Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Eyes Without a Face: Countdown to Halloween: (Day 31)



For fans who howled at THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and DAWN OF THE DEAD, more gruesome gore is in store when blood fills the screen for HEADLESS EYES. An artist turned housebreaker is discovered by his victim. In their struggle she gouges out his eye with a spoon! With the eye hanging down his cheek by a nerve and driven insane by pain and horror, the artist seeks vengeance on the world-and the sex-that maimed him. He stalks beautiful women through the streets of New York, leaving a gory trail of hideously mutilated bodies that makes headlines and baffles police!

He’s out there…
out of sight, and out of his mind!

Too Gory for the Silver Screen!

It’s VHS movie time on this final night of our Halloween Countdown and we’ve saved the most… American of our WIZARD VIDEO tapes for last.  It’s actually a film made in the good ol’ U.S. of A. and it’s made by a man who made some rather fine Americans too… Kent Bateman, father of film and television stars Justine and Jason Bateman.  Producers released it with a self-imposed “X” rating—the MPAA never rated it.

Shot on a bare-bones budget and with the simple idea that this struggling artist becomes a twisted psychopath who kills and steals eyeballs using a spoon and uses them in his art after he looses an eye while trying to rob a lady so that he can afford his rent.  It’s a strange kind of character study of the killer played by Bo Brundin.

Sounds like it’s potentially interesting, right?  Well it’s interesting in a way because it’s quirkier than expected and strange in that the main character is hard to pin down.  He doesn’t really struggle with his psychosis, he simply goes from scene to scene simply because that’s how life unfolds.  Short periods of calm followed by ranting insanity and murder.

A psycho killer doing his thing in the very early 1970s New York City.  It’s simple, it’s to the point, but the ending does leave a lot to be desired.

My Grade:

May this videotape sit on your shelf collecting dust for a decade until you rediscover it, toss it out for a DVD version that you find for a buck-fifty at a discount store that you leave in the wrapper until you stumble across it on Netflix streaming and check it out that way and realize that you’ll never watch it again, so you sell the DVD for fifty cents on a yard sale.

Enjoy this taste of ham!

Some of the more insightfully entertaining reviews of HEADLESS EYES can be found here:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Monster Mush: Countdown to Halloween (DAY 30)

It came from the days of videotape…click—whir…


In the tradition of the classic Universal creature-features of the 30's and 40's now comes the ultimate blood-freezing monster rally. Take cover, because THE SCREAMING DEAD are here!
When a blood-sucking, parasitic evil returns to the village of Holfestein, wise monster hunter Dr. Steward journeys to nearby Castle Dracula to exterminate the infamous Count. But he soon finds himself pitted against the demented Baron Frankenstein and his monstrous creation as well. In no time the village is plagued by a wave of unquenchable blood-lust and bone-crunching terror as never before seen. Steward's only hope lies with the legend of the flesh-craving werewolf: Dracula's arch enemy. When the vampire, Wolf-man, and Frankenstein's monster ultimately collide, they wage an all-out, titanic terror-fest and battle to the bloody end!

Woe to the lad who read that VHS box sitting on a shelf in a newfangled video store in 1982 and thought to themselves that they’d struck movie gold.  “Pity the fool” had yet to become the slang for such a person, but, nonetheless, we must pity them!  We will spread the pity on as thick as the peanut butter budget will allow!

Sadly, though this movie does have appearances by the monsters mentioned above, their interaction is insignificant except for the clash between Frankenstein’s monster and the werewolf that is inconclusive at best.  As for Dracula, he barely touches mouth to throat in this one, looming around—looking annoyed and constipated.  

And the “screaming dead”, well there is a woman in this movie who seems to be constantly in agony—about every time the camera shines it’s light upon her she wails and screams and moans and groans like a thing possessed.  I’m going to guess that character had some sort of phobia about being filmed.  Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for it.

The only highlight of this Jesus Franco film is the score, which is nicely done and tries, at least, to highlight the drama and action.  And the action is merely a series of scenes that don’t really add up to a story.  Do maidens get bitten by vampires?  Sure.  Does Dr. Frankenstein experiment with blood and bats?  Yes.  (BTW, they seemed to actually use real bats in these “experiments” and it was gnarly to watch)  Does Frankenstein’s Monster walk around and throw down with a werewolf?  Sure, he does.  It even looks like a fairly physical fight, but there is no resolution.  All the players are on the stage and they seem to have nothing to do.

A frustrating effort, obviously limited by budget and story.
A movie that is all build-up without a climax…
leaving this viewer feeling a bit… 

My Grade:

Here is the complete film boiled down to it’s bare bones (in about a minute):

Ten Toons: A Countdown to Halloween (Day 29)

I was watching some spooky cartoons last night at a friend's (Hello Rawls' Family) and got to thinking about how we used to perceive the world and Halloween differently when we were kids.  And I wanted to continue that feeling today with these...


Bugs Bunny in
“Water, Water Every Hare”

“Jasper and the Haunted House”

Mickey Mouse in
“The Haunted House”

Porky Pig in
“Jeepers Creepers”

“Scrappy’s Ghost Story”

“The Skeleton Dance”

Bugs Bunny in
“Hyde and Hare”

Popeye in
“Fright to the Finish”

Dr. Seuss’
“Halloween is Grinch Night”

“Broom-Stick Bunny”