Friday, November 15, 2013
Dressed to Kill. B-
If one is going to make an homage to Psycho, then this is certainly the way to do it. Dressed to Kill is a pulpy, violent, and entertaining movie. It shows many of Brian De Palma's strengths as a filmmaker, but it also shows how much he really is in Hitchcock's shadow. I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but the film is such a structural mess. Part of the greatness of Psycho is how well it plays despite the fact that the heroine is killed off so soon. We get the same deal here, but the movie really struggles to find any sort of footing. That it worked so well in Psycho is some kind of miracle. That it doesn't here I guess can only be expected. There are plenty of reasons why, I suppose. De Palma certainly makes some disappointing choices that were clearly meant to be risky, and the final twenty minutes are simply a mess. I also think it simply has to do with location. Still, as far as the story goes, this one is gold. It plays on Psycho's twist ending and comes up with something more wild, shocking, and, arguably, interesting.