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Body Double

AKA:
 
 


DePalma had originally been planning for "Body Double" to be directed by someone else. However, the disappointing box office returns on "Scarface" prompted him to assume directorial duties.

-Thanks to Robert Baum

More Behind The Scenes from Body Double
Struggling B-movie actor Jake Scully (Wasson) is given the day off after experiencing a panic attack on the set of a vampire flick, when the role finds the claustrophobic entombed in a coffin. To regain his senses, he grabs some lunch and drives home to surprise his girlfriend.

To make a bad day even worse, Jake opens the bedroom door and finds the lady in bed with another man, and Jake is promptly booted out of her apartment.

A friendly bartender puts him up for the night, but Jake is looking for accommodations a bit more plush than just someone else's couch. Jake soon meets fellow actor Sam (Henry). The two bump into each other a few more times, and Sam comes to Jake's aid during a humiliating actor's training seminar.

Sam is house-sitting for a pal and needs to leave town, and since Jake's looking for a better place to stay, the two could do each other a favor if Jake would watch the place. Beyond Jake's wildest dreams, the place is a bachelor pad extraordinaire!

Just before Sam hits the road, he lets Jake in on a bachelor necessity - a telescope. Sam 'introduces' Jake to the beautiful Gloria Revelle (Shelton) on the end of the lens.

Obviously ignorant of her voyeuristic neighbor (or IS she?), Gloria puts on an erotic dance show in front of her open blinds every night at the same time, like clockwork. Mesmerized, Jake can't tear himself away from the 'show', and apparently he's not the only one watching.

A little later on another night, Jake notices a man with a distinguishing scar also watching Gloria from a TV satellite tower.

Sure enough, the next morning, Jake witnesses the scar-faced man take off after Gloria's car in his truck. Curious, and concerned for her safety, Jake follows. He trails Gloria to a mall, then to a beach house, where the stranger shows up again.

As Jake approaches Gloria and prepares to warn her, the scar-faced stranger jets by, snatching her purse. As Jake races after him, the thief turns down a long, narrow tunnel. Claustrophobic Jake attempts to follow, but his fear overtakes him in the seemingly ever-narrowing space. The stranger promptly tosses the purse, but only after grabbing some card from her wallet.

Now completely drawn into the intrigue, Jake peers again into the telescope and discovers that the scar-faced man, equipped with a power drill, has entered Gloria's house and broken into the safe in her bedroom. Before he can escape with some jewels, he's surprised by Gloria, and starts to attack her.

Jake wrestles between his fear and his curiosity, and forgoes calling the police in favor of taking action himself. He tries to reach Gloria in time to save her, but it's too late.

Once the police arrive and put two and two together (with Jake's 'peeping Tom' admission) suspicion is cast Jake's way. One detective makes a point of informing Jake that he may have not been the physical killer, but his silence certainly didn't help save her life.

Despondent, Jake's late-night channel-surfing leads to a porn flick, starring actress Holly Body (Griffith). Jake soon spots Holly performing the late Gloria's erotic dance routine, raising more than Jake's... suspicions.

He begins to dig for clues, but with guilt already cast upon him by the police, he goes it alone. He soon learns nothing is ever as it first seems.

Using his acting chops, Jake begins building deceptions of his own, posing as a porn actor/producer to solve Gloria's murder by landing a role in Holly Body's upcoming adult music video (for 80's band Frankie Goes To Hollywood).

Streetwise, yet vulnerable, Holly learns she played an unwitting role in the crime. However, Holly isn't convinced of Jake's heroism, and suspects that by using her to resolve his loss of Gloria, he's been leaning towards more than just voyeurism.

Jake finds he must face his fears, more than once. Will he overcome them?

Watch... and see.

Verdict?

Brian DePalma works with great confidence in this genre, and he is a visual master.

With overt Hitchcock-ian overtones, the film is suspenseful, occasionally frightening, yet always visually intriguing.

The film carries the audience through a convoluted plot, making the story quite believable and captivating.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: visually stunning, gripping story

Weaknesses? a bit campy

Our rating: 9 out of 10


Review Written by Kimberley A. Wren:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Kimberley A. Wren
Body Double