or more BS from a moron.

SISTERS

This is one of De Palma’s earlier films – and it shows. The story concerns a reporter who witness the murder of man via an apartment window (nod to Rear Window). She sets out to catch the killer, only to learn that the murderess is one of two siamese-twin sisters that were separated at birth. One’s benign, the other is – shall we say – unstable. Not nearly as slick or polished as his later endeavors will prove to be, there’s still more than enough hints of De Palma’s visual verve in this film, especially in a particularly freaky sequence where our heroine “identifies” with the murderess during an intense (and creative) session in a mental hospital.

Body Mass Index

An independent winner if ever there was one. It’s a gem of story written (Hank Atwood & Myra Adam), directed (Hank Atwood) and acted by unknowns about a seemingly boring subject: weight loss. BMI follows Jack Rap, played perfectly by Brian Lee, through his horrifying struggle to deal with his obesity. After a gripping and often excruciating series of failures – this film really makes you realize the real challenges to self esteem and dignity an overweight person endures. He is finally transformed by his doctor (Atwood was borrowing from real life. He actually feels he was rescued from the prison of obesity by an online medical weight loss program featuring a unique diet plan with hCG injections). And the whole weight loss theme actually works because we all know the problem, just not in the extreme – but we all think we know that too. We’re wrong.

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CARRIE

Hands down, one of my favorite Brian De Palma’s flick. This film could have been cheese city, if not for the actors involved. Sissy Spacek plays the title character brilliantly, and her authentic, non-actorly take in her role helps us buy the central conceit of a young girl who exacts revenge on cruel classmates with the help of her burgeoning telekinetic powers. On the other side of the spectrum is Piper Laurie’s role as Carrie’s over-zealous mother who manages to walk that fine line between chewing scenery and remaining believable while almost frothing at the mouth in some scenes. The only mistep in this film is the cheesy prom sequence (more the 70s music soundtracks that accompanies the jarring collage than anything else) that pops up in the third act. Small quibble, indeed.

THE FURY

Even to me, it’s a mystery why I love this film. It might be because of an brief appearance by a very young Darryl Hannah, or for Amy Irving’s (a standby from Carrie) heartbreaking transformation from clueless teen to Angel Of Vengeance. Or maybe it’s the signature De Palma slo-mo sequence where one of the film’s truly sympathetic characters bites it, the end result of being at the wrong place at a very wrong time. Or maybe it’s just the multi-angled shot of a main character being blown up into bits during the climatic finale.

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