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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
MORODER TO PRESENT 'SCARFACE' AT MOOGFEST
FEST RUNS APRIL 23-27 IN ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Giorgio Moroder will introduce a special screening of Brian De Palma's Scarface, for which he composed the score and songs, at the 2014 Moogfest, which runs April 23-27 in Asheville, North Carolina. Moroder will also discuss how he brought the synthesizer into film music during a festival panel called "Innovators In Electronic Music." The fest, according to its website, is dedicated to the synthesis of technology, art and music, paying tribute to the creativity and inventiveness of Dr. Robert Moog and to the legacy of the analog synthesizer.

Posted by Geoff at 10:32 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 10:33 PM CST
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CRITIC: 'PHANTOM' THRIVES ON DE PALMA'S EXCESS
AND IS PERHAPS DE PALMA'S "MOST BRECHTIAN FILM"
In a review for Arrow's new Blu-ray of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, Mostly Film's Blake Backlash analyzes how the film's song lyrics by Paul Williams work in conjunction with the film's themes and worldview. He also turns David Thomson's criticisms of De Palma upside down, embracing the very qualities that Thomson would use to dismiss De Palma with. Here are some excerpts from Backlash's inspired review:
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Because it is a musical, this is Brian De Palma’s best film. The opening number is ‘Goodbye Eddie, Goodbye’, a pastiche of 50s rock n roll that, amidst all the doo-wop sass, tells the story of a singer with a terminally ill sister and not enough money to pay for her life-saving operation. He kills himself because: Eddie believed the American people / Had wonderful, lovegiving hearts / His well-publicised end he considered would send / His memorial album to the top of the charts… and it did.

The song was written by Paul Williams (who also plays Swan, the film’s villain) and is a kind of bubble-gum overture, anticipating a number of notions that the film will kick around. So we’re turned on to the idea that this movie will be about how the music industry processes tragedy into sensation and sentiment in order to sell records. But the current of dark humour in the lyrics cuts that idea with a playful cruelty in the way it views Eddie:

Well you did it Eddie and though it’s hard to applaud suicide / You gave all you could give so your sister could live / All America’s choked up inside. The overall effect is a three-minute summary of a worldview which, while more on the side of art than industry, is still ready to stick a pin in the way artists see themselves. There’s wit there and that wit is a gift from Paul Williams to Brian De Palma.

David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film makes a case against De Palma that seems capture much of why people who don’t like De Palma, don’t like De Palma. According to Thomson he is ‘ready to control everything except his own cruelty and indifference. He is the epitome of mindless style and excitement swamping taste or character… He has contempt for his characters and his audience alike.’ I’m not sure. When things do go wrong for De Palma he seems burdened not with cynicism but with an excess of moist-eyed sentimentality. One can find both sentiment and cynicism in De Palma’s films but what defines him as director is his excess. So both the cynicism and the sentiment often get given free reign. And the films are visually excessive too. De Palma is fond of lurid and striking formal techniques – split-screens, long tracking shots, slow-motion, and splashes of vivid colour – which demand the viewer either fall in love or fuck off. And sometimes, when the visual excess, the sentiment and the cynicism are all cooking at once, he delivers scenes that are marked by a vivid, sick purity.

Paul Williams makes that sentiment, cynicism and purity sing. He heightens the cynicism with lyrics that have a verbal sharpness lacking in De Palma’s dialogue. And he lends depth to the sentiment with the kind of melancholy early-70s torch-songs that seem perfect for capturing sadness and regret...

There is another affinity between the songs and De Palma’s technique. Arrow’s lush and comprehensive Blu-ray release includes a long interview between Guillermo del Toro and Williams. In it del Toro talks about the stylistic eclecticism of the songs and draws a parallel with the variety of filmmaking techniques De Palma employs. One of the conceits of the film is that the songs of Winslow Leach, the sensitive singer-songwriter who becomes The Phantom, are supposed to be debased when they are given a pop rewrite by Swan. So Winslow’s heartfelt ‘Faust’ becomes a cheerful Beach Boy’s pastiche called ‘Upholstery’. Inevitably ‘Upholstery’ is about ten times as much fun as ‘Faust’. And the scene where we see it is performed is the best scene in the film...

When I’m in the right mood, I find this scene intensely pleasurable to watch. There’s something thrilling about the ways in which the layers of smartarse showing-off connect with one another. De Palma is trying to simultaneously reference and outdo Touch of Evil by having a bomb-in-a-car scene done with two simultaneous extended long-takes, instead of Welles’s one, and combining them in a split-screen, as characters move between both takes. The fact that the bomb is put in a prop car makes such intertextual riffing come off as light and playful, rather than stifling. There’s even a hint of a self-detracting joke, in the way the scene’s reworking of Touch of Evil mirrors the way Swann has reworked ‘Faust’ into ‘Upholstery’. And it’s just fun to be able to switch one’s attention between two different types of set-piece: the musical number, and the suspense countdown. Not only that, the two add a little pep to one another: I like how the ticking of the bomb compliments the song’s rhythm. I also like how the camera move on the right-half of the screen, which shows us first The Phantom and then Swann seeing the Phantom, works as quick bit of misdirection to distract you before the explosion in the left-half.

The scene has never looked and sounded better than it does on Arrow’s Blu-ray release. In previous DVD versions the soundtracks from the two takes tended to melt into each other, so the dialogue was impossible to make out. Arrow have cleaned up the soundtrack and used stereo to compliment the split-screen. That gives the scene a tingly immersiveness that adds to how much fun it is.

Early in his career De Palma talked about wanting to be the American Godard. And, since Godard attempted to take Brecht’s theories about theatre and put them into practice in the cinema, it’s maybe not too cheeky to call Phantom of the Paradise De Palma’s most Brechtian film. There is no attempt at realism. Winslow escapes from prison by climbing into a box on the production line he works. He’s half bursting out of the box and is accompanied by both guards and old-timey, silent-film chase music. But somehow the next shot is of the box falling off the back of a truck outside the offices of Swan’s record label...

In the closing credits William Shephard appears twice, for playing ‘Rock Freak’ and for doing the choreography in the climactic assassination/wedding scene. What this means is De Palma got him to do the kind of thing he did for Dionysus in 69, which was break down the barriers between the audience and actors. So you can see Shephard at the film’s climax dancing, getting in the extras’ faces, mocking Finley and causing trouble. De Palma filmed all this like he filmed Dionysus in 69, without really knowing what Shepard would do or how people would react. He also managed to film the carefully timed assassination set-piece happening at the same time. Then he and his editor Paul Hirsch put something together that interweaves uncontrolled excess and precision well enough to prove that De Palma is, at least sometimes, truly brilliant.

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Posted by Geoff at 2:16 AM CST
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Monday, February 24, 2014
'PHANTOM' ARROW BLU-RAY REVIEWS
OFFICIALLY RELEASED TODAY
Arrow Video's Blu-ray of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise is released today, and the reviews are popping up. Here are some excerpts:

Michael Flett, Geek Chocolate
"Despite the modest budget of an independent picture, De Palma’s direction is kinetic, the choices of lenses and angles unorthodox, everything emphasised as befits the spectacle of a rock opera, with glorious colour vibrant beneath the spotlights, though director of photography Larry Pizer states his favourite moment is quieter, the rooftop scene during the reprise of the showstopping Old Souls as the Phantom spies Swan and Phoenix through the skylight, the rain representing the tears his damaged eyes cannot shed...

"That song is singled out as 'one of my favourites… of my whole catalogue' by Paul Williams in an extended interview conducted by friend by Guillermo del Toro, who is very open about his highs and lows of his career. Now clean and sober since 1990, he comments that 'you know you’re an alcoholic when you misplace a decade,' joking that the only thing he recalls about the eighties is 'the intentionally bad songs for Ishtar,' but stating he is now 'passionate about recovery and passionate about creator’s rights,' he could not be more different from the character her portrays."

Peter Turner, Filmoria
"It’s an enthusiastic early directorial effort from the director who would later tone down the excess but rarely be better. It riffs on Faust, Phantom of the Opera, The Picture of Dorian Gray and in one silly send up, even Hitchcock’s Psycho. It’s packed with nicked ideas and wonderfully inventive technical showmanship and builds to a frenetic climax of colour, light, bright red blood and murder. The story might be cobbled together from all sorts of clear influences but the style is original and way ahead of its time. Even after forty years, Phantom of the Paradise is still fresh, frantic and funny...

"Extras... Guillermo del Toro interviews Paul Williams with the pair sharing a wonderful rapport. del Toro is in awe of his friend Williams and draws out some fascinating revelations from his subject. It’s over an hour long and only very occasionally cuts to clips from the film. Mostly it is two outsiders who clearly share a strong bond talking about a movie they both have a lot of love for."

Rob Munday, Front Row Reviews
"What is our problem with Brian?

"Brian De Palma is one of the best directors to emerge from the New Hollywood rejuvenation of the 1970s yet still he seems to be treated like an errant little brother who refuses to shut up and leave the train set alone. Perhaps it is the broadly drawn characters, the refusal to be constrained by realism, the joy in playing with the possibilities of cinema. His career may be patchy but anybody who has made Greetings, Carrie, Blow Out, Scarface, Carlito’s Way and Redacted deserves some props. The fact is there’s no one else you’d rather direct the prog-rock fandango that is Phantom of the Paradise...

"Histrionics take centre stage here, pushing promising characters into the wings, and bending the plot to fit the tune. But De Palma brilliantly handles the overblown, creating a dizzying blend of prog-rock tragedy with the virtuoso work of Jack Fisk (production design), Larry Pizer (director of photography), and Paul Hisch (editing), making you believe that maybe this is what New York was really like in 1974.

"The Blu-ray vividly captures the fantastic visuals and grandiose music that makes this as close to Giallo as American films ever got. Dario Argento would later use Harper in Suspiria, and the feeling lingers that De Palma remains the greatest Italian genre director that never was.

"As the extras on this edition detail the film was hampered by a number of lawsuits with the most damaging involving the use of the Swan Song records name (Led Zeppelin got there first) that meant considerable compromise in the final edit (ironic for a film that champions unfettered invention in the face of corporate power). Despite this it remains ripe for re-discovery. Before The Rocky Horror Picture Show, before Little Shop of Horrors, this bombastic melodrama went balls-out in the face of mediocrity."

Dr. Svet Atanasov, Blu-ray.com
"Written and directed by Brian De Palma, Phantom of the Paradise is a terrific piece of psychedelia. It is colorful, wild, mesmerizing, frustrating, kitschy, hilarious, odd and beautiful. It is also a musical of sorts - one that bends forms and styles in such a wicked fashion that one must wonder what was going on in director De Palma's life when he shot the film...

"De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise reminded me of American expatriate William Klein's Mister Freedom. Both films allow for two profoundly different reads of their stories - one where the audience isn't required to pay close attention to the numerous references they contain, and another where reading between the lines is essential. Both films also seem fairly comfortable with the idea that kitsch allows for great storytelling so long as at the end the kitsch is somehow rationalized. In Klein's film the kitsch is used to effectively criticize America's imperialistic ambitions; in De Palma's film the kitsch is used to satirize the showbiz.

"The flavor of the kitsch in Mister Freedom, however, differs considerably from the one present in Phantom of the Paradise. In Klein's film the exaggerations are blunt and frequently quite vulgar. As a result, the main protagonist is impossible to like; the political overtones in the film are also extremely easy to detect.

"In Phantom of the Paradise the main protagonist is so weak that once he begins to suffer it becomes quite easy to feel for him; he is the ugly duckling that no one wants. Yet instead of embracing him De Palma proceeds to exploit his misery, thus ensuring that Phantom of the Paradise does not evolve into a cliched soap opera.

"Visually, Phantom of the Paradise is overwhelming. What takes place on the screen has to be seen to be believed. During the film's final act it literally feels as if De Palma demanded everyone to go berserk in front of the camera, just like Fellini did in a few of his films. The only difference here is that Phantom of the Paradise lacks the grace and elegance of Fellini's films which, arguably, is precisely what makes it so special...

"I have mixed feelings about this new release of Phantom of the Paradise. Its basic characteristics are unquestionably superior to those of French label Opening Distribution's release, which we reviewed in 2010. Indeed, grain is better resolved, dirt and specs have been carefully removed, and the encoding is superior. The color timing and contrast balance of this new release, however, are drastically different. In fact, the discrepancies between the two releases are so big that when comparing the two it actually feels like they enhance entirely different qualities -- the look of the French release supports the kitschy qualities of De Palma's film, while Arrow's release supports the film's lusher musical qualities. Generally speaking, on the Arrow release there is a much wider range of well saturated browns and yellows, which appear to have replaced a good range of nuanced reds/pinks that are prominent on the French release (compare screencapture #1 with screencapture #4 from our review of the French release). The contrast and brightness settings are also different. As a result, the film looks darker but also lusher (screencapture #6 with screencapture #2 from our review of the French release). However, not knowing whether the new color scheme has been in any way approved or endorsed by director De Palma, one will have to rely on one's instincts to choose the 'correct' version of the film. My feeling is that the color adjustments performed at Fox are too strong...

"Special Features and Extras:

"Guillermo del Toro Interviews Paul Williams - in this wonderful new video interview, acclaimed Mexican director Guillermo del Toro and Paul Williams (Swan) discuss the actor's fascination with music and cinema, the production history and style of Phantom of Paradise, the mystery of Swan, etc. r. Williams also talks about his alcohol addiction, making Ishtar, artist rights, and the importance of following your creative instincts. In English, not subtitled. (73 min)."

Mike Pereira, Bloody Disgusting
"I’ve been a Brian De Palma advocate ever since I first laid eyes on the iconic Scarface and soon after Carrie. Whether you like his stuff or not, De Palma’s majestic approach to filmmaking is cinema at its absolute purest. After the trend-setting techniques established by the brilliant Alfred Hitchcock (which he’s frequently been accused of being nothing more than a carbon copy of), this polarizing artist has continued on that fine tradition and in my opinion, took that cinematic language into new majestic heights. The horror/musical Phantom of the Paradise which he also wrote is a clear standout among his filmography. Sure, it contains his signature visual style and bag of tricks (split screen and POV shots aplenty) yet by operating in the musical realm, De Palma is liberated to take his operatic tendencies to new places. It’s a match made in heaven...

"As with most musicals, everything is played in broad strokes on just about every level. Phantom of the Paradise plays it big yet by doing that it somehow connects the viewer to its main character’s plight and the potent themes being explored more so. The filmmaker is greatly assisted by his terrific cast who play their parts with conviction...

"De Palma gets consistently discredited for his reliance on style over substance. His work can consistently be enjoyed for its superior craftsmanship however in much of his finer work you can see a genuine personal connection to the material. A chunk of his films like Blow Out, Snake Eyes, The Untouchables, Casualties of War, The Fury are about his protagonist’s valiant yet seemingly futile, obstacle-ridden crusade to unravel an ominous, corrupt system. Phantom of the Paradise is no different and might very well be the best, most poignant example of this. While De Palma is clearly taking aim at the music and film industry, it’s easy to connect this satire with corporate greed in general. All of these elements are sadly still every bit as vital today which makes Phantom of the Paradise as effective today. Strip all that subtext away and you still have one feverishly fun horror/tragicomedy. De Palma is clearly having [a] blast. He packs this wild romp with unfettered imagination, not to mention some clever nods to his influences (Psycho and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari fans will no doubt be amused) for good measure. Phantom of the Paradise is still far and away my favorite musical of all time and having it work on a horror level as well makes it all the more endearing to me.

"The A/V

"The video is very different than the one found on the French Blu-ray release. This latest transfer shows more information in the frame, presents much warmer colours and what may cause some debate; a darker appearance. The contrast is strong and at times can swallow up some of the background detail. It never gets to the point of distraction in my opinion but I can see many being bothered by this. As for the sharpness, the video is every bit as good as the French release. The print is also in great shape, the cleanest it’s ever been. Now I haven’t seen the film during its theatrical presentation so I can’t say if this is what De Palma had intended or. Overall though, I find this transfer to be the most visually striking to date. With the deeper contrast and gorgeous colourization, De Palma’s stylish aesthetic stands out like never before.

"While the video might rattle some feathers, the audio definitely won’t. Arrow presents the original 4-Track Stereo Mix in all its lossless glory. Williams’ memorable soundtrack has never sounded so good. Also, the bass channel packs more punch than I could have ever imagined. There is also a very fine 2.0 Stereo PCM track but it never quite matches the more engaging DTS-HD 4.0 Master Audio."


Posted by Geoff at 2:09 AM CST
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 8:11 PM CST
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Sunday, February 23, 2014
SCORSESE RECALLS SEEING ARCHER FILMS ON TV
AND THEN CALLING FRIENDS LIKE DE PALMA & SPIELBERG TO HELP SEEK THEM OUT


The Guardian's Xan Brooks talked to Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker last Monday at the unveiling of an English Heritage blue plaque to commemorate Dorset House in London, which was the headquarters of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's film company, the Archers, from 1942-1947. Here's a brief excerpt from Brooks' article:
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"I could talk for hours, days, years about the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger," said Scorsese, who recalled being taken by his father to see The Red Shoes at the age of 10. The Raging Bull director said he first watched the bulk of the Archers' pictures on TV when he was a film student and has been obsessed with them ever since.

Scorsese explained that movies such as Tales of Hoffman or 1947's exotic nunnery saga Black Narcissus were typically shown in heavily abridged versions, broken up by commercials. "I would ring up other aspiring film-makers like [Brian] De Palma or [Steven] Spielberg and say, 'I just saw this incredible film about nuns in the Himalayas.' But we had to go searching for these movies. We couldn't read anything about them. I thought [the film-makers' names] were pseudonyms."

By the time Scorsese met Powell, in 1975, the British director had fallen on hard times and was largely ignored by the UK film establishment. Powell subsequently relocated to the US, where he married Schoonmaker, Scorsese's regular editor.

"Martin Scorsese infected me with the love of these films when we were working together on Raging Bull," Schoonmaker said. "Then later he introduced me to Michael Powell, which was another great blessing in my life." Powell died in 1990 at the age of 84.

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Posted by Geoff at 2:23 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 2:25 PM CST
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Thursday, February 20, 2014
CINE-FILE ON 'BODY DOUBLE'
"RELAX" SEQUENCE IS "DE PALMA'S 'BROADWAY CITY BALLET,' IF YOU WILL"


Body Double was screened at Chicago's Doc Films Brian De Palma Retrospective last night. In preparation, last Friday's Cine-File posted a recommendation of interest by Jamie Stroble. "No points for catching the Hitchcock nods," Stroble figures. "De Palma's allusions to (or outright theft of) works like Rear Window and Vertigo are so overt as to signal jumping off points rather than ends in themselves. In a surreal segue toward the end of the film, a lip-synching Holly Johnson of the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood leads Scully, suddenly decked out in thick-rimmed glasses and argyle, onto a porno set to the tune of 'Relax.' The sequence functions as a movie-within-a-movie; it's De Palma's 'Broadway Melody Ballet,' if you will, except Gene Kelly didn't find Cyd Charisse behind a door labeled 'SLUTS.' The 'Relax' scene marks a tonal crossroads in Body Double. Soon after, the proceedings begin to accelerate at an almost nightmarish rate and the tightly plotted thriller De Palma fashioned in the film's first half starts to unravel as the limits of internal plausibility are pushed to the extreme. If you're on De Palma's wavelength though it's a worthy tradeoff, as tension gives way to near mania. When the film was released, Roger Ebert characterized Body Double as having De Palma's 'most airtight plot' yet--an assertion it's hard to imagine Ebert leveling without cracking a slight smile. The virtue and, dare I say, greatness of Body Double come not from bulletproof narrative or even rudimentary character development, but instead from a messier place. De Palma synthesizes a multitude of disparate references into a scathing critique of nice-guy chauvinism, critical Puritanism, and countless other -isms, all under the guise mindless genre fare."

Posted by Geoff at 9:54 PM CST
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014
ARROW'S 'SISTERS' BLU-RAY APRIL 14
MORE DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED CLOSER TO RELEASE DATE


According to Twitch, Arrow Video announced its "Q2 line-up" today, and it includes a release date for its Blu-ray edition of Brian De Palma's Sisters, which will be released April 14th. Along with a high-definition digital transfer of the film, the edition will have "newly created exclusive content- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!- More to be announced closer to the release date." Arrow's Blu-ray of Phantom Of The Paradise is officially released Monday (February 24th).

Posted by Geoff at 5:10 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 5:13 PM CST
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Monday, February 17, 2014
R.I.P. RAY KENNEDY
RECORDED THE SINGING VOICE OF BEEF IN 'PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE'


Ray Kennedy, who memorably sang "Life At Last", the song that Beef performs in Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, died yesterday. He was 67. Gerrit Graham lip-synced to Kennedy's recorded vocal in the film. Kennedy, who had also released a solo single and a couple of solo albums between 1965 and 1980 (see video below), co-wrote two of my favorite songs by The Babys, "Isn't It Time" and "Everytime I Think Of You." He also wrote "Sail On, Sailor" with the Beach Boys, who recorded it in 1973. The latter song was used on the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's The Departed. An earlier, unreleased album Kennedy recorded with Jon Misland in 1962 was co-produced by Phil Spector. According to the Swan Archives, "Kennedy was very happy with how Phantom had turned out," and "had only a few days ago agreed to visit Winnipeg for a screening of the film this coming October." A memorial website for Kennedy can be found here.


Posted by Geoff at 8:07 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:02 AM CST
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Friday, February 14, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 7:37 PM CST
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Thursday, February 13, 2014
'CARRIE' IN PORTLAND MARCH 1ST
Q&A, AUTOGRAPHS WITH NANCY ALLEN, PIPER LAURIE, P.J. SOLES

Posted by Geoff at 1:14 AM CST
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
'NURSE 3D' INVITES DE PALMA COMPARISONS
GONZALEZ: 'PASSION' IS "A FIZZY SYMPHONY OF TERROR THAT COMMENTS ON PERSONALITY AS MEDIATED BY IMAGE RECORDING"


Doug Aarniokoski's Nurse 3D opened in theaters and on VOD last Friday, and several reviews have mentioned Brian De Palma. Here are some links:

Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com
"If you ever wondered what the result might be if the screenplay for a Brian De Palma thriller somehow landed in the hands of the late, great Russ Meyer, Nurse 3D is the film for you. Director Douglas Aarniokoski and co-writer David Loughery have concocted a film that plays like an explosion in a warehouse of grindhouse film prints. Within the course of a mere 86 minutes, they jam in gallons of blood, ridiculously ripe performances, tons of beyond-purple dialogue (with the tone set early on when Abby narrates Danni's first encounter with a gory fatality with the instant classic 'She lost her virginity and the blood flowed') and so many scenes involving showers, locker rooms and fetishy outfits that it sometimes feels as if All Saints may be the first hospital to require a two-drink minimum along with proof of insurance."

Devin Faraci, Badass Digest
"If Brian De Palma had directed Nurse 3D it probably could have been something amazing. In the hands of Doug Aarniokoski it’s more of a campy delight. The film straddles the line between serious and silly in all the right ways, never being tongue-in-cheek but also not taking itself too seriously. The film was inspired by the photography of Lionsgate’s chief marketing officer Tim Palen, and every now and again there’s a composition so striking and so well-done that I wonder if Palen lent his eye on the day. A scene where Abbie watches Danni in the hospital shower is perfectly shot, as is one where two characters run down a spiral staircase. Many of the scenes between these gorgeous set pieces are flat (and like, really flat, a problem with a 3D movie), lit with garish reds and blues like Creepshow.

"But the movie is a blast. It’s absolutely over the top, and while it has real slow spots (like every single legit exploitation movie) by the end it is so crazy - Abbie goes on a pointless killing spree in the ICU during a chase - that you’ll be clapping and hollering, just like a grindhouse crowd in 1974. This is definitely a film to watch with a crowd (or at least some friends; the 3D is so useless that seeing it at home will make no difference. Also, it’s only playing in a handful of theaters), and it’s definitely a movie that could have a future as a midnight staple."

Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
"While the film might have been a guilty pleasure had it been made by the likes of Brian DePalma or Larry Cohen -- not to mention Abel Ferrara, whose similarly themed Ms. 45 is a classic of the genre -- director Doug Aarniokoski and co-screenwriter David Loughery fail to infuse the overly familiar elements with the necessary dark humor."

Ed Gonzalez, Slant
"No sense of moral complication arises from the elaborate and conspicuously far-from-evidence-free bloodbaths that Abby sets into motion against her pussy-blockers. Rather than capture truly pained souls tangled in exuberant horror tropes, the filmmakers settle for retrograde anguish and warmed-over artistry. This isn't idea-rich trash like Passion, a fizzy symphony of terror that commented on personality as mediated by image recording. Capturing evidence of Danni's accidentally cheating ways doesn't complicate Abby, only reveals her to be cut from the same crazy quilt as your garden-variety movie psychopath. Of course, that Nurse 3D suggests a worst-case-scenario gene splice of Orphan and Side Effects, which is to say it's exactly the film that Brian De Palma's naysayers think they see whenever they patronize one of the auteur's works, it at least succeeds in proving the adage that one man's trash is another's treasure."

Jason Shawhan, Nashville Scene
"Director/cowriter Douglas Aarniokoski has a gift for stylish sleaze. There’s one sequence involving a pas de deux on a spiral staircase that has all the elegance of Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill museum pursuit — and in 3D, it’s magnificent. There are also moments that flail about and thud against the walls of cheap studios. You never really know what exactly is going to happen visually, which certainly makes Nurse a different kind of suspense film."

Ryan Turek, Shock Till You Drop
"De La Huerta’s Abby Russell is a nurse by day and a man-eater by night until she meets Katrina Bowden’s Danni, who she develops an unhealthy relationship with – one that involves bad decisions, a three-way, photographs and blackmail. When Danni ultimately rejects Abby’s advances, the story takes a De Palma-esque turn and Abby begins to set Danni up for a string of murders."


Posted by Geoff at 12:41 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 5:19 PM CST
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