Re-Watch: Body of Evidence (1992)

Body of Evidence
Director: Uli Edel
Writer: Brad Mirman
Cast: Madonna, Willem Dafoe, Joe Mantegna, Anne Archer, Michael Forest, Julianne Moore, Frank Langella, Jürgen Prochnow
Seen on: 9.7.2018

When millionaire Andrew Marsh (Joe Mantegna) is found dead from a heart attack, handcuffed to his bed with a sex tape of him and his lover Rebecca (Madonna), suspicions immediately fall on her to have purposefully fucked him to death. When it’s discovered that she stands to inherit a lot of money from him, suspicions turn into criminal charges and Rebecca is arrested despite her protestations of innocence. Her lawyer Frank (Willem Dafoe) is very much drawn to her and even while he starts to investigate the case, the two start an affair.

Body of Evidence is sensationalist crap. With a bit of a more feminist and less voyeuristic/fetishistic tendency, it could have gone in the direction of Gone Girl, but instead we got objectification and misogyny. It’s literally hateful.

Film Poster shwoing Madonna laying on a pillow, apparently naked.


It took me a while to realize that I had already seen this film. I must have still been a teenager but some of the sex scenes left quite an impression on me, particularly the one in the parking lot. But other than that, I didn’t really remember much about it. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have watched it again.

The cast do their best with what they’re given. Even Madonna – probably not the world’s greatest actress – isn’t all that bad. But with the script, nobody really stands a chance here to be more than tolerable.

Madonna in the film.

The script really is a catastrophe. It’s not just that the dialogues are pretty bad and the plot reaches the limits of human logic. It is soon clear that the entire set-up is just an excuse (and not a very good one) to first show Madonna as a naked domina in the male-gaziest way possible. After the film is done objectifying her and turning her into wank material for dudes who couldn’t possibly admit that they might actually be into BDSM for real, it then goes on to show just what it makes of women like Rebecca: evil women, temptresses, witches playing with innocent men can’t be suffered to live.

The entire thing drips with so much misogyny that it is really astounding. I didn’t expect much of the film, but it still managed to be worse than I thought it would be.

Willem Dafoe and Madonna in the film.

Summarizing: Don’t. Really. Just don’t.

2 thoughts on “Re-Watch: Body of Evidence (1992)

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