Body Double - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Body Double Reviews

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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.
January 3, 2015
Classic DePalma. The man is a master craftsmen. Love his work
½ November 9, 2014
super clever and good. loved basically every minute. i had to read up about the ending because it confused me a bit, but upon discovering clarification (and rewatching the key moments), i found myself appreciating the film even more. i really enjoyed the score too.
Super Reviewer
½ November 6, 2014
Well, I think it's fair to say I have never screamed at characters more in a movie than I did watching this! Those scenes where Jake was "stalking" Gloria - bloody hell, so obvious. Then came the point mid movie where I felt like I was watching a whole different movie and couldn't understand what the hell was going on.
Highly original and it did tie up at the end.
Suspense and 80's tackiness all thrown into one movie. Right in my element with this one. And extra half star for the appearance of Holly Johnson.
How had I never seen this one before!
September 24, 2014
Solid thriller, weak leading man, DePalma might be over doing it on the Hitchcock/Vertigo/Rear Window references.
June 26, 2014
This movie has so many problems. First, it features about every cliché you could think of for a mystery/thriller. Second, the title gives away the twist. Third, all the actors do a terrible job. Fourth, there are so many unnecessary scenes that are just gratuitous for the sake of being gratuitous. Fifth, it copies plenty of stuff from Hitchcock movies. Sixth, the script is terrible. Seventh, the ending is terrible. Eighth, the direction is terrible. Everything went wrong with this movie, and while it tries to be suspenseful, it only makes itself more predictable and laughable. Half a star.
June 20, 2014
Classic DePalma thriller. Shelton and Griffith are stunning.
½ June 3, 2014
Pretty amazing till that crappy ending ruined it.
May 16, 2014
What on earth made the Oscar evade De Palma for signature masterpiece ?
Some events relating to academy awards never add up !

As a movie it filled with endless suspense and portraits are magnificent by leading characters.
½ April 23, 2014
The elements of voyeurism and mystery are captivating, but once the film turns to sex and violence, I was turned off.
½ April 12, 2014
Director Brian De Palma is not for all tastes and this film is probably his most divisive (and sleaziest) film. Re-watchig this film now, I was really surprised how stylistically unchanged De Palma is years later. I love his filmmaking sensibility, and there really isn't anyone, now or then, making films like him. He was always knocked as being a Hitchcock imitator, but I think they merely shared the same obsessions and penchant for genre suspense films. Stylistically, De Palma films are very mannered and fully embrace the artifice of film, unconcerned with making a realistic film, much the same at Hitchcock, but De Palma and Hitchcock films visually look very different. De Palma is merely filming the same obsessions as Hitchcock in a very different and original manner. But to this film in particular, De Palma is clearly borrowing from "Rear Window," much the same way he borrowed from "Vertigo" for his film "Obsession," but outside of the set up and some similar themes around voyeurism and repressed sexuality, this film is really his own. Craig Wasson is a struggling actor who house sits in an upscale home for a friend and witnesses the murder of his gorgeous neighbor. However, and much different from "Rear Window," Wasson begins to suspect he was set up to purposefully witness the murder. Melanie Griffith appears in the film as a adult film actress, Gregg Henry plays the friend, and Dennis Franz plays a horror film director, who Franz said he based upon De Palma. Barbara Crampton and Steven Bauer also appear in small bit parts. I remember seeing this film as a kid and remember being blown away by the dirtiness of the film and also terrified by the murder scene Wasson witnesses (the drill through the ceiling!) and it still hold up in those respects. Although it's a pretty sleazy film, and arguably unnecessarily so, De Palma has some terrifically suspenseful set pieces, wild visuals (particularly the claustrophobic scenes with Wasson), terrific photography by Stephen H. Burum and a gorgeous score by composer Pino Donaggio. Again, this film is not for all tastes, but if you want a suspenseful and 1980s style sleaze, this is the film for you!
½ April 6, 2014
Hillarious, over the top tribute to Hitchcock. Couldn't stop watching
February 22, 2014
What happens when you mix together Vertigo, Rear Window, and add a healthy dose of noir and sleaze to the mix? You get Body Double. The acting from Craig Wasson and Greg Henry is great (Guy Boyd is also great as a detective who looks and acts like he's stepped right out of the 60's), and the story is a nice maze of twists turns, mystery, and intrigue. In Body Double, Jake Scully is an actor suffering from severe claustrophobia. When he catches his wife cheating he is invited to shack up at a fancy apartment that overlooks Hollywood by friendly stranger Sam Bouchard. It's not long before sexy neighbor Gloria catches Jake's eye with her nightly undressing routine. When Jake starts to suspect that Gloria may be the target of a mysterious stranger with nefarious intentions he investigates, hoping to prevent the worst. That's the basic plot, and I'm not going to give much else away. Brian De Palma pays homage to two of Hitchcock's greatest, without completely re-making either film. Body Doubles exists in a strange universe where the worlds of vertigo and Rear Window combine with a pulpy detective novel. It's a fun, original, and naughty film that I highly enjoyed watching and would gladly recommend to any fan of Hitchcock, pulpy novels, or film in general. Body Doubles is a great surprise treat.
½ January 28, 2014
Bad & yet so fucking good.
½ January 18, 2014
It's a bit sleazy, but it also delivers on the mystery and suspense! The ending is a bit laughable (and sometimes, so is the acting), but overall it does a decent job at being entertaining. Worth watching at least once...after the kids go to bed!
January 15, 2014
Awesomely trashy homage to Hitchcock!
January 10, 2014
One of the first films that I recall watching and feeling as if I'd discovered some sort of secret adult world as a teen. I recall catching it numerous times on network television as a kid, then once in the VHS days, but this recent Blu-ray re-watch really blew the doors off as far as how good the film can look.

Great stuff, sleazy and stylish fun.

Well worth a rental.
½ November 26, 2013
Body Double, Dressed to Kill and the newly released Passion are De Palma's best noir-thrillers. The film clashes back and forth between the main characters plight to get laid, the amazing photography and music, and the complete mystery of the plot. Donaggio and Frankie Goes to Hollywood only add to the visceral explosion of the entire film.
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