Blu-ray Review: Death Becomes Her (Scream Factory) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Death Becomes Her: Collector’s Edition

Studio: Scream Factory

Apr 26, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

In the late 1970s, aspiring novelist Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn) loses her fiancé, Ernest, to her longtime frenemy, actress Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep.) Fourteen years later, Madeline’s career and her marriage to Ernest (Bruce Willis) are on the rocks, yet Helen is more successful and younger-looking than ever. Jealous of Helen’s beauty, Madeline visits a mysterious “doctor” (Isabella Rosellini) who gives her a suspicious potion which she promises will rejuvenate her youth and preserve her body—no matter what happens to it. Little does Madeline know that her husband has gotten back together with his ex, and they’re busy plotting her murder…

Released in 1992, Death Becomes Her was an odd, career-bridging film for Robert Zemeckis, landing directly between the wildly successful Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Back to the Future trilogy and his 1994 Oscar winner, Forrest Gump. A campy moral tale with twisted, graveyard humor and envelope-pushing special effects, Death Becomes Her plays like a feature-length episode of Tales from the Crypt. (Perhaps appropriately, as Zemeckis was serving as one of the TV series’ executive producers at the time.) There’s a lot of fun in watching the two female leads try to tear each other apart (especially when neither woman is actually able to die), but it’s Bruce Willis as the meek, henpecked man who comes between the two who supplies the film’s funniest lines and reactions.

The movie was considered groundbreaking at the time for its special effects, including CG-assisted scenes where Meryl Streep’s head sits backwards on her body and Goldie Hawn has a gigantic, see-through hole blown through her gut. Nowadays these effects seem quaint, but the movie is still good fun. Scream Factory have put together a nice-looking Blu-ray edition which includes a new Making Of documentary which talks about the project’s genesis and its SFX work, alongside a vintage promotional reel, trailer, and photo gallery. All in all, it’s a good excuse to revisit the movie (or get around to checking it out for the very first time.)


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