It’s been a long while since Hitchcock’s heir apparent, Brian De Palma, has put something truly terrifying on celluloid (and The Black Dahlia, regardless of how brutal it was, doesn’t qualify. Ugh!). For the most part, De Palma’s ventures over the last 15 years within Tinseltown have been somewhat lackluster, in my opinion, even though Snake Eyes showed a few moments of technical Rashomon brilliance. Perhaps working within the restraints of a studio picture is strangling the life out of De Palma’s creativity.
I don’t know whether or not it’s been studio politics or De Palma simply hasn’t been the right director for the material he’s been handed, but either way you look at it, I don’t think this master of suspense has put anything on screen worthwhile since Carlito’s Way – and that was back in 1993, which is a shame because I’m a great admirer of De Palma’s; Blow Out is an absolutely underrated masterpiece (something Quentin Tarantino lifted the music from for Death Proof), which was criminally ignored at the time of it’s theatrical release, and Travolta’s performance in it was definitely Oscar-worthy. Scarface was a remake superior to its source material, and, like it or not, has completely shaped the current state of so-called gangsta rap.
Hopefully, this new deal De Palma’s made to direct The Boston Stranglers, an adaptation of Susan Kelly’s non-fiction novel The Boston Stranglers: The Public Conviction of Albert DeSalvo and the True Story of Eleven Shocking Murders, will restore him to his former glory. The story will, of course, tell the tale of the early-sixties Beantown stranglings and their debatable resolution.
De Palma’s ex-wife and producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Armageddon) will produce via her Valhalla Motion Pictures banner.
No word on any stars at this point, but Alan Rosen (Head of the Class) is penning the script.
Hopefully, De Palma will find the material appropriate to his strengths and bestow us with another classic. It’s been way too long, Brian…