directed by Brian De Palma
USA 1984

 

De Palma's sleazfest (which I loved in my early twenties) is debatable whether it is an homage to the Master, or downright theft. Combining elements of both of Hitchcock's classic films Vertigo and Rear Window - it drums in a modern voyeur-complex with liberal doses of nudity, violence and sexuality to keep our attentions off the weak performances.

 

Jake (Craig Wasson) comes home to find his girlfriend with another man and has to find a new place. In between his acting workshops and his job in a vampire B-movie, he scans the paper looking for anything. He happens to meet a fellow actor, Sam (Gregg Henry) who needs a house sitter for a palatial pleasure-dome. Both are pleased with the arrangement that will have Jake staying in the house and for a sweetener, he is shown the 'favorite neighbor', a knockout who performs a self-absorbed foreplay ritual each night with the drapes wide open. Jake gets obsessed and becomes suspect one in her (Deborah Shelton) violent murder - with him as the only witness, spying through his telescope.

 

With attacks from dogs to power drills and investigations into the world of pornography - there isn't much exploitation De Palma leaves out. The absurdist plot can be enjoyed if not taken too seriously. Sophomoric fantasies aside, it has a modicum of intelligence, but lets just not get carried away with accolades on this one - cheap thrills are its strongest suit.  

Gary Tooze

 

Theatrical Release: October 26th, 1984

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DVD Comparison: 

Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1 - NTSC

Sony (Special Edition)

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Runtime 1:54:04 1:54:00

Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.97 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate : Columbia

Bitrate: Sony (Special Edition)

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Stereo), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Subtitles English, French, None English, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer

NOTE: Pan and scan version on opposite side

DVD Release Date: December, 2002
Keep case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Sony (Special Edition)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• "The Seduction" featurette
• "The Setup" featurette
• "The Mystery" featurette
• "The Controversy" featurette
 

DVD Release Date: October 3rd, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments

Any improvement in image is almost imperceptible. The SE is minimally brighter and skin tones less red, but it is a stretch to give it any real updating praise. It looks like a duplicate of the release from almost 4 years earlier. The improvement over the older edition is in the audio (a *fake* boost to 5.1) which I only really noticed intensity in a couple of instances... and of, course, the extras - 4 X 15+ minute featurettes with the cast and others discussing the production and other details. I've always had a thing for Melanie (more so for her mom) so I enjoyed her comments - De Palma had some interesting details to add as well.

Subtitles are a little brighter and more defined.

I wouldn't say this is worth the double-dip unless you are head-over-heels about the film. Pass.       

 - Gary Tooze

 

 






DVD Menus

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT)

 
 
 
 

 


Screen Captures

 

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)
Subtitle Sample: Not exact frame

 

 

 


 

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


Report Card:

 

Image:

-

Sound:

SE

Extras: SE
Menu: SE

 
DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1 - NTSC

Sony (Special Edition)

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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