suggest. It seems to have a reputation as an overly sleazy Hitchcock rip-off that pales in comparison to it's sources of inspiration ("Rear Window" and to some extent "Vertigo") because it substitutes exploitation for suspense. Well ... yes and no. It is somewhat inferior to the Hitchcock flicks (hardly a huge criticism since those are among his best films), but it's not really the fact that De Palma transforms Hitchcock's subtext into text that makes it inferior. If anything, it's less careful plotting and a weak lead that mark the film as inferior De Palma, not the supposedly rampant sleaze. It's actually a fairly tasteful film given its subject matter. It has at least two amazingly constructed suspense sequences that make this worth a watch for anyone that admire De Palma.
August 17, 2016
A fun campy musical cameo by Frankie Goes To Hollywood makes this one of the best films with an 80's New Wave edge to it.
July 24, 2016
DePalma has an incredible knack for overcoming the most implausible plotlines & deus ex machinas to make compulsively viewable films crackling with style and arresting atmospherics.
½ July 20, 2016
What was he thinking? Don't watch this one!
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2016
Queazy, cheesy and sleazy exploitation thriller from DePalma, a ripoff of Rear Window and Vertigo with a touch of A Perfect Murder. It's not "good" but it's fun.
June 23, 2016
"Hello, Gloria. How are you? Maybe you remember me: this is Jake. I'm the guy who almost fucked you at the beach today."
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2016
Brian De Palma seems to be enjoying quite a lot to poke fun at the artificiality of Cinema with this delicious pastiche that pays homage to Hitchcock's films (mainly Vertigo and Rear Window) and plays with the limits of narrative and language as he injects his own style into it.
January 28, 2016
Melanie Griffith. For those who don't know, she's Dakota Johnson's mother.
I saw this as a very-young adult. The way DePalma shot this film has stuck with me.
½ November 11, 2015
A struggling actor is thrust into murder intrigue while spying on a neighbour through a telescope. The whole murder plot assumes a lot but who cares; most times I enjoy when DePalma ventures into Hitchcock territory. Some great camera angles employed.
½ September 21, 2015
A well-crafted, sleazy love letter to Hitchcock (most obviously Rear Window and Vertigo). Too bad it takes a page from the worst part of Psycho and buries its reveal in exposition. Harrowing sequences, enchanting virtuoso camerawork, and hypnotic score keep that from detracting too much.
August 15, 2015
Un homenaje directo a Vértigo y La Ventana Indiscreta de Hitchcock pero con un toque muy al estilo de Brian de Palma. Uno de sus filmes menos conocidos, aún así no deja de ser un material bien cuidado, puntual en la forma que narra la historia, utilizando un lenguaje erótico directo en algunas ocasiones , en otra más sutil ( sobre todo en cuestión de las perversiones ) . Un sexy thirller con toques humorísticos e incluso surrealistas que podrían no ser del gusto de todos pero aún así es un logro más dentro dela filmografía del director, que como es costumbre en él, la polémica podría estar justo cuando aparecen los créditos de cierre de la película. Vale la pena descubrirla.
July 28, 2015
For a while I wasn't completely enjoying this, I liked it but wasn't that into it and kinda thought it was just a Rear Window rip off. But man was I wrong, this really started to get great around the last 40 min. Overall I would call it really good but I might consider the whole movie great if I watch it again, rather than just the last 40ish minutes.
June 16, 2015
The man is such a fool I didn't enjoy the film.
February 17, 2015
A really bizarre thriller; DePalma proves yet again that he's a master of his craft.
½ February 6, 2015
After the success of Scarface (1983), Brian De Palma's next film would see him back doing another full-blown homage to his hero Alfred Hitchcock. While his previous films like Obsession (1976), Dressed to Kill (1980) and Blow Out (1981) had knowing nods and winks to Hitchcock's style of directing, this was his most explicit and personal tribute to date. While the story is a bit ropey, the way it's made is brilliant. Jobbing actor Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) lost a role as a vampire in a corny horror film due to suffering from claustrophobia, and he's homeless as his girlfriend has been cheating on him. He meets actor Sam Bouchard (Gregg Henry), who feels sorry for him, and the two strike up a friendship. Sam asks Jake to watch a house in the Hollywood hills for a friend who's out of town. Jake agrees, and while there, he finds himself spying on a neighbour Gloria Revelle (Deborah Shelton) through a telescope. However, he witnesses Gloria getting killed by a disfigured Indian, and is under suspicion. Jake goes undercover with porn actress Holly Body (Melanie Griffith) to catch the killer. It's a very silly film, mixing together the best bits of Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1957) to make the ultimate tale of obsession and voyeurism. However, De Palma has fun with the set up's and the suspense, and there are some good set pieces, like the rendition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax on the set of a porn film.
January 20, 2015
Mixtura de generos , el cine habla sobre el cine , mucho suspense hitchcokniano , un gran trabajo de Depalma
January 10, 2015
This represents everything wrong with Hollywood. Women's acting constitutes ridiculous poses, preening and arching for the male gaze. The "femme fatale" tries on underwear multiple times and is kiss-raped by the "protagonist" stalker-voyeur. Lest that be the end of it, hooker porn star Melanie Griffith arrives to remind us that women are good for showing their tits, grabbing crotches and reaching orgasm. The idea that this was ever "serious" is insane and should only be viewed as Midnight Movie fare.
January 8, 2015
"Look," a movie director (Dennis Franz) frankly says to his leading actor, Jake Scully (Craig Wasson). "I got a picture to make here. I got 25 days to make it. I have no time to wait around for a claustrophobic vampire who freezes every time he lays down in a coffin."
Scully is a young, struggling actor, good-looking, nice enough, but just passable when it comes to star power. He has landed a leading role as a vampire, true, but it's only a B-picture. One can hope for the best as he dons gaudy, glittery eye makeup and a pair of fangs that makes Bela Lugosi seem like a Dardenne Brothers figure. His staggering claustrophobia only makes things worse.
As his professional life limps along, things only get worse when Scully discovers his girlfriend in bed with another man, which, in response, leave him homeless and alone. A fellow actor (Gregg Henry) offers him the chance to stay at his house for a few days, a house of fiendish tackiness that sits on top of a hill and looks like the Seattle Space Needle had a baby with a spaceship. Across the way is a mansion inhabited by a stunningly beautiful woman (Deborah Shelton) - Scully is able to watch her undress as his friend has equipped a telescope overlooking the balcony.
If you've had a filling serving of Alfred Hitchcock movies, I'm sure you can only guess where the film is going. "Body Double" is "Rear Window" junior and "Vertigo" the second, except with a lot more blood, sex, nudity, and enough tawdriness to top off a jumbo sized popcorn bin. One night, as Scully peeps on his new neighbor performing her nightly striptease, he notices a deformed looking man perched on the satellite dish in front of her home, watching her with a murderous thirst in his eyes. Skip to a few days later, the woman is brutally murdered in her bedroom, with Scully as the sole witness. The police (of course) laugh at him, passing him off as a paranoid pervert. But his neighbor's death leads him to a number of startling discoveries, the most shocking turning toward the world of pornography, where he enlists the help of actress Holly Body (Melanie Griffith) to find out the truth in the bizarre slaughter.
Hitchcock had a fascination with hot blondes, armed-and-dangerous camera angles, and ever-present danger. Brian De Palma, billed as the Master of the Macabre in his heyday, likes all that, but he doesn't want to turn himself into a carbon copy of cinema's most predominant suspense filmmaker. De Palma's own "Dressed to Kill," "Sisters," and "Blow Out" (let's stop talking about "Carrie" and "Scarface" for a minute) were jaw-dropping in their stylistic dexterity, their stories borderline ridiculous yet efficient when connected with such electric visuals.
"Body Double" is no different, even if it is sillier than some of De Palma's other efforts (which is saying something, considering "Dressed to Kill" gave the then 49-year old Angie Dickinson a blatantly obvious 20-something year-old body double, put Michael Caine in drag, and ended with a was that all just a dream? startler). The plot twists are sometimes inane, and sometimes too coincidental to truly be stunning, but De Palma is so self-assured that it isn't hard to make us want to just go with it.
I have been purposefully vague when retelling plot points because so much of the film's success lies in its slimy thrills, but the style is something worth noting - "Body Double" shows the director at his optical peak. Early in the film, Scully, sensing his neighbor is in trouble, follows her to a Los Angeles mall, her actual soon-to-be attacker lurking in every nook and cranny. In the past, De Palma has payed great attention to split-screens and close-ups, but the entire sequence is notable for its remarkable combination of voyeurism and open space. There are three buzz characters moving around the complex all at once, with the camera sometimes peering onto them from above, most impressively when they walk on different floors. Without much dialogue to back it up, the scene rattles with tension. Will danger catch up in this game of cat-and-mouse?
There are even more visual kicks (particularly the simultaneously laughable yet hugely ingenious moment where Scully and his neighbor run into each other, after he's been following her around for hours, embrace in fiery passion, the camera spinning around them with merry-go-round delirium), but the theme of voyeurism in "Body Double" is what makes the film such a wild experience. It's almost always uncomfortable - in every scene, you feel as if you shouldn't be there, as if you're intruding on something deeply private. The storyline may not always be strong (or even truly believable), but "Body Double" is about style, tone and mood. In that sense, it's more than convincing.
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