When a middle-aged wife and mother (Angie Dickinson) begins to doubt her own attractiveness, she turns to her therapist (Michael Caine), who declines her advances. But after her mysterious murder in an elevator, the detective assigned to the case (Dennis Franz) is content to do little to solve it, so a prostitute who witnessed the crime teams with the victim’s only son to find out the truth.
Its a Hitchcock style suspense thriller. The movie borrows the cross dressing slasher bit from Pyscho and there are a few B-movie type shower scenes which are inspired from or homage to the famous Pyscho shower scene which I had posted as Scene of the Week. There is a long dialogueless scene at the museum which is supposed to be a homage to a similar scene from the Vertigo. The scene drags a bit and some will love it and some will hate it.
The presence of a psychiatrist and a transvestite killer who wants to turn into a woman was ripped off in The Silence of the Lambs. Its a 1980 movie so some things look bad now like the prostitute picking up the murder weapon and running all over or the geek who can do secret agent stuff and Black guys openly harassing the heroine on the subway/train.
The suspense as to who the killer was not easy to guess but once it was revealed it was kind of stupid. There is the whole customary scene explaining everything after the killer is found and the movie should have ended there. But then there is a extended scene after that which again is kind of ridiculous in what it turns out to be.
Michael Caine was very good as the psychiatrist. Angie Dickinson was ok. Nancy Allen was bad as the prostitute and Keith Gordon was ok as the geek. Dennis Franz was bad as the cop.
Brian De Palma’s direction is ok and even with all the problems mentioned the movie is still watchable or enjoyable because of the campy/cheesy feel to it.
RecommendedTags: Brian De Palma Michael Caine