Special Effects - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Special Effects Reviews

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May 31, 2017
For m this was an interesting look at mid-'80s NYC, following around a director who kills a woman in his own apartment, then eventually contrives to get her husband (under suspicion for the murder!) to reenact the murder on camera for the film that he's working on. It's an interesting watch, with Eric Bogosian playing things pretty fast and loose just to see what he can get away with, and I absolutely loved his apartment.

Worth a look if you have the chance.
December 27, 2016
Interesting, but sleazy picture. The lead actress is so horrible and almost completely torpedoes the whole movie, but listening to Cohen's ideas on the picture, gives me a different appreciation for the whole thing.
½ June 9, 2015
just because your movie is about trash doesn't mean you can escape being trashy all the time. Eric Bogosian goes a ways to making this watchable. But if I want a filmmaker satirizing his own genre, I'll stick with De Palma and Body Double, or even the opening/ending of Blow Out.
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2015
Have you ever noticed that there is always one guy who ruins the topless photo shoot for everyone else? In this case, it is Keefe(Brad Rijn) who tries dragging his wife Andrea(Zoe Tamerlis) back home to Oklahoma from New York. She will have none of it, escaping out the bathroom window before seeking out disgraced film director Chris Neville(Eric Bogosian). However, she realizes too late what he intends his next project to be...

Wearing its low budget proudly on its sleeve(so much so, that some of the dialogue seemed to be fading out at times), "Special Effects" is a movie that wants to have its exploitation and complain about it, too. That it works as well as it does is down to Eric Bogosian's natural intensity. In this case, he puts it to good use playing a director who cannot tell reality from make-believe anymore. With a backdrop of a gloriously sleazy and tawdry 1980's New York City and a loft that is alternately tacky and awesome, this movie could also be seen as a warning against the glamour of filmmaking.
½ October 27, 2012
An aspiring actress is killed by a director who films the act so he can use the footage to make his new film look authentic after his last one bombed and ran way over budget on f/x. Decent but Larry Cohen has done better.
July 16, 2012

The ending was a bit of a let down, other then that, I really enjoyed this dark film.
August 3, 2011
one of larry cohen's best films!
½ February 4, 2011
B-movie maestro Larry Cohen directs this tale of a psychotic director who murders an actress and then proceeds to cast a movie about her murder starring her widower husband as the suspected killer. Special Effects wants to cleverly satirize horror and thriller directors, but its cleverness ultimately wears thin and can't be supported by a constant stream of nudity and weak murder scenes.
½ November 30, 2010
Very quirky social commentary horror. Kinda hit or miss but gets by on the charm of the concept and a few very memorable scenes. A lot of the jokes/reference will only appeal to filmmakers or the exceptionally film literate.
½ November 2, 2010
I really think Larry Cohen is very underrated. He's done some really cool movies like It's Alive and God Told Me To. While this isn't one of his best, it does have an interesting story. Had he a better cast, though I liked Eric Bogosian, it could have been really good.
October 5, 2010
Film within a film has struggling Director resorting to a snuff film by secretly filming a murder and building a film around it. I've always enjoyed Larry Cohen's sly wit, which is especially present in the script-writing homicide investigator here.
½ September 6, 2010
Special Effects is another overlooked Larry Cohen film that probably deserves a lot more credit then it gets. This B-movie has some absolutely wild production design and features a strong performance by Eric Bogosian, as a director whom decides to make a movie about a murder which he himself committed. The camera work is pretty great and its really full of signature Cohen type moments. Pretty good stuff.
½ March 8, 2010
An aspiring actress is killed by a director who films the act so he can use the footage to make his new film look authentic after his last one bombed and ran way over budget on f/x. Decent but Larry Cohen has done better.
February 18, 2010
Special Effects is the story of a runaway wife Zoe Lund (infamous writer/actress who's notorious for her role in Ms. 45 and her writing of Bad Lieutenant!) whose an actress-wannabe in New York City trying to make it big until husband Brad Rijn tracks her down and forces her to watch videos of their beautiful son. Eager to get away, she concocts a story of being in the next Chris Neville film. Neville (played nicely by Eric Bogosian) is a once major director who has completely bombed and fled to NYC in an attempt to make his comeback film. Lund talks her way into Neville's house, then bed until she catches him trying to film their sexual escapade, to which she verbally tears him apart, which ends in her murder. He covers it up and the husband gets pinned for it, but Neville is so fascinated that he wants to make a movie surrounding the death, which he talks the husband into starring in alongside his wife's doppelganger (also played by Lund). The two spark up a relationship despite Bogosian's evil intentions. The end result of this movie has genuinely left me confused. The story is fantastic and iconic writer/director Larry Cohen (It's Alive franchise, Phone Booth, etc) does an exceptional job making this film, but why was it just ok? I'm thinking that maybe the entire cast, save for Bogosian and Lund's second character were overall intolerable. Despite the story have many textured layers to it, there are a lot of choppy and awkward parts that don't play out well throughout. This may be one of those films that requires multiple viewings to get an actual appreciation and understanding for. A great incite into the movie business. Not bad, but better served being viewed more than once to fully grasp.
½ October 2, 2008
Some interesting twists in a Hitchcock vein. Just enough kinky sex for Hitchcock too I might add.
½ March 23, 2008
Is this a porno? Seriously...it looks worse than one.
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