Sisters is written and directed by the fantastic Brian De Palma (Scarface, Phantom Of The Paradise) and was first released in 1973. This is very early in his career and was in fact his first real success, but you can can already see the mark of greatness here.
It tells the story of Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt – Midnight Cowboy, Soap), a journalist who witnesses a brutal murder in the apartment opposite to her own. When she attempts to go to the police, they are disbelieving of her story due to an unfavourable article she published about them.
The victim in question is Phillip Wood (Lisle Wilson – The Incredible Melting Man, Cotton Comes To Harlem), who had met up with the owner of the apartment, Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder – Superman, The Amityville Horror) while taking part in a voyeuristic game show called “Peeping Toms”.
The presence of a man in the house attracts the ire of Danielle’s crazy previously conjoined twin, Dominique, who takes umbrage at the birthday cake Phillip has bought for them and stabs him brutally with the cake knife.
After the arrival of Danielle’s jealous husband, Emile (Bill Finley – Phantom Of The Paradise, The black Dahlia) who quite neatly and efficiently removes almost all of the evidence and then makes himself scarce, the police finally decide to investigate, but of course by then, it is far too late.
Knowing what she saw, and undeterred by the lack of evidence, Grace determines to find out what is really going on and hires a private investigator (Charles Durning – Tootsie, The Sting) to delve further into the case. However, it seems they will find out far more than they were bargaining for.
This film is truly exciting and genuinely quite scary in places. For influences, it draws heavily from Hitchcock, both Psycho and Rear Window. There is very clever use of split screen, to allow the viewer to see both sides of the story at once. There is also imaginative use of flashbacks, retro footage and hallucination sequences.
This dual format restoration includes plenty of special features, including a booklet and on the disc, a 47 minute featurette; What The Devil Hath Joined Together: A Visual Essay, which explores the production history and themes of the film, and The Brian De Palma Digest, a film by film guide to his career, recorded exclusively for Arrow.
Sisters is an excellent film, much enriched by all the new special features and definitely one to add to your collection, it will be a true revelation to Brian De Palma fans.
What the Devil has joined together let no man cut asunder.
Sisters is available to buy now on Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray.