Body Double

After Scarface Brian DePalma crafted this Hickcockian erotic thriller which was initially crucified by critics but is now looked on as a bit of a cult classic and in my opinion a very impressive piece of film making.

The story follows Jake Scully (Craig Wasson), a struggling actor in Los Angleles who has just lost his role in a low budget horror film.  He discovers that his girlfriend has been seeing someone else so effectively now is homeless.  At an acting class he begins an acquaintance with a chap named Sam (Gregg Henry) who whilst both of them are having a drink offers Jake a place to stay.  It turns out, one of Sam’s friends is out of town and needs a house sitter.  After Sam shows Jake a very fetching view of his stunning neighbour (Deborah Shelton – one of my teenage crushes) dancing sexily around her apartment he informs Scully this happens every night, Jake funnily enough agrees to stay.

After Sam leaves town on a job, Jake witnesses her getting abused by a possible boyfriend and decides to follow her,  Suffice to say, things are not quite what they seem and it appears that the neighbour is being stalked by a scary disfigured native american.

Body Double is a thriller which more twist and turns than a race track.  Nothing is quite what it seems and DePalma gets first class performances from all his cast.  The film is complimented with a great musical score by Pino Donaggio (which you can listen to isolated on the Blu-ray) and great camerawork capturing the 1980’s expectionally well.

There are a wide selection of special features on the disc including interviews and literally scores of behind the scenes photographs.  It is an outstanding film, a little dated (Craig Wasson’s mullet is a bit frightening) but as a thriller aimed at adults it still retains it’s impact and is certainly full of surprises.

  • Starring Craig Wasson  Melanie Griffith  Dennis Franz  Gregg Henry  Deborah Shelton
  • Director Brian DePalma
  • Distributor Indicator/Powerhouse