The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

EYEBALL (1978) ***

A group of tourists on a bus trip to Barcelona finds a murdered girl. One of the tourists is a hot babe who is having an affair with her boss. When he shows up mysteriously, suspicion is almost immediately cast on him. Of course, more women wind up with their eyeballs popped out and it’s up to our hero to clear his name and find the murderer.

Director Umberto Lenzi’s track record when it comes to giallo thrillers is pretty uneven, but this is the best one he’s made. The opening scene where a red-gloved killer stabs a chick’s eyeball out is pretty gruesome (the killer wears a red poncho, which I think was Lenzi’s nod to Don’t Look Now, perhaps) and the ending is a real showstopper. Man, if you’re like me and any kind of eye trauma bothers you, the finale will make you squirm in your seat.

I guess it goes without saying that Lenzi would deliver on the gore goodies, but he gives us a pretty well-rounded thriller with Eyeball. There’s just enough going on in between the murder set pieces that you don’t get bored. And Lenzi does a good job at casting suspicion on the colorful list of suspects. They include a jealous lesbian photographer, a bespectacled priest, and a bus driver who is always playing practical jokes on the female passengers. Plus, there is a more than healthy amount of nudity to go around.

The basic problem with the film is that a group of tourists being suspected of murder is kinda silly. I mean people keep dying off, and yet the sightseeing trip continues. Of course, logic isn’t the sort of thing you crave in a giallo, but it kinda undermines some of the tension. Still, that eyeball-ripping finale is so great that it’s hard to really nitpick.

AKA: The Devil’s Eye. AKA: The Secret Killer. AKA: The Eye. AKA: Wide-Eyed in the Dark.

Tags: e, horror


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