giallo

Shaun vs. Eyeball (1975)

eye1Directed by Umberto Lenzi

Starring Martine Brochard, John Richardson and Ines Pellegrini

A tour bus full of tourists (obviously) are getting picked off one by one on a trip around Europe by a killer whose M.O. is removing their left eye.  What could the killer’s motive be and why is this bus still moving after the first murder?  I think the trip would be over at that point.

 

Review

If there’s one thing I can enjoy about giallos (Italian murder mysteries that are usually presented as slasher films) is how extreme they can be, though with “Eyeball” that extreme is present in its violence and campiness.  With a story about tourists on a bus getting killed off in grisly ways, any sane person would call the trip off, but these people keep going on like they’re going to enjoy their vacation no matter how bad it gets.  It’s very silly yet the killer is a vicious one who likes to gouge out an eyeball out of their victims.

Just who is this killer who wears a red cape?  It could be anyone as all the tourists were given a cape on the trip to protect them from the rain.  Everyone is a suspect and that’s mostly because they all act guilty with something to hide.  The majority of them all act like uncaring jerks without much regard for anyone else, even the priest looks guilty as hell.

eye2

I guess she didn’t see it coming.

The film also produces a pair of stereotypical investigators, the elderly man who is mere days from retirement and the young lad who will replace him.  Their Columbo act tends to slow the film down quite a bit towards the end as the story tries to make up for a lack of plot in the first half and races to fill in the blanks for the audience before the movie is over.

Being an Italian production, the film is presented with a hilariously bad dubbing job.  The voice actors quite often speak quickly in a short period of time to provide exposition for what’s happening in the film and it’s a bit jarring to see so many words spoken with so little lip movement.  Even the American actors are presented with the same ludicrous dub track.  It certainly raises the camp level of the film a few notches.

eye3

She should’ve enjoyed a “staycation” instead.

As mentioned before, these types of films can be a little extreme with the violence and “Eyeball” is no different.  The killer keeps it simple and bloody with stabbing and slashing with a blade but the big hook to the film is that the killer also gouges out eyeballs.  While the gouging act is never shown, we see plenty of victims missing an eye so the film is still grisly in that respect.

“Eyeball” is a sleazy, exploitative slasher with such a silly presentation with the dubbing you can’t help but be amused with the film.  Don’t go in expecting a serious film, the harder the movie tries to be that way, the funnier it can get.

Story: 4 – Certainly not the filmmakers main concern with this film, the first half is devoid of much of a story until the halfway point.

Blood: 6 – Not the bloodiest giallo out there, but there’s enough bloodletting and if you’re put off by “eyeball stuff” then be prepared to be really put off.

Nudity: 6 – It’s not an exploitation film if there weren’t three or four scenes of women removing their clothes.

Overall: 6 – If you’re expecting a serious flick, look somewhere else, this is strictly “so bad its good” territory, barely.

Trivia

-The film was released with an alternate title, “The Secret Killer,” which sums up every slasher movie ever.

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