Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 30th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Spain / Italy, 1974
Director: Giovanni D’Eramo
Writers: Giovanni D’Eramo, Antonio Fos
Cast: Marisa Mell, Román Ariznavarreta, Mircha Carven, Farley Granger, Deogratias Huerta, Helga Liné, Luciano Pigozzi, Francisco Rabal, Riccardo Salvino
DVD released: October 18th, 2011
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Death Will Have Your Eyes was co-written and directed by Giovanni D’Eramo, who’s only a feature film as a director is a 1946 film production titled O.K. John (which he co-directed with Ugo Fasano. The screenplay for Death Will Have Your Eyes was co-written by Antonio Fos, who’s other notable credits as a screenwriter include Naked Girl Killed in the Park, Cannibal Man, Clockwork Terror, The Vampires Night Orgy and Panic Beats. The cinematographer on Death Will Have Your Eyes was Francisco Sempere and some of his more notable credits as a cinematographer include A Bullet for Sandoval and The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. The score for Death Will Have Your Eyes was composed by Stelvio Cipriani, who’s other notable scores include The Frightened Woman, The Lickerish Quartet, Rabid Dogs and What Have They Done to Your Daughters? A few other titled which Death Will Have Your Eyes is also known under include Savage City and La moglie giovane, which roughly translates to ‘The Young Wife’.
Content wise, Death Will Have Your Eyes has many of the elements that one would associate with the Italian thriller genre and yet it is far from a text book example of what this genre this most known for. And while there are a handful of deaths that occur in this film, only one of these deaths is on camera and it is rather tame when compared to other Italian thrillers from this era.
Though the plot is fairly routine for a Italian thriller, a protagonist who tries to cover a crime she has committed and in the process this act leads to her being blackmailed. The way in which the narrative unfolds is anything but atypical. The film actually begins, where it ends and along the way there are a handful of flashbacks that try to put what had happened into greater context. Unfortunately there is a hap hazard feel to the narrative at hand, that often disrupts any momentum from sustaining.
Visually anyone expecting the operatic style that has become synonymous with the ‘Grand Guignol’ influenced Italian thrillers, most notably the films of Dario Argento and Sergio Martino. Should look elsewhere, since the visuals in Death Will Have Your Eyes are pedestrian in comparison. With only one scene leaving any lasting impression visually, a death sequence which takes places in a bathroom.
Without a doubt this films greatest asset is its leading lady Marisa Mell (Danger: Diabolik, Perversion Story) in the role of Louisa, a former prostitute who is in a loveless marriage with a Doctor, though she is in love with another much younger man. The weight of the film rests of the shoulders of her characters choices and she gives a well rounded performance, that keeps this film from totally collapsing.
Other notable cast members include Farley Granger (So Sweet, So Dead, What Have They Done to your Daughters?) in the role of Louisa’s doctor husband and Helga Liné (Horror Rises From The Tomb) in the role of Louisa’s closest female companion and this character also happens to be a prostitute.
Death Will Have Your Eyes in presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The source used is in rough shape as print debris in various degrees crops up throughout, also the image tend to look faded and black levels look murky (the bulk of the film takes place during the nighttime). Details often look soft and there are some mild issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. Though dialog generally comes through clearly, there are some instances of background noise and moments where the audio sounds distorted.
Extras for this release include a imager gallery and a English language trailer for the film (2 minutes 55 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). It should be noted that the actually running time of the feature is about eighty six minutes and ninety seven minutes that is listed on the back of the DVD box art. Overall while it is refreshing to see a company release a obscure title like Death Will Have Your Eyes, it is equally disappointing that no restoration has been done to the audio / video presentation, especially considering the worn source used for this presentation.