“That body is here somewhere!”
When a small-town reporter (Jennifer Salt) sees a woman (Margot Kidder) killing her date (Lisle Wilson) in her apartment, she insists on telling a detective (Dolph Sweet) and pursuing any leads she can find — including tracking Kidder’s stalking ex-husband (William Finley) and hiring a private detective (Charles Durning).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Amateur Sleuths
- Brian De Palma Films
- Horror Films
- Living Nightmare
- Mad Doctors and Scientists
- Margot Kidder Films
- “No One Believes Me”
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary points out that this “creepy, funny, visually innovative” thriller by Brian De Palma is unfortunately “not that satisfying”. De Palma “not only borrows themes and scenes from Alfred Hitchcock (i.e., Rear Window, Psycho) but also has a standout score by Bernard Herrmann” and “seems inspired by The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Val Lewton’s Cat People.” Peary writes that “in a performance that recalls Simone Simon, Margot Kidder is unexpectedly sweet and vulnerable as French-Canadian Danielle Breton, a model working in New York” who “has her bad side: Dominique, her murderess, detached Siamese twin”. As Peary notes, the film’s major problem “is that the opening sequence[s] [are] so technically exciting (with tracking shots, split screen, sharp cutting), witty (there’s a hilarious parody of TV game shows called Peeping Toms), and suspenseful that it’s never equaled.”
Peary’s review reveals numerous spoilers that I won’t name here — but suffice it to say that I don’t believe the film capitalizes on its potential, though not all agree, and many take great pleasure in recognizing even more cinematic homages. While it’s worth a look for its highly creative elements, it’s not must-see viewing.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Margot Kidder as Danielle Breton
- Lisle Wilson as Phillip
- An intriguing premise
- The highly innovative split-screen sequence
- Fine use of location shooting
- Bernard Herrmann’s score
No, though it’s worth a one-time look for its better elements.