Sunday, 2 October 2011



This is a bit of a weird one. It has the feel of a bog-standard American TV movie, but the strong language, casual nudity and the occasional bit of sadistic violence put it far outside the remit of the networks' Standards And Practices rules; although it was released in American cinemas in January 1983 (on a double-bill with Tattoo), it doesn't appear to have had a UK cinema outing but it did get a certificated video release after 10 seconds of BBFC cuts. And it only runs about 94 minutes but it feels long because it's a slasher movie where the slashings are padded out with a lot of character drama waffle.

The fairly generically titled Double Exposure might almost count as a giallo: the setup is that a middle-aged photographer (Michael Callan, who also produced) keeps dreaming about murdering his models and then waking up to find that they have indeed been killed - has he killed them and can't remember? There's certainly a maniac on the loose doing away with streetwalkers and the police aren't making any headway, but is it him? Or his one-armed, one-legged brother? Surely not the camp queen he works for? Or the bald and aggressive bartender? Or even the woman (Joanna Pettet) he's recently fallen in love with?

Sadly, much of the running time is not taken up with slashings or the police investigation, but with Callan getting together with Pettet, Callan ranting at his psychiatrist (Seymour Cassel), Callan and his brother arguing about their Mom, bedding various cheerfully undiscriminating women and going on a double date to a mud-wrestling show. Frankly none of this is interesting - there's a psycho on the loose butchering prostitutes and glamour models and we're spending whole reels watching a tubby guy moon over his new girlfriend. The killer's identity is improbable at best and nonsensical at worst and while there's one genuinely nasty kill sequence (involving a plastic bag and a rattlesnake) there's far too much prattling stodge in between the murders. Overall it's a failure.


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