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In light of talented writer/director CURTIS HANSON’s recent passing (he died on September 20, 2016 - he was 71 years old... RIP sir), I decided to re-visit an early effort of his that had marked me as a wee and dumb lad. Before Hanson hit it huge with THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, THE RIVER WILD, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL and 8 MILES; there was a little ditty he took on called: THE BEDROOM WINDOW (WATCH IT HERE)!
P.S: BAD INFLUENCE which Hanson did right after this one deserved to make more money at the B.O. and more love in general. END OF P.S.
I remember being on the edge of my edge when I first saw this movie, I also recollect falling in love/lust with Elizabeth McGovern at the time (she was great in JOHNNY HANDSOME as well) and thinking that the POLICE ACADEMY dude (also known as Steve Guttenberg or The Gutz as I like to call him) was pretty likeable. Now I hadn’t seen the flick since it first got pumped out in the 80’s. So how did it fare tapping it today through the eyes of a wannabe grown up? It was all right! The first half of THE BEDROOM WINDOW (obviously inspired by Hitchcock’s often imitated REAR WINDOW) was pretty solid! It had a tantalizing initial premise, elevated writing and clever plot turns. There was originality when it came to the bumpy ride I was taken on (all about The Gutz's investigation in terms of the killer) and being that I had forgotten how the story unraveled, I found myself mucho engaged as to the happenings.
Moreover, the varied cast on hand also snagged my attention! I can’t say that Steve Guttenberg was ever a huge fav of mine (I was more into Stallone and Van Damme back then); but when the dude owns it in a movie, he does so with oomph! He shined in the POLICE ACADEMY and COCOON series, killed it in SHORT CIRCUIT and his shtick worked here too! His “boyish charm”, well-oiled sense of humor, that goofy grin and his “player” qualities served the story ideally– I bought it! I also esteemed that they somewhat took a chance with his casting. Lets face it, The Gutz is not an obvious straight man choice - he's more "funny" than the norm. Well played! Guttenberg (and his shaggy chest hair) were well backed by Award Winning and drop dead gorgeous French actress Isabelle Huppert (I can’t wait to see her in Verhoeven’s upcoming ELLE), 80’s staple and oh so talented/magnetic Elizabeth McGovern (Where did she go?) and a chilling Brad Greenquist as the red-headed loon with obvious “small dick man” issues.
So for the first half of this one, I was “in”! The thing was well shot (dug the lush cinematography by Gilbert Taylor), it had an easy pace, sported some suspense and was smarter than your usual thriller and then… the second half kicked in i.e. the IQ dropped and points were lost. Don’t get me wrong, I was amused none the less as there was more action and tension driven scenarios to chew into than in the first half. But the intelligence that was initially on display was slapped aside in the name of cheap thrills. The flick often abandoned logic to force the chain of events to go in the direction it NEEDED to go and suspension of disbelief had to be applied big time by this twat to keep going with it! This was definitely a “the less you think about it afterwards the better it is for everybody" party. As the end credits rolled and my one brain cell began to compute the ins and outs of the last 20 minutes or so – it just didn‘t hold up. But hey, who gives a f*ck.
All in all THE BEDROOM WINDOW didn’t wind up being the masterpiece that I thought it was when I first saw it as a snot-nosed brat that was addicted to whacking off to the bra section in the Sears catalogue – but easy thrills? Cheap kicks? The Gutz doing his thing? YUP! In the mood for a slice of 80’s nostalgia? Climb through this window and get some!