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September 05, 1980 - Image 142

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-05

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I

Paje 8-A-Friday, September'5, 1980-The Michigan Daily
a -u nu n

Classic quotes and cheap thrills

(Continued from Page 7)
than expected. He can magnify a
moment so that it's memorably
gargantuan and agonizing. There's
nothing here to compare with the!
deliciously cruel extension of the split-
seconds before Carrie White's spec-
tacular humiliation, and the script's
light-headedness gives even the
strongest bits an air of
silliness-they're terrifying for a
moment, then they evaporate. Still, the
technique works when Liz, frozen with
horror, reaches to Kate's blood-soaked
outstretched hand as the elevator door
slowly closes and the murderer's razor
is held just outside of her sight, ready to
strike.
Of all the whiz kids of new.
Hollywood, de Palma is the purest
spawn of the movies; he can do
devilishly imaginative and funny things
with a trickily contrived scene like that
-this movie is nothing more than a jit-
tery excuse for dozens of them-but
anything that demands something
other than a visual sense is beyond him,
or at least fails to spark his interest. A
simple dialogue sequence like the one in
which Elliot is interrogated by the
police detective (who is hopelessly
played) falls embarrassingly flat. And
the characters are cardboard cut-outs.
Angie Dickinson's Kate is the sort of
bravura bad acting that wins awar-
ds-a fruity, overripe hausfrau, with
that Ann-Margaret brand of Dathos.

-M

She's a flagrantly silly character, but at
least she is a character. The movie suf-
fers from the loss of her; de Palma
hasn't solved the problem that Hitch-
cock had when Janet Leigh's Marion
Crane was killed off in Psycho-the
schock was effective, but we were left
with only the second-string
protagonists. It's possible that he even
went out of his way to preserve this
flaw, as a twisted hommage.
MICHAEL CAINE plays things
seriously (which must have been dif-
ficult under the circumstances), but
Elliot is a Ralph Bellamy role until near
the end, running around dully in an at-
tempt to solve the crime, coping with
all the dialogue scenes that de Palma
couldn't get rid of. A lot of interesting
new actresses came out of
Carrie-grave Amy Irving, cheerfully
tacky P.J. Soles, the extraordinary
Sissy Spacek-but though Nancy Allen
is recognizable, and de Palma gets her
into some amusing scrapes (with
dumb-tart lines like "Gee, I'm gonna
miss having you on my tail."), her lack
of distinctiveness hurts the rovie when
she takes over as its heroine. She's the
one you probably didn't remember
from Carrie, though some of her lines
here seem designed to revive memories
(the ring bells of recognition with
monotonous regularity), and de
Palma's contempt for her character
hardly helps-he keeps pointing out her

lack of class and smarts, effectively
sabotaging any audience concern for
her. Paired with the boy-wonder scien-
tist, she's Nancy Drew as a cheap
broad; a juvenile lead, with
wisecracks.
Dressed- to Kill is an aggressive at-
tempt to swing into Hitchcock's aban-
doned throne, and as de Palma's past,
works of sheer derivation (Obession,
The Fury) have been, it's something of
a waste-certainly Carrie is as edgy
frightening, beautiful and blackly'
humorous as the best of Hitchcock, and.
for de Palma to continue playing the
Master's pretender is practically a step
backward. One can't account for some
of the dumb errors here, like the un-
believably garish, soupy score (with its
murmuring female voices, it sounds
like a Ray Coniff album) by Pino
Donaggio, the ludicrously obvious split-
screen effects, or the excesses of a
camera that calls profound attention to
some usually insignificant object every
ten seconds-every damned thing is
turned into a MacGuffin. And it cer-
tainly wasn't worth the effort to reprise
Hitchcock's Psycho suspense-killing
finale, in which the characters sit
around the police station nodding in
agreement while a psychiatrist
tediously explains everything that
we've just seen.
But de Palma isn't finished yet-and
his gleeful audaciousness, his need to
push things so far that you have to
laugh, pushes Dressed to Kill (such a
wonderful title for a transvestite-killer
movie) much further, and saves it all
along. This film is high camp, and feN
directors aside from de Palma could-
make international camp that works
outrageous cresendoes-Liz removing
her heavy coat to reveal a Frederick's
of Hollywood black-undies outfit in
Elliot's office; a modern mental
stitute that out Grand-Guignols any
Lon Chaney freak show; Kate lovingly
opening her afternoon lover's des
drawer to discover a "You have E
venereal disease!" notification frorr
the health office; a wild thunderstorrr
injected into a scene for no apparen
purpose-work up so much giddy stea-0
that hysteria becomes an end in itself.
Dressed to Kill is awful, and audien
ces who go expecting a straight thriller
walk out feeling cheated by its foolery
When de Palma stops stealing his plot
and trying to see how much idiocy h
can get away with, he may producer
masterpiece-but in the meantime, a
least no one will be bored by ravin'
camp festivals like this one.
OPEN
AUDITIONS FOR

HELD OVER!! 12th WEEK!

~iirpp

IS7

s,.-,MARK HAMILL - HARRISON FORD CARRIE FISHER
BILLY DEE WILLIAMS - ANTHONY DANIELS
con, DAVID PROWSE KENNY BAKER - PETER MAYHEW FRANK OZ
SEATS AVAILABLE AS
LA TE AS SHOWTIME MON, TUE, THUR, FRI. 7:00-9:30
A ASAT-SUN-WED
1214 s. university 1:00-3:15-7:00-9:30

Sept. 10, 11, 12,at 7PM
ST. MARY'S STUDENT CENTER
BEHIND THE CHAPEL
331 THOMPSON
Be prepared to give a sample of
your Acting /Singing /Dancing abil-
ity. Performance Nights are Nov.
6, 7, 8, 14, 15.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
CALL 663-0558 or 971-4913
AND ASK FOR FR. BOB KERR

.,>'t~

AFTERNOON SHOWS .............. $3.00
EVENING & HOLIDAYS............. $4.00
CHILD 14 & UNDER .................$2.00

"'My Bodyguard' is sensitive and
gripping. It's 'Rocky,' 'Breaking Away,'
and more. It's brilliant! Marilyn Beck Syndicated Columnist
"'My Bodyguard' is fast, funny and freckled with
unvarnished truths..."- Rex Reed

"My Bodyguard'i
on a hot afterno
"'My Bodyguard'

is as refreshing as lemonade
on!" - Rona Barrett, ABC-1V
could be this summer's sleeper."
- Daily Variety '

"'My Bodyguard' is a soul-satisfying film, totally
involving and richly rewarding. It touches
the heart.a Press

"This wonderful film is
the sleeper of the

'.
a.5
,!.
'

summer

movie crop.

A comedy told with tender
loving care by the producer
of 'The Sting'"The Star

MY BODYGUARD

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