April 21, 2006

I’m still not sure what to make of Brian De Palma. He’s capable of absolute brilliance Carrie and Scarface, for example. But then again, The Phantom of the Paradise? The fuck? I know that not a small part of my bias against De Palma seems to have been absorbed from my college film professor – he thought De Palma was a total hack and never let an opportunity pass to say so. His world revolved around Hitchcock, Scorsese and Coppola – no wonder De Palma’s blatant rip-offs irritated the shit out of him. I’m slowly gaining a bit more appreciation for his work. He’s kind of like the guy at Astroworld who draws caricatures. It’s not exactly art, but it does take some skill. De Palma’s definitely best when working with the material of others – book adaptations like Carrie or remakes like The Untouchables or Scarface. Sisters, however, seems to be one of his more original works…although the concept of evil twins is hardly original. Hello, what about The Parent Trap? Those were some evil, conniving bitches.

Sisters is the tale of Blanchion twins – one’s sweet and the other is psycho – but which is which? Margot Kidder is less annoying than usual as Danielle and Dominique, good even – although she’s no Hayley Mills. The French Canadian thing seemed weird, but some research shows that Margot Kidder is French Canadian – so maybe that’s her real accent? I was also surprised that she went topless, then again, EVERYONE went topless in the 70s.

The opening credits are damn freaky. Anything with fetii creeps me the fuck out. And the opening sequence is even freakier. What kind of weird game shows did they have back in the 70s? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – our game shows are much crazier these days.

The film is pretty gory, even by today’s standards. The only drawback is the orangey, tempera paint blood. But even with the hokey looking blood, the face stab is shocking and visceral. I must admit, I’ve responded to a cake that way once. My ex brought me a tiny cake from Albertson’s for Valentine’s Day once…I seriously wanted to stab him in the face – that is the lamest Valentine’s offering EVER. So, be warned – offering a cake at the wrong time can get you stabbed in the face.

The ending has a satisfying little Hitchcockian twist, I won’t give it away, but it really makes you wonder which twin was really the evil one.

Year – 1973
Rating – R
Runtime – 92 minutes
Genre – Suspense
Director(s) – Brian De Palma
Writer(s) – Brian De Palma, Louisa Rose
Actor(s) – Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, William Finley, Dolph Sweet
BOB Rating – Three BOBs
Favorite Quote – "I saw a murder, and I'm going to prove it!" - Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt)