Body Double (1984, Brian De Palma)

After Rotterdance I was in a Rear Vertigo Window Remix mood, and De Palma got me covered. It’s suspense-comedy, with lead guy Jake (Nancy’s sympathetic doctor in Nightmare on Elm Street 3) as the world’s most awkward loser, set up to witness a fake crime. He’s introduced being fired from the movie Vampire’s Kiss since he can’t perform his grave scene due to high anxiety claustrophobia, then going home to catch his wife enthusiastically cheating. He does get to kiss the girl he’s stalking (Deborah Shelton of Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II) after almost chasing down her purse snatcher, but fails to save her life in an absolute mess of a driller-killer murder scene.

Enter Melanie Griffith, too thin to be a porn star. Now an accomplished stalker, Jake starts acting money after his sex scene with Melanie, impresses her with the fancy place where he’s staying, then reveals that he’s familiar enough with her work to have recognized her through the telescope in the staged crime scene. He overcomes his claustrophobia, defeats the murderer, and gets re-cast in Vampire’s Kiss. Really not a great movie but pretty fun. Between Scarface and Wise Guys, De Palma had to get the 1980s out of his system, making a movie that contains a whole Frankie Goes to Hollywood music video.