Special Effects (1984)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Cristopher Neville
as Keefe Waterman
as Det. Lt. Phillip
as Detective Vickers
as Leon Grushkin
Critic Reviews for Special Effects
Audience Reviews for Special Effects
just because your movie is about trash doesn't mean you can escape being trashy all the time. Eric Bogosian goes a ways to making this watchable. But if I want a filmmaker satirizing his own genre, I'll stick with De Palma and Body Double, or even the opening/ending of Blow Out.
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.
B-movie maestro Larry Cohen directs this tale of a psychotic director who murders an actress and then proceeds to cast a movie about her murder starring her widower husband as the suspected killer. Special Effects wants to cleverly satirize horror and thriller directors, but its cleverness ultimately wears thin and can't be supported by a constant stream of nudity and weak murder scenes.
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