Synopsis: From the writer & director of ‘It’s Alive,’ Larry Cohen’s Special Effects casts a satirical eye on Hollywood, viewed through the prism of the horror film genre. When the fresh-faced Oklahoma country boy Keefe (Brad Rijn, Smithereens) comes looking for his wife Mary Jean (Zoe Tamerlis, Ms .45), a wannabe actress, he soon discovers the seamy side of Tinsel Town when Mary Jean is found dead and he’s the prime suspect.
With a few swipes at Hollywood archetypes (Eric Bogosian as Christopher Neville, a once-revered Wunderkind director; Zoe Tamerlis as Mary Jean look-alike, Elaine, a budding actress who isn’t beyond manipulating the situation for her own benefit), Special Effects offers chills, thrills, shrieks, and a few laughs along the way.
Written and directed by Larry Cohen, Special Effects also stars Kevin O’Connor (Let’s Scare Jessica to Death) and Richard Greene (TV’s Mad Men) in supporting roles.
REVIEW: ‘Special Effects’ is a wonderfully crafted suspense thriller from the dark mind of Larry Cohen. Eric Bogosian is exceptional in the film as the cunning film director, but Zoe Tamerlis truly stands out in her duel roles. The entire cast are performing at the top of their game in Cohen’s cult classic.
A lot of comparisons are made when talking about ‘Special Effects,’ but I honestly believe them to be a bit unfair. I watched the film with zero added baggage and I enjoyed it that much more for it. To compare Cohen’s film to Hitchcock or De Palma’s films is a disservice to a filmmaker that one may argue is paying homage in aspects, but never trying to emulate.
The Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of dark suspense thrillers, give ‘Special Effects’ a spin.
Jeremy Morrison – Staff Writer
Co-creator/host of the Acid Pop Cult Podcast, film reviewer, screenwriter, Jeremy has more than eight years experience in television and film production. His childhood fascination with the naked breasts featured in the “Friday the 13th” franchise prepared him for absolutely nothing in life. J-Mo lives by one motto: #wecantallbezacksnyder