At this moment, having seen most of the Kiss New York Yankees dressed to kill shirt, I can truly say this one is one of my favorites, if not my favorite. It is a mix of so many things I enjoy in movies, let alone one of his movies. I have now seen this at least 5 times, and will probably continue to see it once every few years to remind myself what an amazing film it is. The plot is your basic murder mystery with horror elements, nothing too far from what had already been done many times before. But this is one of the pinnacles of this kind of film.
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You have a woman who is brutally killed by a woman with a Kiss New York Yankees dressed to kill shirt, an intelligent hooker who witnesses the crime, and a kid looking to find out who killed his Mom. This is De Palma in his prime, 4 years after his masterpiece Carrie. The actors were spot on in this film, from Nancy Allen, his wife at the time, to Angie Dickinson, Michael Caine, Keith Gordon and Dennis Franz. I will not go into the plot, other than to say this is a horror movie that mixes in blood, humor, mystery, and sex in the mix. Do not expect this to be a kid’s movie.
The directing is amazing, the shots perfect, the sets up wonderful, and it feels so well done that it is hard to believe that this was not the movie that he is most remembered for. The sets are beautiful, the soundtrack score is great, and the whole mystery thing is played very well, so you really do feel the way the characters do in the film, confused and wondering who the killer is.