VENICE, ITALY - AUGUST 30: Brian De Palma attends the "See Life Through A Different Lens" event during the 76th Venice Film Festival at  on August 30, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)
Movies - TV
Brian De Palma Chose A Drill For Body Double's Murder Weapon For A Very Practical Reason
While 1984’s "Body Double" is one of director Brian De Palma's most blatant Hitchcock homages, the slasher film is a more conventional murder mystery. What isn't conventional is the murder weapon — a disguised assailant butchers a victim with a power drill the size of a minigun.
De Palma discussed how and why he chose a drill as a murder weapon, saying, "I do a lot of murder mysteries, and after a while, you get tired of the usual instruments.” The director also noted the killer wanted the protagonist to spot him, and a noisy power drill would capture the attention of the neighbors.
A drill also has the same phallic symbolism as a mere knife, so "Body Double" doesn't lose any sexual element of its horror — though De Palma says that "wasn't [his] intent." Whether due to his austerity or the censorious Hays Code, Hitchcock tended to suggest violence, while De Palma revels in it.