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Sisters – 1973
aka Blood Sisters
Brian De Palma

Brian De Palma
Louisa Rose

Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt
Charles Durning, Olympia Dukakis, Bill Finley


Review by Wayne Malin

De Palma’s first horror film (I believe),

Reporter Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt) witnesses a brutal murder in an apartment across from her. The murderess is Dominiqie Breton (Margot Kidder) who has a twin sister Danielle (also Kidder). Danielle is sweet and kind, Dominique is a psychopath. Danielle and her creepy ex-husband Emil (Bill Finley) cover up the killing but Grace is determined to find the body.

Creepy, violent, very bloody (the first murder is still shocking even by today’s standards) and just great. Kidder and Charles Durning (as a detective) give great performances. Salt and Finley are just OK. De Palma’s direction is fantastic (as always)–some of the sequences (especially the one employing a split screen) are incredible. Also Bernard Herrmann’s score is among one of the best of his career. In terms of horror movie scores, it’s right up there with “Psycho” and “Halloween”.

A good, gory, satisfying film…one of De Palma’s best. Look for Olympia Dukakis as a bakery shop worker.

Review by Zetes

Sisters (1973)

Bizarre but fantastic homage/parody/pastiche of Hitchcock,

I generally think of Brian DePalma as a hack, so I came into Sisters very suspicious. I knew of its label as an “homage” to Hitchcock’s films, and, in the back of my mind, my goal was to pronounce it a cheap rip-off of them. But it was immediately interesting to me. I love the way it begins, and I liked every minute up until the first major event of the film. Then enters the character of Grace Collier, an editorial writer who thinks she sees a murder in an apartment across the way from her. I thought the plot got a little clunky at this point, but nearer the end I realized that I just missed where DePalma was going. This isn’t simply an homage to Hitchcock. There are several direct homages to his films, especially from Psycho, Rear Window, and Marnie. But it took me a long time to realize that this wasn’t meant as a thriller or a drama, which is what I was assuming. This is a comedy, a parody. It’s actually quite a humorous movie once you understand that. Amazingly, it also works as a suspense film. I was gritting my teeth during the climactic sequence. Now I wonder if Hitchcock himself ever saw this film and, if so, what he thought of it. 9/10.

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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