Special Effects

1984

Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller

6
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 29%
IMDb Rating 5.4 10 514

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 24,543 times
May 01, 2017 at 12:07 PM

Director

Cast

Eric Bogosian as Neville
720p 1080p
749.96 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 4 / 11
1.58 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 8 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Scarecrow-88 8 / 10

Special Effects

Zoë Lund stars in dual roles, her first being a wannabe star, Mary Jane, a woman who ran out on her husband and son for a life as an actress..her dream is snuffed out(pun intended)when she has the misfortune of showing up at the massive art deco home of failed director, Christopher Neville(Eric Bogosion), whose decorum has a strange emphasis on flowers. Neville, reacting to Mary Jane's insulting in a moment of furious anger, strangles her when she ridicules his recent firing from a big budget Hollywood movie, after becoming upset that he has a camera hidden behind a mirror to film them having sex. Keefe Waterman(Brad Rijn)is the third party in this situation, Mary Jean's husband, who had come to New York City to take her home, even if it was against her will. Leaving MJ's dead cleaned body in Keefe's station wagon on Coney Island, Neville has just gotten away with the perfect murder. Even worse, Keefe is arrested for MJ's murder when there were witnesses seeing the disgruntled husband forcing her into the station wagon to go to her apartment to get some things. Neville decides, after realizing he had recorded the murder on film, to shoot a biography on MJ's life, with plans to implicate Keefe by getting him out on bail and in the movie! Kevin O'Conner is Detective Phillip Delroy, the cop on MJ's case, who is included as an adviser on the film! It's a way for Neville(a clever, calculating, cold-blooded bastard)to seduce Delroy by having him part of the "Hollywood process" and soon another will become enamored in the title role, a feminist named Andrea(Zoë Lund's second role)Keefe discovers at Salvation Army. Andrea loses her own identity as she immerses herself in the role of MJ, having a hard time overcoming the allure of being part of this movie. When we see Neville strangle a blackmailer with film(that tears into the victim's throat), we know he's not playing for keeps. When Keefe ruins the snuff footage, Neville has plans to stage the scene again, this time Andrea's life is in danger.

Another one of those great Larry Cohen oddities, I think he had Marilyn Monroe in mind as inspiration for the roles of Andrea and Mary Jean. It's interesting, I was thinking about actors/actresses who spend a lifetime portraying other people, and having a hard time determining where the character ends and real person begins. I think that is what really spoke to me as I was watching SPECIAL EFFECTS. I think the draw of Hollywood is what Cohen uses most in his satiric(albeit a dark one)script for the movie. Kudos to Zoë Lund for portraying two distinct personalities, Mary Jean, selfish and self-absorbed, yearning for success, and willing to bed Neville in order to do so, & Andrea, a vocal, blunt, honest woman who sees through the director's bullcrap, often calling him out for the phony that he is(as she puts it, he's always working a routine, never authentic in anything he does), but not denying the thrill of being in his film. I think Cohen establishes in the opening dialogue that Neville was destined to commit murder, describing Zapruder as his most favorite director because he caught a real murder on film. Cohen makes sure to incorporate the title within his script as Neville is notorious for blowing a budget primarily on special effects, obviously wanting to make his pictures as authentic as film will allow. Unusual synth score and, as typical for a Cohen production, good use of New York locations. I personally found SPECIAL EFFECTS a fascinating film(not average at all, although the ending where Neville finally gets his comeuppance, is kind of a cop out)with layers, and was entranced by Zoë Lund..there's just something about her that holds me in a trance, I'm not sure what it is about her. The final scene, where Andrea makes a decision to "adopt a new personality", is quite intriguing, I think..resisting Keefe's desire for her to be Mary Jean, instead of who she really is, there's a subtext regarding "playing the role" which I found compelling.

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) 7 / 10

Could have been better.

Eric Bogosian of "Talk Radio" fame stars as Chris Neville, a hotshot young filmmaker. His career is going downhill fast, so he decides to try something unusual. He films himself murdering aspiring starlet Mary Jean (the late Zoe Lund of "Ms. 45" cult stardom), then proceeds to make a movie telling Mary Jeans' sad life. Swept into the filmmaking process are Mary Jeans' husband Keefe (Brad Rijn, "Smithereens"), and the detective (Kevin O'Connor, "Let's Scare Jessica to Death") investigating the case; the detective quickly gets stars in his eyes. Neville actually finds a young woman who's a dead ringer for the murdered actress, also played by Lund.

There is a good idea here, about satirizing the entire movie-making business, and showing what happens as real life and reel life blend together. It's written and directed by low budget movie icon Larry Cohen, so you know that he will come up with some interesting material, and movie moments. (It IS intriguing to think what a filmmaker of Brian De Palmas' sensibilities could have done with this!) It's a good blend of art and trash, with a little bit of sex and shots of the beautiful Lund baring her body. It's also a marvel of art direction: dig that garish studio and townhouse in which Neville does his dirty work. Perhaps the most entertainment value arises out of O'Connor enjoying his "technical adviser" capacity and becoming fixated on receiving the appropriate credits. Given that Neville is such a smarmy character, you watch and keep waiting for him to get his just desserts. Michael Minard supplies a fun electronic score that unfortunately is used a little too much.

The performances are fine. Lund has a field day in her dual roles. Bogosian is superb as the creepy director. Rijn, O'Connor, Bill Oland, H. Richard Greene ('Mad Men'), and Steven Pudenz offer fine support.

The most striking image of all: Neville standing on a floor completely covered with headshots. (Among those he thumbs through is one of Dustin Hoffman as "Dorothy Michaels" in "Tootsie".)

Seven out of 10.

Reviewed by Woodyanders ([email protected]) 8 / 10

A very dark, devious and disturbing thriller

Arrogant and unscrupulous down-on-his-luck faded former big shot director Chris Neville (an excellent live-wire performance by Eric Bogosian) films himself murdering naive aspiring actress Andrea Wilcox (the gorgeous Zoe Tamerlis of "Ms. 45" fame). Neville decides to make a movie around the snuff footage and hires sassy lookalike Elaine (also played by Tamerlis) to portray Andrea in the picture. Neville even convinces Andrea's earnest, clean-cut hick husband Keefe Waterman (likable Brad Rjin) to be himself in the life and persuades pesky, hard-nosed Detective Philip Delroy (a fine turn by Kevin O'Connor) to serve as a technical adviser. Writer/director Larry Cohen, taking a break from his usual monster horror affairs like "Q" and "The Stuff," expertly crafts a deliciously twisted and absorbing thriller which unfolds at a gradual, yet hypnotic pace, offers a fascinatingly cynical inside look at the film-making process, maintains a properly bleak and eerie tone throughout, and builds a reasonable amount of tension as it culminates in one doozy of a startling double whammy surprise conclusion. Cohen gets a lot of intriguing millage out of distorting reality and astutely explores such weighty themes as the dangerously seductive allure of cinema, the manipulation of the truth, and American culture's obsession with making stars out of nobodies. The acting is uniformly sturdy and impressive, with Tamerlis a particular stand-out in a demanding dual role. As a tasty added bonus, Tamerlis bares her beautiful body a few times. Paul Glickman's glossy, glittering cinematography, Michael Minard's shivery, flesh-crawling synthesizer score, and the gritty New York City locations all further enhance the overall sound quality of this spooky, unsettling, and underrated little pip.

Read more IMDb reviews

1 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment