Review: Body Double

Blu-ray: Body Double (1984)

bodydoubleJake Scully, an actor who suffers from claustrophobia, house-sits for a friend in his amazingly huge and expensive house. Part of the ‘deal’ is he can spy on his neighbour who likes to ‘get off’ by doing naked sexy dancing with all the lights on across the road.

Now I want to tell you the whole plot but can’t incase you’ve never seen or heard of this film. It’s quite well known for its infamous murder scene, brought to the fore once more with the release of ‘American Psycho’ as Patrick Bateman uses this scene as his favourite masturbation tool. The sicko.

God, where to start with Body Double? How about – I liked it very much. It’s a mish mash of so many genres and other films, relying heavily on Hitchcock’s Vertigo and even Rear Window. Director Brian De Palma does his usual long tracking shots, in and out of shops, apartments, around the actual characters (in front of green screen), it’s also rather weird. The story itself appears to be a straightforward thriller/whodunit, but with the constant inclusions of body doubles all over the place (Scully as the vampire is Holly, Holly is Gloria Revelle, the Indian is… someone else) and the stylized ‘strokey’ sex scenes… (are they really happening or are they in Scully’s head? Still not sure about that one) it turns into something more interesting and almost campy in an enjoyable way.

Released by new British film distributer PowerHouse Films (check out their website as they are releasing some cracking films this year), this is a great package, not only does it boast a plethora of really good extras (listed below) but a booklet including an in depth look at the film by Ashley Clark. Normally we don’t get to see included booklets as we only get the disc, but we were emailed the content and it’s an entertaining and enlightening read with great pics from the shoot. It also includes an interview with Brian DePalma.

I predict great things for Powerhouse if they continue to this standard!

• 4K restoration
• Original stereo audio
• Alternative 5.1 surround sound track
• Craig Wasson Interview (1984, 8 mins): archival NBC interview conducted by Bobbie Wygant
Pure Cinema (2015, 38 mins): extensive interview with first assistant director Joe Napolitano
The Seduction (2002, 17 mins): De Palma discusses the first treatment of the script
The Setup (2002, 17 mins): an examination of the plot
The Mystery (2002, 12 mins): Melanie Griffith discusses her nude scenes and De Palma’s shyness
The Controversy (2002, 6 mins): cast and crew discuss the film’s critical reception
• Isolated score: experience Pino Donaggio’s original soundtrack music
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• Original theatrical trailer
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet with a new essay by Ashley Clark and archival reprints, including a lengthy 1985 interview with De Palma
• Limited Dual Format Edition of 5,000 copies
• UK Blu-ray premiere


40-page booklet with a new essay by Ashley Clark and archival reprints, including a lengthy 1985 interview with De Palma.

Body Double will be available to buy from October 24th, 2016.

Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by PowerHouse Films.