Death Becomes Her

1992

Action / Comedy / Fantasy / Horror

110
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 55% · 56 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62% · 100K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.6/10 10 132872 132.9K

Top cast

Bruce Willis as Ernest Menville
Meryl Streep as Madeline Ashton
Goldie Hawn as Helen Sharp
Jonathan Silverman as Jay Norman
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
759.93 MB
1280*694
English 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
Seeds 12
1.57 GB
1920*1040
English 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
Seeds 58

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by blissey_s 7 / 10

Zany and Campy

And the award for the snarkiest woman in history goes to: Meryl Streep! This movie proves that Meryl knows how to play a snarky woman better than almost anyone else. In fact, 80% of this movie is Meryl and Goldie Hawn verbally abusing and emasculating their co-star Bruce Willis. Not a bad plot, honestly.

The other 20% of the film are special effects that stretch and disfigure human bodies in just about every configuration imaginable, the caveat being that the bodies are of people that are still alive and speaking. It sounds grotesque, and at times I was wincing, but overall it was pretty cool to see what they could accomplish.

I'd say that Meryl bitching is delightful at first, but verges on grating by the end. And once you've seen a couple variations of a disfigured body even that can get sort of redundant.

This is a campy horror flick, so I suppose the point was to make it as over-the-top as they could, and I think they managed to do that and then some. Going into this I thought, "oh, this is a standard story about two women fighting over a man! I've seen this type of thing before!". But really, the first thirty-some minutes feel like a complete separate movie from the remainder of it.

It quickly becomes apparent that what you thought this was going in isn't what this is at all. Actually, it's completely different and unexpected and the sheer weirdness of this flick earns it some points.

I was hoping for an alternate ending in which Ernest exposes the society of immortals to the public and a mass media witch hunt ensues, but the actual ending isn't that bad and works well too.

Reviewed by Tweetienator 7 / 10

Got Its Moments

Fun little flick - for sure Death Becomes Her is not made for everyone, but well, if that mix of macabre horror fantasy comedy and whatever hits you, you will be well entertained. On top, we get a fine cast. Recommended, if you like such movies as The Witches of Eastwick, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Dark Shadows and the like.

Reviewed by nycritic 8 / 10

Let the Cat-Fight Begin

If only Bette Davis and Joan Crawford could be alive today and see this! Two emasculating she-wolfs battling it out - they think - because they want one man, but really, it's all about ego and oneupmanship, and with two equally established actresses such as Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, both looking exceptionally beautiful in their mid-40s, DEATH BECOMES HER is a visual treat that throws back an unintentional but hilarious reference to the aforementioned divas who preceded them. Very tongue-in-cheek, and whoever saw (and read) the sustained repulsion Davis and Crawford sustained throughout their life, mirrored in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? will not be lost on the background reference.

A simple premise presides: Madeline Ashton (Streep), a fading B-movie actress, relegated to performing an awful musical based on SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, sets sight on renown surgeon Ernest Manville (Bruce Willis) whom Helen Sharp (Hawn) has taken to meet her as a test to prove he will still be hers after their meet. Needless to say, he drops his commitment to Helen, marries Madeline, and sends Helen into a spiraling self-destruct mode. Years later she becomes a bloated whale - a shell of her former self - living in total abandon, watching Madeline's movies obsessively, seething in hatred, until she is evicted from her apartment and has a brilliant idea while in a mental facility: she must eliminate Madeline.

Madeline, on the other end, is no less happy. A total, absolute bitch, she has reduced Ernest to blubber. She hates the way she looks at 50 and the way young girls preen their perky looks. Both live in marital hell. An invite to attend Helen's book party (on beauty) has her howling in laughter - beauty tips from a disgusting fattie? Please! - but when she sees that Helen is now a svelte redhead, she balks - and their reunion is one of dripping, beautiful venom, the highlight of the entire movie. Distraught, she seeks the advice of a mysterious woman, Lisle von Rhuman whom she was referred to earlier, and she gives her what seems an innocent potion to drink which will restore her looks. Meanwhile, Helen is planning to have Ernest dispose of Madeline and rekindling their botched affair. When Madeline returns home, she gets into a heated argument with Ernest and he pushes her down the stairs. She is dead.

Or is she? A marvelous setup that until this point in the story works, but one which later takes a left turn to be overcome by silly fight scenes and cartoonish special effects that recall Tim Burton circa 1987. The triangle of actors work absolutely perfectly here, Streep drips with venomous lines reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor's overwhelming performance as Martha in WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?; however, Hawn and Willis, while established as personalities more than actors of considerable range, fare better than Streep in that she is "expected" to play hers to perfection. Hawn on the other hand proves she's capable of very dark roles that suggest more than they give. Willis, stripped of his usual machismo, comes across as a broken man who throughout most of the film is emasculated but makes one crucial decision which saves him from an uncertain fate. Casting these three actors are cast against type works in this edgy comedy, and if anything, it's final act is its own weakness, as if the writers had somehow not known where to go with the inevitable, violent encounter between them but all in all, it's still very enjoyable.

Robert Zemeckis, though, makes one glaring mistake during one of the key scenes. When Streep rises from the ground, we see Willis in the foreground talking on the phone to Helen who wants to know if she is dead. We know she is not; the deep focus has established she is not. As she slowly makes her way to where Willis is, Zemeckis chooses to cut to Hawn for a brief second. Big mistake. We don't need to see her sitting in front of her shrine of hatred for Madeline - we know she hates her, it's quite clear - so he should have held that scene perfectly still, allowing us to see Streep get closer and closer to the forefront. That is suspense in itself: how will Willis react to seeing his wife shuffling her way to him. But the use of deep focus is something that has fallen out of vogue in film-making, as if they've lost the interest to really tell a visual story, and the quick cut to Hawn being the need to give her a moment's screen time.

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