Body Double (1984)

Body Double (1984), written, produced and directed by Brian De Palma.

In a cunning but exceedingly improbable setup, a minor actor aids a curiously helpful friend by house-sitting an unbelievably luxurious house where he can spy on an unusually beautiful neighbor who performs a strangely professional solo sex routine every night. But wait-- someone else is watching her: an ugly dangerous-looking guy. What's going on?

Critics loathed this pastiche of Hitchcock themes. I like it better than that without liking it a lot. In the theater I remember my hands sweating during the mall scene where the director communicates the erotic excitement of following -- or stalking -- the object of desire, a fascination I suspect few of us have natively.

Other good bits: the dopey soft-core punk vampire film they are making, and the pornographic music video done to "Relax". Lots of movie-magic and illusions.

The worst scene is the murder by giant electric drill. It's supposed to be outrageous and perhaps comically excessive, just mugging the tension, but it seems dumb to me.

Craig Wasson has an interesting face but never became a big star. He's not intensely appealing as our panty-collecting hero, but can run and climb fences.

Melanie Griffith does her own nudity and her ribs are showing.

It's pretty well done; were the critics objecting to the plot goofiness? Or was it the perv content, porn subject matter, or the digs at Hollywood?


The Twilight Time limited edition Blu-ray sold out almost instantly. In a normal industry I would say that is a clue for Sony to come out with their own disc, but the business calculations of the studios are beyond my simple minded expectations.

Good looking image with unmolested fine grain. Isolated score and some making-of extras.