HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Body Double Night Watch Man
Year: 1984
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Craig Wasson, Gregg Henry, Melanie Griffith, Deborah Shelton, Guy Boyd, Dennis Franz, David Haskell, Rebecca Stanley, Al Israel, Douglas Warhit, B.J. Jones, Russ Marin, Lane Davies, Barbara Crampton, Larry Flash Jenkins, Monte Landis, Holly Johnson
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: It hasn't been a good day for Jake Scully (Craig Wasson). He is a Hollywood actor who was filming a vampire movie when his claustrophobia caused him to freeze midway through a scene, so was sent home early to recover. And when he returned to his house, he was dismayed, to put it mildly, to find his wife in bed with another man. Now unable to stay at home, he goes to the nearest bar, even though he was supposed to have given up drinking, and after snapping at the barman he apologises and accepts his offer of somewhere to live temporarily. But he's still looking, so how about a modern apartment in the hills? What could possibly go wrong?

Well, as this is a shameless rip off of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and Rear Window all mixed up together into a lurid mush, quite a lot could go wrong. This was of course a Brian De Palma thriller, and he continued his efforts to create a kind of American giallo while in other respects paying tribute to his filmmaking hero. Writing the script with Robert J. Avrech he fashioned a story largely preoccupied with fantasies and artificiality, so that by the end he was postiively revelling in the smoke and mirrors that passed for his plot.

Wasson was one of the eighties' least appetising leading men, but here he seems well cast as a loser and borderline bumbler who is believably fooled by the scheming around him. As Jake, his phobia is exploited by De Palma when it suits him, so that every twenty minutes he is dropped into a situation where he is forced into a panic attack, as in the first instance where he goes to an acting class and is made to relive a traumatic childhood experience. One of the people attending this class is fellow thespian Sam (Gregg Henry), who complains about this treatment and escorts Jake out of there.

However, he has a proposal for our hapless hero. Sam has been staying at a rich friend's swanky apartment but is moving out of the city for a while so invites Jake to move in and water the plants while he's away. This is fine by him, and when he reaches the building he is offered a bonus: if he cares to look through the telescope at the city below, there's a certain set of windows he can see through where a woman parades topless a regular times of the night. The hero-as-voyeur is an old tradition in thrillers, but Jake jumps in with both feet (or both eyes), growing more and more fascinated by the woman (Deborah Shelton).

So fascinated in fact that he begins to follow her (the acting work has hit a quiet period), and realises that he is not the only one on her trail. There's an interesting theme of the act of observing having the watcher and watched strike up a relationship of a curious sort, not least when Jake gets to know porn star Holly Body (Melanie Griffith - she is in this film eventually and steals the show) who he has caught on a sex channel's commercials spot. Yet this isn't really developed as everything is in service to the twists of the narrative, and once you realise what is going on it all seems difficult to accept and full of ludicrously poor logic. You're better off admiring De Palma's way with a camera, which is excellent here, and his sly (sick?) sense of humour which even makes its way into the film's setpiece murder sequence. Music by Pino Donaggio. Oh, and nothing says 1984 like putting Frankie Goes To Hollywood in your film.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5480 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Brian De Palma  (1940 - )

Controversial American director and Alfred Hitchcock fan, strong on style, but weak on emotion. His early, political films like Greetings and Hi, Mom! gained some acclaim, but it was with Sisters that he emerged as a major talent of the 1970s and settled into his cycle of thrillers and horrors: The Phantom of the Paradise, Carrie, Obsession, The Fury, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, Carlito's Way, Raising Cain, Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale being good examples.

He's not aversed to directing blockbusters such as Scarface, The Untouchables and Mission Impossible, but Bonfire of the Vanities was a famous flop and The Black Dahlia fared little better as his profile dipped in its later years, with Passion barely seeing the inside of cinemas. Even in his poorest films, his way with the camera is undeniably impressive. Was once married to Nancy Allen.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: