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Dressed to Kill [Special Edition] [DVD] [1980]

Release Date:08/28/2001
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This exceptional, budget-priced MGM special edition of Dressed to Kill should be used as a template for other DVD releases. Brian De Palma's controversial but beautifully made and honestly chilling homage to Psycho has been completely remastered and this edition comes with a bonanza of DVD extras, including the choice between De Palma's original cut and the theatrically released R-version of the movie. Shot in a gauzy style not unlike a surreal 1970s Penthouse pictorial, past attempts to bring the movie down to the small screen have met with disappointment, but the anamorphic widescreen transfer featured here is faultless. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is of an equally high caliber and shows off Pino Donaggio's wonderfully overripe score. While the DVD gets all the technical details right, it also features a number of worthy extras. The DVD includes a digital photo gallery and two "making of" featurettes, including an in-depth one at 45 minutes and a shorter one by future director Keith Gordon. The De Palma stereotype is that he has the emotional frigidity found in a Kubrick movie and these features bear that out. Another DVD bonus glibly compares scenes found in the X-, R-, and G-versions of the movie, while the film's feminist detractors are given equal time with "Slashing Dressed to Kill." The central murder in Dressed to Kill remains startlingly brutal decades after the movie's initial release but it should be noted that De Palma did it for the same reason that Hitchcock staged the murder in Psycho -- not to have viewers cheer on the murderer, but to have them on the edge of their seats praying that another murder won't occur.


Unrated version option

"The Making of Dressed to Kill" documentary including interviews with Brian De Palma, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Dennis Franz

Unrated, R-rated, and TV-rated comparison featurette

"Slashing Dressed to Kill" featurette

"An Appreciation by Keith Gordon" featurette

Animated Photogallery

Menu-based advertising gallery

Collectible booklet

Original theatrical trailer

English: 5.1 Surround and mono

French: mono

French, Spanish subtitles