DOUBLE (director/writer: Brian
De Palma; screenwriters: Robert Avrech/from a story by Brian
De Palma; cinematographer: Stephen Burum;
editors: Jerry Greenberg/Bill Pankow; music: Pino
Donaggio; cast: Craig Wasson (Jake Scully),
Melanie Griffith (Holly Body), Deborah Shelton (Gloria
Rovelle), Gregg Henry (Sam Bushard/Henry Rovelle), Guy
Boyd (Detective McClean), Dennis Franz (Rubin);
Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Brian De
Pictures Home Video; 1984)
"Sleaze dominates the thin plot and absurd story line."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Brian De Palma ("Snake Eyes"/"Femme Fatale"/"The
Black Dahlia") shamelessly rips-off Hitchcock's Vertigo and
Rear Window and turns the Master's suspense themes
into a voyeuristic semi-porn film, one where sleaze
dominates the thin plot and absurd story line. It's
co-written by DePalma and Robert
Avrech, and is based on a story written by the
loser nice guy Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) is a
struggling actor in LA who has just been canned by
indie director Rubin (Dennis Franz) from playing a
vampire because he's claustrophobic and has a panic attack while shooting a scene.
Then the troubled actor is further distraught when
at home finding his girlfriend in bed with
another man. Jake moves out of her apartment and while
looking for a flat he's befriended by fellow
struggling actor Sam Bushard (Gregg
Henry), who offers him temporary residence in the
luxury condo of a rich friend, that comes with a
rotating bed and enough plants to stock a botanical
garden, that Sam is house-sitting at but will
conveniently be gone for a few weeks to make a film
out-of-town. Sam alerts his eager house-sitting
replacement that at midnight his sexy neighbor Gloria Rovelle (Deborah Shelton) dances in her panties and he can watch her
through the binoculars, as she leaves the blinds
open in her bedroom picture window. Our hero becomes
protective and obsessed with Gloria and follows her
when she goes to a mall during the afternoon.
We eventually learn that Sam is really
Gloria's husband and has set-up Jake to witness an
Indian killing his wealthy wife with a large sized
power-drill, thereby giving him a perfect alibi.
Further more, we learn that for the first two nights
porn star Holly (Melanie
Griffith) was hired by Sam to
perform those erotic dances and pretend to be
Gloria, and is innocent of the murder scheme. When
Gloria is murdered on Jake's third night
house-sitting, he witnesses the brutal murder but
can't save her in time.
The story makes no sense logically, but De Palma applies his usual colorful and playful stylistic ploys and plenty of sexual trappings to keep the horny male viewers aroused and fans of the director sated that the Old Dog is still up to his old tricks of winning an audience with clever treats.
REVIEWED ON 6/10/2012 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ