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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
    English, English - Hearing Impaired
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Featurette - Love or Murder

Body of Evidence

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 97 mins . R . PAL


Rebecca Carlson (Madonna) is arrested and charged with murdering her much older lover. She is accused of killing him through their turbulent lovemaking, causing his already frail heart to give in. This would mean it is possible to be bonked to death, then? Her lawyer is Frank Dulaney (Willem Defoe) who, during the course of the trial, becomes infatuated with her. Not totally convinced as to whether she is innocent or not, he is not only drawn to her but also her sadistic style of lovemaking. Robert Garrett (Joe Mantegna) is the prosecutor who sets about proving Rebecca's guilt. He states that she has used her body as a weapon to get what she wanted - a rather large inheritance. Joanne Brastow (Anne Archer) is the dead man's secretary who also hates the accused and wants to see her behind bars.

"It's not a crime to be a great lay!"

Following quickly on from the success of Basic Instinct there were a few films released following a similar theme. The problem with Body of Evidence is in its similarity to Basic Instinct. It is not an exact copy, but take out the Fatal Attraction and Disclosure elements, throw in Sharon Stone and an ice pick and it would be hard to tell the difference. Quite simply, this film seems to purely be a vehicle to further the acting career of Madonna. Now before all the Madonna fans get on my back, I am a fan and believe she is one of the most influential female singers in history, but when it comes to acting, her only success in my opinion has been Desperately Seeking Susan. This is by no means her worst performance and this is not the worst film ever made. Willem Defoe, Joe Mantegna and Anne Archer are all respected actors and they do a reasonable job here, apart from Archer who is not at her best. There is also the fact that this film was produced by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by German Uli Edel after his hit film Last Exit to Brooklyn, but it fails on so many levels, originality being the most important one.

There are some nice twists and turns throughout the film, but again, nothing original. Hormone affected males should get great pleasure from the copious amounts of nudity, but after a while it's a case of "oh, they're bonking again - yawn". The continuous use of filters on Madonna, attempting to make her appear like a movie star from the silver screen era look very forced and this effect is nothing more than annoying. What it boils down to in the end is a choice, if you have seen Basic Instinct and really enjoyed it, rent it again and skip this one. If you have never seen Basic Instinct, think Madonna can act and havenít yet seen enough of her naked, then give this one a look.

For the majority of film lovers out there, this is not the worst film ever made, itís not even the worst film Madonna has made and some may get great pleasure from picking faults along the way as I did. For such viewers, here are a couple of continuity errors to get you started. In one scene Madonna rips the shirt off Defoe, and a close-up is shown from the chest up with no shirt. The next scene sees him advancing towards her with his shirt back on. Another gem is when a woman in the bathroom confronts Madonna. The woman raises her right hand to slap Madonna and then hits her with the left. Yes, I know these are minor faults, but why not make this a fun experience? The final word on this film, watch the trailer first and if you still decide to go through with a full viewing, donít come crying to me!


Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 16x9 enhanced, there is little to find fault with in this transfer. Picture is sharp throughout taking into account those dreaded filters used on Madonna and colours are reasonably true. Detail is good, as are blacks, and aliasing only rears its head on a few occasions. There are a few film artefacts in the form of white flecks, but these generally skip by without notice. There is a choice of subtitles, English and English for the Hearing Impaired and both are very good and true to what is said on screen.


Audio supplied is a solitary Dolby Digital 2.0 surround mix and it is more than adequate. Being a dialogue driven film, the surrounds are only really called into action to emphasise the music score and for occasional directional effect. There are no problems with audio synch and dialogue is clear at all times. Overall the audio is not of demonstration quality, but it really doesnít need to be.


There are two extras with this release, a Theatrical Trailer and a Featurette called Love or Murder?. The trailer runs for 1:54 and is not as good in quality as the main feature, but it does manage to make the film look good to those who havenít seen it. The featurette should really be classed as a promo, it does nothing but sell the film throughout and contains comments from the main actors and crew. With a running time of only 5:40, this is presented in full frame and offers nothing new, much like the film really.


If you havenít got the picture by now, here it is in good old English - Danger, danger! This film is simply a collection of a few others put together and recast. Avoid it if possible, but if you enjoy sadism or masochism as the main characters seem to, then you will enjoy this as the pain is endless. This film is R rated, which is a real shame as I feel the only audience that will get any pleasure from this is teen males.

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      And I quote...
    "Striking a pose and showing more flesh than usual are the only things fans of Madonna will enjoy about this film!"
    - Adrian Turvey
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