Dressed to Kill

1980 thriller

Rating: 16/20

Plot: A guy saw Psycho and thought he could steal a lot of the elements of Hitchcock's classic without anybody knowing.

I have no idea why there are so many holes in my personal Brian de Palma filmography viewing. I love directors who aren't afraid of too much style, and Dressed to Kill embraces an almost absurd amount of style.

It all starts with a great shower scene [hey, wait a minute. . .] that is either gratuitous or deeply symbolic. Or maybe it's a little of both. All I know is that either Angie Dickinson looks really good here at close to fifty or they did some sneaky stand-in work here. The extended shot which creeps in on Dickinson, along with an eerie vocal score, promises that you're about to watch something by a director who knows what to do with a camera.

There are stand-out scenes and stand-out shots all over this, but there's nothing more impressive than a sort-of chase scene that takes place in a museum. It's so well edited and choreographed, that it's just jaw-dropping, really one of the most impressive things I can remember seeing in a movie in a long time.

Hitchcock called this movie cheesy. Well, sort of. He made a homage/fromage pun because he's cleverer than I am. I can see that gripe because it's definitely a case of style over substance. But as a movie lover who appreciates style a lot more than substance, it's just the sort of thing that I like.

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