Film Review: Evil Eye (1975)

Evil-eye-1975-Movie-Mario-Siciliano-2SYNOPSIS:

The police has to face some extremely brutal murders. How is the rich playboy Peter Crane (Jorge Rivero) involved in this? He suffers from horrible nightmares that make him believe that he is responsible for these murders…

REVIEW:

When I say that absolutely nothing makes sense in this movie, I mean it. Absolutely nothing makes sense. Somewhere in all the blabber and gratuitous orgy and pool party scenes, accompanied by 70s’ funky porn music, a point or subtle message exists. But perhaps, I’m just being optimistic. Evil Eye promises a lot with its initial opening of a mysterious and dubious figure of a man in a black cloak, opening his arms and howling. A black mass assembles, and what follows encapsulates the essence of this film, confusing. The introduction, in its dream-like sequence, reveals a giant orgy—but it isn’t a normal orgy.

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We see a shot of numberless naked bodies that suddenly scream, uncontrollably and ghastly at the camera, and then steadily approach. As they scream, their mouths widen larger and larger, in a creepily grotesque display of either inexplicable rage or ecstasy. Honestly, you can’t really tell whether they’re manically yelling or laughing. At the height of this perturbing display, the scene abruptly cuts to a well-tanned and oiled man waking up and sweating from the nightmare. He wakes up next to two topless women, and as the camera backs up, we see a room full of passed out and topless party enthusiasts.

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The thematic implications of this sudden shift, epitomize the general feeling of the rest of Evil Eye.
The gloriously hairy-chested man waking up is Peter Crane, a rich play boy who bangs (or tries to) every mildly attractive female from here on out. Peter doesn’t even really need to try; they all throw themselves at him—in a sickeningly stereotypical portrayal of women reflective of Italy’s machismo attitude and perception of women. If Peter isn’t banging a gorgeous woman, he’s fighting one off or denying the existence of a memory with another. This movie is rife with misogyny, to the point that it comes off satirical. We hear the word “hysteria” several times and are exposed to an irrelevant wife beating. However, to be fair, most of the film can be categorized as irrelevant.

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Our chiseled-abbed Peter has a problem. When trying to execute his super suave moves, something unusual happens. He proceeds to wear a rather peculiar expression where his eyes narrow and harden. He looks as if he’s either tweaking out or having a movement of the bowel kind. With his tightened face and bent eyebrows, it comes off more comical than scary. But then, nothing in this movie was even remotely so. When Peter gets that face, dramatic music commences; we see a victim (usually an attractive female) tremble and bafflingly slowly move backwards. In retrospect, none of the victims acted appropriately. On top of these issues, there lacks any creativity in Peter’s slay method.

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Occasionally, the victim will be found with his or her throat sliced open—which is shown with what appears to be a lumpy sack of corn syrup. In reality though, a throat slicing is a guess— considering the cheap prosthetics that make what we see an indiscernible mess. For a satanic cult secretly controlling a man from afar, I was hoping for some spicier carnage. If you must surrender control, then really lose it.

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So, in essence, Peter is just a highly disappointing werewolf. He doesn’t kill in any way that would shake the boredom out of the sleepy-eyed viewer. He doesn’t transform. He just needs to be locked up at night due to his inescapable and seemingly instinctual urges to kill. The best summation of Peter Crane is a subconscious serial killer. The idea, although intriguing, is ruined on this movie. While this entire absurdity takes place, scenes of soft core porn set to funk bloat this gassed out movie parading as a smart horror. But after watching it in its entirety (if you can make it through), you’ll know what this movie really is—pure nonsensical exploitation. No point. No sense. Just porn music and gratuitous nudity. Add a little violence, Satanist undertones, and intrigue, and voilà! You have Evil Eye.

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About Caitlin Huggins

Caitlin, an English graduate searching for purpose in a chaotic millennial world, has adored horror movies since the days of VHS and movie rental stores. When not watching delightfully tasteless horror, she enjoys weaving her own through the dated method of short storytelling. One day, if enough suitable virgins are sacrificed, she hopes to be published and continue spreading the gorrific love.

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