Release Date: July 25th, 1980.
Written by: Brian De Palma.
Directed by: Brian De Palma.
Starring: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, and Dennis Franz.
Carrie, Scarface, Blow Out, Body Double, The Untouchables, Raising Cain, Carlito's Way, Mission: Impossible... nobody did Thrillers better than Brian De Palma did in back in the day. His visual style was so unique and effective that you could tell when you were watching a De Palma flick after only a few seconds, and that realization was always a welcomed feeling.
When it was released in 1980, Dressed To Kill was killed by critics, garnering multiple Golden Raspberry Award nominations for worst actress, worst actor, and worst director. Now, when I saw this movie as a kid, I remember being terrified of the killer in the blonde wig, and shocked as hell at the reveal of who it was at the end. If I had to guess, I'd say that Dressed To Kill was my first exposure to Gialli films, even if it was one of the American persuasion.
Shows you what kind of taste I had as a kid.
|SHE'S IMAGINING THIS.|
|"I'M GONNA HAVE SUCH A MIGRAINE TONIGHT BECAUSE I DIDN'T BEAT YOU."|
It's all really complicated and involved.
|THAT POOR HOOKER NEVER SAW IT COMING.|
So yeah, it's pretty exploitational, and it's definitely got more style than it does substance, but dammit, it's still a great Thriller on top of it all. And for the record, we absolutely consider this movie a Giallo, even if it isn't Italian-made.
Michael Caine and Dennis Franz are both great in this one, even if their characters have far less screen time than Angie Dickinson and Nancy Allen's do. As for the ladies, I can't say that either of their acting was all that good here, not with a straight face I can't, but they still made for likable (or at least sympathetic) characters, especially Nancy Allen. She's always had that sweet, ditsy quality about her, and we love it.
It was fun to see young, pre-Christine Keith Gordon in this one too.
|THE FAMOUS DE PALMA SPLIT-SHOT.|
Good ending overall, but surely De Palma could have come up with something better.
|HE COULD HAVE AT LEAST HAD THE HOOKER THROW THE KID A FREEBIE OR SOMETHING...|
I have to imagine that the politically correct idiots who run around the Internet playing Morality Police today would have a dismissive field day with this movie. Dressed To Kill features a transsexual killer; two women who are essentially murdered for their sexuality; men call women whores; there's a group of black guys who chase after a woman to do her harm... So it's sexist, misogynistic, trans-phobic, patriarchal, and racist. And I'm sure about 100 other things, according to the Sensitive Sally's of the world.
And I say who cares.
It's a movie, and as adults, we have the option of not watching something if it doesn't jibe with, or offends, our beliefs and views. Of course there are many people who would rather bitch and moan about their feelings and tell the rest of us what we can, can't, and shouldn't be able to watch and enjoy, than simply avoid whatever material they find distasteful, so preach to us they surely will.
Objectionable or not, art is art, and not you, I, or anyone else should be able to censor it because it hurts our precious little feelings. People really need to keep their self-entitled bullshit to themselves.
*Sorry for the rant, but that all popped into my head while watching this movie.
|"THAT'S SOME RACIST BULLSHIT, YOU JIVE-ASS MUTHAFUCKA!"|
|THAT'S ABOUT AS BLOODY THIS ONE GETS.|
|SHE ALSO WEARS LINGERIE QUITE WELL.|
- New, restored 4K digital transfer of director Brian De Palma’s preferred unrated version, supervised by the director, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New conversation between De Palma and filmmaker Noah Baumbach
- New interviews with actor Nancy Allen, producer George Litto, composer Pino Donaggio, shower-scene body double Victoria Lynn Johnson, and poster photographic art director Stephen Sayadian
- The Making of “Dressed to Kill,” a 2001 documentary
- New profile of cinematographer Ralf Bode, featuring filmmaker Michael Apted
- Interview with actor-director Keith Gordon from 2001
- Pieces from 2001 about the different versions of the film and the cuts made to avoid an X rating
- Gallery of storyboards by De Palma
- PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Koresky
Overall this is another excellent disc by Criterion.
|"WHAT'S IN THE GLASS, YOU ASK? WELL LET'S JUST SAY THAT URINE TROUBLE IF YOU DRINK IT."|
If you have yet to see this De Palma classic, then you should definitely check out the Criterion Blu-ray.
Dressed To Kill is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.
Nancy Allen and Angie Dickinson are classic Horror Hotties, which is why we gave then their own post, that you can read right HERE.