Brian De Palma lets all his obsessions hang out in Body Double. A voyeur’s delight and a feminist’s nightmare, sexpenser features an outrageously far-fetched and flimsy plot.
The first half offers up virtually no storyline. Down-on-his-luck Hollywood actor Craig Wasson is befriended by fellow actor Gregg Henry, who invites him to housesit for him at a rich man’s hilltop pad.
In a house across the way a beautiful woman enacts an elaborate striptease dance at the same hour every evening. Wasson digs the lady’s act so much that he follows her the next day, when she is also pursued by a hideous-looking Indian.
Pivotal murder scene occurs at about the midpoint, and it’s an offensive lulu, being performed with an enormous power drill. Remainder of the film sees Wasson getting involved in the porno film world as a way of solving the murder.
Thesping by Wasson, Henry and former Miss USA Deborah Shelton, as the lady across the hill, is serviceable, while Melanie Griffith, with punky dyed hair and teensy voice, is just right as a porno queen.