BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003548Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Body Double
DVD disk
Oct 31, 2006 By: Scott Weinberg
Body Double order
Director:
Brian De Palma

Actors:
Craig Wasson
Melanie Griffith
Gregg Henry

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An amateur vouyeur gets slowly embroiled in the Hollywood porn scene, one that involves secret identities, power drills, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Yes, that "Relax" band.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
As a guy who's pretty much studied the career of Brian De Palma over the past few decades, I've always offered the opinion that BODY DOUBLE was among the director's most underrated and under-appreciated films. And now that I just sat through the flick again for the first time in about ten years ... I still think it's pretty damn good.

Oh sure, it's convoluted and almost entirely beholden to De Palma's overlord, the immortal Alfred Hitchcock. BODY DOUBLE is also pretty indulgent, confusing, and more than a little weird from time to time. But it's still a pretty smoothly engaging piece of neo-noir oddness. The flick leaps from REAR WINDOW to VERTIGO to PORN with nary a backwards glance, and its only the staunchest De Palma supporters who'll muddle through the slower spots to find the buried treasure -- stuff like Gregg Henry's increasingly bizarre performance, a music video jammed right into the middle of the movie, and a power drill sequence that'd make Eli Roth grimace in pleasure.

So while it's probably not among De Palma's very BEST films, I say BODY DOUBLE is among his most unloved, and I'm not exactly sure why. It's got more filmmaking in-jokes than a geek will know what to do with; it's packed with intentionally garish melodrama that sure isn't boring; and it gets pretty darn sexy when it's not being nasty. Basically, a big pulpy whodunnit with a strange cast and an even stranger twist. And even after all these years, the flick still holds up.

THE EXTRAS
No commentaries or deleted scenes, but we do get a series of four featurettes:

The Seduction (16:40) tells how the project came to life.

The Setup (16:53) focuses on the story's inception and several of the flick's most memorable scenes.

The Mystery (12:14) deals with the flick's themes and (ahem) issues -- yes, including the porno angle.

The Controversy (5:32) looks back over the critical and audience reaction to the flick ... neither of which were all that flattering.

All in all, a fine set of featurettes. The topics bounce around from here to there, but hey, any chance to hear Brian De Palma talking about his own movies is just fine by me. Also interviewed for the featurettes are Melanie Griffith, Deborah Shelton, Gregg Henry, and Dennis Franz.

Rounding out the platter is a pair of trailers for POPULATION 436 and BASIC INSTINCT 2.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
When "general moviegoers" think of Brian De Palma, they probably remember SCARFACE, THE UNTOUCHABLES or MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. But when the hardcore movie geeks discuss De Palma, you can bet good money that BODY DOUBLE is among the most frequently-mentioned titles. It's a mystery, a romance, a horror flick, and a straight-faced parody all rolled into one unique little movie.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!