Star 80 | Chicago Reader

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Bob Fosse clearly believes he has tumbled across something of deep significance in the story of murdered Playmate Dorothy Stratten, but when push comes to shove, he has no idea what it is—and the film quickly degenerates into a hypocritically artsy interpretation of the standard slasher formula. The film exudes an incredible, unmotivated nastiness and contempt toward those characters who are not in a position to sue (those who are dead or have, presumably, signed releases), while sucking up to those who are (Hugh Hefner and a film director based on an uncooperative Peter Bogdanovich). And since Mariel Hemingway's Stratten is conceived, for sentimental reasons, as an innocent blank, the only dramatizable figure remaining is her husband and eventual killer, Paul Snider (Eric Roberts)—a decision that immediately promotes this psycho as the center of audience identification. The TV-movie boys had the right idea when they cast Jamie Lee Curtis in the Stratten part—this really is Halloween IV.

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