Plot: What’s it about?
A prominent and very wealthy businessman has turned up dead, but his death didn’t happen due to natural causes. His corpse was discovered stark naked, handcuffed to the bed, and as lifeless as a dead person can be. A video tape was being made of what happened, as a beautiful female and he engaged in some sexual hijinks. But when his heart condition kicked in, he was overwhelmed by the situation and in short order, keeled off and left behind a ton of cash and other holdings. After some further tests, a large amount of cocaine was discovered in his system, the sure reason his heart collapsed. As it turns out, his lover on that night was named in his will and is to gain eight million dollars, leaving her as a prime suspect. The woman is Rebecca Carlson (Madonna), a gorgeous and highly sexual creature with intense seductive charms, the kind that can bend men to her will and then some. This is even evident when she tries to seduce her own lawyer Frank Dulaney (Willem Dafoe), which draws him into a world of sexual obsession and self doubt. Is Rebecca a murderer, or simply a woman who knows what she wants?
Yes, the notorious sex shocker and bad movie Body of Evidence has reached DVD, in uncensored form, no less. MGM’s release sports both the unrated and R rated editions of the movie, each found on a different side of the disc. I commend this, as all to often we’re stuck with just the theatrical cuts of controversial pictures, even though it is common knowledge an unrated edition looms out there somewhere. In truth, Body of Evidence plays like one of those late night Cinemax softcore thrillers, but it has an impressive cast, if is softcore porn had become some kind of arthouse phenomenon. I mean, I think we all expect to see Madonna in roles where she just gets naked, but what about Julianne Moore, Joe Mantegna, Anne Archer, and Willem Dafoe? That’s a solid cast and while they’re all but wasted in this movie, the presence of such talent makes it seem as though late night cable porn has smashed into the mainstream realm, which is a fun thought. The writing is weak, but in a movie like this one, you don’t mind and it just adds to the laughs, which Body of Evidence supplies in large doses. I do think the sex scenes offer some good entertainment, but thanks to the poor chemistry involved, eroticism is never realized. But for fans of bad movies or Madonna addicts, Body of Evidence is more than worth a rental.
After immense success as a pop star, Madonna decided music wasn’t enough and tried to break into motion pictures. Aside from a couple smaller, enjoyable roles, Madonna has failed in miserable form to become a movie star, with flop after flop on her resume. Even with her high profile and large fanbase, she was unable to strike it hot at the box office, though critics are usually just as cold toward her pictures. In this case, at least she did what we all knew she was best at, but sadly for her, even her naked body couldn’t entice folks to file into theaters. She did snag a big paycheck, but she didn’t turn in a good performance and while she looks good, even that’s not enough to keep Body of Evidence interesting. Other films with Madonna include The Next Best Thing, Evita, Shanghai Surprise, Dick Tracy, and of course Madonna: Truth or Dare. The cast also includes Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights, The Lost World: Jurassic Park), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man, American Psycho), and Joe Mantegna (Eye for an Eye, Airheads).
Video: How does it look?
Body of Evidence is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. I found this to be a good, solid visual effort, but it wasn’t as impressive as I expected. The print has more nicks and debris than a film of this vintage should, while grain is also an issue, though it never becomes too serious. The contrast suffers a little due to the grain, so black levels aren’t quite as refined as they should be, but they’re acceptable. I had no complaints with the colors however, as hues were rich and smooth from start to finish. I guess I just expected a cleaner, more polished visual effort, but Body of Evidence still looks good here.
Audio: How does it sound?
A 2.0 surround option is found here and while it is solid, this material never pushes it beyond the basics. Then again, when a movie revolves around hilarious sex scenes, you don’t need much dynamic presence. The music makes good use of the speakers, but sound effects remain in the front channels and in truth, they don’t need to be elsewhere in this case. The dialogue is crystal clear and never falters in the slightest, so every last cheese loaded line comes through in top form, as if we’d have it any other way. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, in case you’ll need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a brief behind the scenes featurette, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.