Evil Eye

May 22, 2012 at 2:04 am (5 Heads, Evil Eye) (, , )

Evil Eye – 1975 – Italy

Evil Eye’s sleaziness is distinctively Italian. For instance, sexy Mexican muscleman Jorge Rivero stars as an idle playboy who pretty much balls every dame in the flick. Waking from an intense dream of screaming bug-eyed nudists and Klansmen-like cultists, the playboy becomes possessed by a malevolent sorcerer. Haunted by ghastly visions and supernatural happenings, he murders unconsciously. Trailing him are a keen detective, blackmailing butler, and lots of horny broads. After a hallucinatory climax, the whole mess is revealed to be a dream, proving that the writer was a lazy prick.

At least Evil Eye’s surreal atmosphere is interesting. The constant ambiguity between fantasy and reality makes the flick’s jumbled sense of logic seem almost intentional. Notably, sound effects are used in startling and inventive ways. A ringing phone might sound like a car engine, or wailing electronic music might issue forth as someone opens their mouth to speak. There’s typical horror zaniness as well: Objects telekinetically explode and a dude barfs up a frog. In my favorite scene, the camera lingers on a painting of a crazy old woman before panning to a window where the same woman peers in with the same sinisterly absent-minded smile. Hilarious and chilling!

But mostly Evil Eye is just tiresome. The murders lack visceral impact and the tame lovemaking is overfrequent. Worse still are the flighty air-headed characters, laughable dialogue, and incompetent filmmaking. At least the music is groovy. And ladies absolutely shouldn’t miss shirtless Jorge Rivero in a jean jacket and flares.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. It’s a shame that frontal nudity is confined to only the most horrifyingly nightmarish scenes.

2/1/16 Update:

After a second viewing, Evil Eye’s plot makes slightly more sense. A man is possessed by extradimensional beings (or maybe demonic cultists) and driven to kill. When a police detective and a sexy psychiatrist intervene, they are harassed by supernatural forces. Who are these extradimensional beings? Why do they want to murder people? No one knows. Evil Eye is more concerned with nightmarish atmosphere than logic.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. Every character in Evil Eye is rich and beautiful.


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