Girl Meets Freak describes itself as "a horror blog where an expert and a newbie discuss films from the canon." The theme of the blog for April is "perverted killers," which of course led to a discussion of Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill. And a very lively discussion it is. Here are some excerpts (but definitely check out the entire blog discussion)...
Sean: The whole concept behind that first shower scene is that this is what Kate is imagining while Mike is ineptly servicing her. I’m wondering if the fantasy scene here (and the other female fantasies articulated throughout the movie, like how Liz talks about sex) work as actual women’s fantasies, or are they just totally straight male ideas of what a “kinky” woman might imagine?
Kristine: I don’t feel comfortable or qualified to speak for all ladies, but I think intruder fantasies are pretty common. I wanted to be into Kate as a sexually adventurous and liberated woman, but I have to say that I found her extremely vocal and almost instantaneous orgasm a little over-the-top and frantic.
Sean: In the cab?
Kristine: Yeah. That seemed like a straight male fantasy of how a horny, kinky woman would respond to “a man’s touch.” I did think the preceding scnee, with Kate cruising for anonymous sex in the museum, was awesome and convincing...
Sean: I wanted to ask if the painting she was looking at is a recognizable or iconic piece?
Kristine: Yes! That’s an Alex Katz painting she is sitting in front of, considering.
Sean: Tell me about it. It reminded me of those 1930s/’40s soap opera comic strips like Mary Worth or Rex Morgan, M.D.
Kristine: I don’t know that particular piece, but I knew it was Katz right away. He has a very recognizable style. Lots of portraits, especially of women. I think he is known for images of quiet angst. Like, a beautiful couple by a beautiful pool in a perfect L.A. setting, but instead of feeling tranquil and aspirational, it seems to reek of alienation. That is my take, anyway. That painting speaks to my Theory No. 1. However brief, there are several points in the movie where two women survey each other, and each time it seems very meaningful and poignant, though I can’t say I understand what exactly is supposed to be conveyed each time. Kate and lady in Katz portrait is one of the first instances of this female-on-female meaningful gaze of assessment.
Sean: I didn’t catch these lady moments of recognition, other than Liz thanking the lady cop who shot Elliott at the very end. What other ones were there?
Kristine: See, I would exclude that moment from the tally (but I also thought the movie totally fell to pieces at the end). The moments I am talking about are: Kate + Katz portrait, Kate + unfortunate-looking little girl in elevator, and Kate + Liz when the elevator doors open. Significantly, Bobbi is always wearing sunglasses, so that direct eye-to-eye contact is impossible...
The Girl’s Rating: Sleazesterpiece! AND Mucho racisto AND Neo-Hitchcockian gorgeousness AND Poses great questions, fumbles the answers AND This movie IS the ‘80s.
The Freak’s Rating: Sleazesterpiece! AND Pop perfection