Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 18th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, January 24th, 1975
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Writers: Umberto Lenzi, Félix Tusell
Cast: Martine Brochard, John Richardson, Ines Pellegrini, Andrés Mejuto
DVD Released: December, 2002
Approximate Running Time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital 5.1 German, Dolby Digital Mono German
DVD Release: Marketing Film
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (Germany)
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: A group of tourists are terrorized by a killer who wears a red raincoat and stabs its victims in the eye. Mark Burton (John Richardson) is having an affair with his secretary Paulette Stone (Martine Brochard) while his wife is suffering form a nervous breakdown. Why does the killer stab its victims in the eye and will the police solve the mystery before the killer disappears?
Eyeball though the years has gone through various name changes like Red Cats in a Glass Labyrinth, The Secret Killer and Wide-Eyed in the Dark. Umberto Lenzi is no stranger to the giallo genre directing films like Spasmo, Knife of Ice, Seven Blood-Stained Orchids, Orgasmo, So Sweet So Perverse and A Quiet Place to Kill. Eyeball has all of the elements that we have come to expect from the giallo genre, still the film plays things by the numbers without ever breaking free into new territory. There are some really well executed murder scenes in Eyeball like when the killer murders the photographer Lisa Sanders while she is about to discover the killers identity. Lenzi continues to build tension in this as Lisa roommate enters the room as the killer is trying to escape and the killer uses a door to knock Lisa’s roommate to the ground. Left in a daze she is unable to get a clear view of the killer.
The film for the most part suffers outsides of the murder scenes as Lenzi pads the film with endless shots of the tourists on vacation. Lenzi through out the film effectively uses flashbacks to relay information form Mark Burton past and after the photographer’s death Lenzi gives the audience a clean through a flashback to keep the viewers one step ahead of the police. The film is anchored by veteran actor John Richardson whose good looks like most of the other cast exceed their acting abilities. Most giallo’s are filled with attractive people and acting is secondary. Bruno Nicolai’s score for Eyeball has a campy feel to it like his score The Case of The Bloody Iris. Music is an important part to most giallo’s and Nicolai’s funky score complements the films action. Eyeball may lack in plot still it has more then enough nudity and bloodshed. Eyeball may not be one of Lenzi’s defining moment as a director in the giallo genre, still it is an entertaining film that takes pleasure in its excesses.
Marketing Film’s has given Eyeball an anamorphic enhancement for this DVD that preserves the films original 2:35:1 aspect ratio. The print used is extremely clean with colors that are mute at times; still the overall detail is very good.
There are three audio options available on this DVD German 5.1, German Dolby Digital mono and English Dolby Digital mono. The two German audio tracks especially the German 5.1 mix have more depth then the English tack that at times sounds muffled. The dialog on the English track is clear and easy to hear. There are no English subtitles on this release which is unfortunate since the German audio tracks are in better shape then the English audio track.
Extras include Eyeball’s theatrical trailer, detailed filmographies for Umberto Lenzi, John Richardson, Martine Brochard and Ines Pellegrini. Other extras include a slide show that has stills and other promotional materials and trailers for other Marketing Film’s releases. Eyeball is another solid giallo from Umberto Lenzi that has just the right amount of carnage and sleaze that should be in every giallo fans collection.