Dressed to Kill review

Arrow fashions a killer Blu-ray release out of Brian De Palma's stylish erotic thriller

Brian De Palma's 1980 thriller is the kind of utterly bonkers cinematic confection that only a truly gifted filmmaker could actually get away with. Angie Dickinson stars as a frustrated housewife whose casual afternoon liaison with a stranger ends in murder. What follows is a deranged spiral into sex, death and transgender issues, which mixes together the very best of Hitchcock and '70s Italian slashers to outrageous effect.

Picture: Derived from a 35mm interpositive and transferred to hi-def at the Post Group in Hollywood, this appears to be the same source material that MGM used for its 2011 US Blu-ray release. Not that this should give anyone cause for concern, as it's a very sympathetic treatment of the film.

The source print itself is in good shape, bright and colourful with only very infrequent marks and sparkles. The slight haziness the AVC 2.39:1 1080p image exhibits appears native to the source material. While this means that it isn't always the sharpest-looking film of this vintage – and therefore sometimes lacks a little refinement in its detailing – the grain structure isn't affected in any way.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Not only does this disc include the DTS-HD MA 5.1 remix that MGM produced for its US Blu-ray, but also an LPCM 2.0 presentation of the original mono track. Both are technically sound, with clear dialogue and excellent music presentation. The 5.1 mix obviously proves to be a more immersive affair with its repositioning of ambient audio cues into the surround speakers, but purists will want to stick with the source-accurate dual mono alternative.
Audio rating: 3.5/5

Extras: Carried over from the US release are a 44-minute Making of…; a comparison of the unrated, R-rated and TV cuts; a 10-min featurette about how the film was censored; a gallery of behind-the-scenes photos; and the trailer. On top of these you get lengthy new interviews with producer George Litto and actors Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen and Keith Gordon taken from Carlotta Films' French Blu-ray. The accompanying booklet includes an essay on the film by critic Maitland McDonagh and an interview with poster designer Stephen Sayadian.
Extra rating: 4/5

We say: Arrow Video does De Palma's controversial erotic thriller proud with this uncut, feature-packed Blu-ray outing

Dressed to Kill, Arrow Video, Region B BD, £20 Approx