Body Double (18)
5 May 2013
De Palma may have followed the bombastic gangster epic Scarface with this relatively small-scale thriller, but the filmmaker continued to court controversy with an unflinching blend of violence and sexuality. A string of bad luck finds actor Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) fired from a low-budget horror movie and homeless after discovering his girlfriend's infidelity. Things start to look up when he finds himself house-sitting, with a neighbour who dances erotically in front of her window every night, but Jake notices another man is also watching her. Seduction, mystery, and murder follow. Critics were harsh on Body Double when it was originally released in 1984, with many complaining that the plot is a blatant combination of Rear Window and Vertigo. This may be true, but De Palma's stylish cinematography, black humour and film industry in-jokes make the film his own, underrated classic.