Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 27th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1971
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Writers: Leo Anchóriz, Tito Carpi, Enzo G. Castellari
Cast: Giovanna Ralli, Frank Wolff, Fernando Rey, Julián Mateos, Karin Schubert, Leonardo Scavino, Franco Marletta, Gianni Garko
BluRay released: May 21st, 2013
Approximate running times: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber / Redemption Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
Cold Eyes of Fear was co-written and directed by Enzo G. Castellari, whose other notable films Street Law, High Crime, The Heroin Busters, The Big Racket and The Inglorious Bastards. The screenplay for Cold Eyes of Fear was co-written by Leo Anchóriz and Tito Carpi. Outside of a few screenwriting credits Leo Anchóriz was acted in several films like Sandokan the Great, The Pirates of Malaysia, Seven Guns for the MacGregors, 7 Women for the MacGregors and A Bullet for Sandoval. Tito Carpi was a prolific screenwriter whose diverse screenwriting credits include Any Gun Can Play, Eagles over London, Seven Murders for Scotland Yard, A Fistful of Lead, Ubalda, All Naked and Warm, Giovannona Long-Thigh, Jungle Holocaust, The Shark Hunter and The New Barbarians: Warriors of the Wasteland.
Despite only using a handful of locations Cold Eyes of Fear, features some stylish imagery. The cinematographer on Cold Eyes of Fear was Antonio L. Ballesteros, whose other notable films include The Colossus of Rhodes and The Vampires’ Night Orgy. The film’s opening sequence is a superb piece of misdirection that fits perfectly in with the other giallo’s from this era.
After this opening sequence the film shifts away from the elements one would normal expect from a giallo as the plot verges into a tense character drama about revenge. The bulk of the film takes place at the residence of a Judge who one of the criminals who have Kidnap his nephew and the date he has brought home. There are no onscreen murders until the films finale. The plot moves along nicely with the conflict between the criminals and their prisoners driving the story.
The most prominent name in the cast is Fernando Rey (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie) who is cast in the role of the judge who is the target of the criminals’ revenge. Despite only being in a handful of scenes his character looms large throughout the film. Giovanna Ralli is cast in the role of the seductive lady of the night named Anna. Some of Giovanna Ralli’s other notable films include The Mercenary and What Have They Done to Your Daughters? Other notable cast members include Gianni Garko (The Psychic), Julian Mateos (The Hellbenders), Frank Wolff (The Great Silence, Once Upon a Time in the West) and a brief cameo like role from Karin Schubert who provides the films only moment of T&A.
The film’s score was composed by Ennio Morricone, who provides work man like score that is reminiscent at times of his score for The Bird with the Crystal plumage. Ultimately despite its lack of bloodshed and salacious activity Cold Eyes of Fear is an engaging and riveting story that cleverly plays against the genres typical conventions.
Cold Eyes of Fear comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. For this release Redemption Films have gone back to the source the film’s original 35mm negative and the end result looks very good. Colors look more vibrant, black and contrast levels are also greatly improved. There are no issues with edge enhancement or DNR.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. Though everything sounds balanced and dialog is always easy to follow. It should be pointed out that this audio mix has some mild issues with distortion and other background noises.
Extras for this release are limited to trailers for the film and trailers for Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Black Magic Rites, The Asphyx, The Comeback and Night of the Hunted. Overall Cold Eyes of Fear gets its best home video release to date from Redemption Films who continue to impress with their BluRay output.
Note: This film is also being released by Kino Lorber / Redemption Films on DVD.