The Headless Eyes (1971)

DVD Cover (Full Moon Pictures)
Genres: Horror, Slasher Film
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Kent Bateman Kent Bateman
Bo Brundin Bo Brundin
Ramon Gordon Ramon Gordon
Kelly Swartz Kelly Swartz
Ann Wells Ann Wells
Larry Hunter Larry Hunter

4.1 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: January 15, 2010
In my ever so humble opinion, the horror genre was at its peak during the seventies. Gorehounds were exposed to countless films that tried to outdo the others in terms of bloodshed and carnage, while those of us who enjoyed a good story to go along with the murders and hauntings were treated with films that pushed the boundaries and had never been done before. Name the last horror movie that you saw, and chances are good that it owes a lot to something that came out during that decade... hell, pick your favorite genre, and a betting man would say that the cream of that particular crop came out in a year that started with one-nine-seven. So, there's always a little gleam in my eye when I sit down with a movie that I've never seen before from that decade, but unfortunately, that gleam was all but gone twenty minutes into the running time of The Headless Eyes.

The film wastes no time in getting down to business, as the opening scene finds a fellow by the name of Malcolm (Bo Brundin) in some woman's apartment rummaging through her belongings while said woman sleeps in her bed, blissfully unaware that she is being robbed. She soon wakes up, however, and immediately starts screaming as women in horror movies are prone to do. The two get into a bit of a scuffle, a scuffle which ends with the woman picking up a spoon off of her bedside dresser and plucking poor Malcolm's eye out. He escapes the apartment with his life and short an eye, and this incident pushes him over the edge, causing him to stalk other innocent women and kill them in the very same fashion. The story is simple and to the point, just like a good horror film should be.

Sadly, that is just about the only good thing about the movie as this particular story is a little too simple, and even though it clocks in at just a little over seventy minutes, it features more padding than an A-cup on prom night. It starts out fairly well with the opening scene that I described in the previous paragraph, and this segues almost immediately into a serviceable kill or two, but that is where the film just falls apart. It's almost as if the filmmakers ran out of female cast members and realized that they still had forty minutes to kill, so they just threw in anything that they could to eat up the running time.

Watch for a scene involving Malcolm's ex-wife that serves no purpose other than to reassure us that, yes, the guy is crazy (and no, she doesn't die). Also keep an eye out for a scene involving a news reporter interviewing people outside of Malcolm's latest crime scene, a scene that is notable for having the police bring the victim out in a coffin and also for featuring a man that would easily pass for Jeff Goldblum's twin. This is not including the nearly six-hour chase at the end of the movie, the rifling through a filing cabinet that goes on for about an hour, the walk in the park that lasts about as long as the real thing, and the countless other instances of pure padding.

Additionally, the film features very little dialogue, a given considering the lack of a story. However, what the film does feature is an obnoxious jazz / psychedelic soundtrack that is amusing at first for the nostalgia value, but it quickly grows wearisome after you've heard the same general song loop for almost the entire film. There are also scenes where the filmmakers apparently attempted to get a little artsy with their shots, a notion reinforced by the constant usage of focusing in, focusing out, shaking the camera, and shooting nothing more than feet walking by.

You know what? I'm just going to wrap this up now, as I just want to click that little submit button and be done with this movie. So, bottom line: avoid. There's no real story to speak of, the gore is mediocre at best and laughable at worst, and if you decide to ignore my advice and pick this up anyway, be warned that these seventy minutes will feel like seventy hours. 2/10 for a few bright spots, with heavy emphasis on the word "few."
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