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on May 22, 2013
Redemption video continues its Blu-Ray treatments of Image Entertainment's back catalog of European Exploitation films with Director Enzo G. Castellari's 'COLD EYES OF FEAR' aka 'GLI OCCHI FREDDI DELLA PAURA'-1971. Released on VHS and DVD back in 1998, Image tried to sell it as a Giallo thriller but it isn't. Director Castellari who is known for his action movies and westerns directs this routine crime drama straight on trying to give life to screenwriters Leo Anchoritz and Tito Carpi's lacklustre script. A home invasion by two thugs played by Julian Mateus and American actor Frank Wolff becomes an exercise in revenge as Wolff takes his vengeance out on the judge played by veteran actor Fernando Rey who committed him to 15 years in prison. The stellar cast includes Western star Gianni Garko , the beautiful genre actress Giovanna Ralli, and in a memorable cameo, the equally gorgeous Karen Schubert. Actor Rey resembles the James Bond villain, Blofeld, as he is just required to pose behind desks petting his cat or picking up the phone when it rings. Actor Wolff, who tragically committed suicide a few years later, saves the film from the ensuing boredom. It also boasts nice photography by Antonio L. Ballesteros and music by maestro Ennio Morricone utilizing Jazz motifs which screeched across his work at that time. The 1080P transfer by Redemption is a bit of an improvement over the Image DVD in a 1.85 transfer with slight color enhancement but not worth the upgrade if you already own that one. A trailer for this and other Redemption releases are the only extras.
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on June 13, 2009
This is an average example of the Italian Giallo, the story set in London, switching between a solicitor's office and his stately house, which is occupied by his solicitor nephew and a prostitute.

The plot is fairly good, involving an elaborate revenge on the elder solicitor for a wrongful judgement some years earlier. This film has some good twists but is tense only at times. It seems to drag and much more could have been made of the frightful atmosphere in the house. Instead, we have over-used extreme close-ups and plenty of screaming and shouting.

Not a bad film by any means, but there are plenty better examples of the genre.
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on December 4, 2013
This is an average example of the Italian Giallo, the story set in London, switching between a solicitor's office and his stately house, which is occupied by his solicitor nephew and a prostitute.

The plot is fairly good, involving an elaborate revenge on the elder solicitor for a wrongful judgement some years earlier. This film has some good twists but is tense only at times. It seems to drag and much more could have been made of the frightful atmosphere in the house. Instead, we have over-used extreme close-ups and plenty of screaming and shouting.

Not a bad film by any means, but there are plenty better examples of the genre.
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on March 31, 2013
COLD EYES OF FEAR aka DESPERATE MOMENTS is a thriller (though hardly a giallo) that hits some of the right notes but overall does not deliver what a genre fan is seeking. Some decent performances and a nice appearance by Fernando Rey do not elevate this film from the mire of an over-saturated genre. The only reason most (I among them) will be curious about this title is the director. I've seen five films directed by Enzo Castellari (most known as being the guy who made a film called INGLORIOUS BASTARDS a few decades before Tarantino took to the title) and this one is at the bottom of the pack (though up against the likes of KEOMA and STREET LAW, it's hard to put up a good fight).

The film is presented in widescreen and the picture is decent enough for a somewhat-obscure thriller. The main issue I have with this DVD is the sound mix, which is inconsistent with dialogue and features a lot of fuzz and a raspy quality on certain consonants. It's like listening to an old, beat-up record with pops and static throughout. Ennio Morricone's score shines through and is probably the best part of the film. Having seen countless films that feature his work, this is one of the first that I could not name the composer on hearing it. It is its own character and is a very positive contribution.

Since this DVD can be had for very little (my copy came out to $4.90 with shipping), it can be worth it for the curious (like me) or Castellari die-hards. It meanders to its conclusion and the excess detailed by the back of the DVD insert is exaggerated to say the least. Not the most worthy entry in Castellari's oeuvre nor in the Italian thriller catalogue, but not without merit. If you have to see all of them, don't make this one a priority.
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on April 21, 2013
I don't know what people are talking about when they say its an average example of the giallo, when its not at all a giallo! Just because its Italian and people die does not make it giallo. There is no black gloved killer, no red herrings, no sexually charged situations, no surprise endings and reveals as to who the killer is, or any other typical elements of the giallo. If you go into it looking for a giallo, then of course you will be disappointed. Here we know who the antagonists are and their motive is gradually revealed throughout the first half of the film. Then the next half is occupied by the increasingly desperate struggles of the captives to stay alive and to get free. Taken as a thriller, the movie succeeds. There is tension, uncertainty, intelligent victims who you can root for and who give the antagonists a good run for their money. Most of the film takes place within an apartment, which creates a suffocating feeling that allows the viewer to better enter the protagonists experience in the film. The ending was excellent. The actors did a great job for the most part but the ending was beautiful, with so much emoting done strictly through the eyes. Anyway, I was not expecting much from this film and I got a lot, so much that I will definitely preorder the blu ray. Give it a chance on its own merits and leave your giallo expectations at the door.
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on March 12, 2000
A young man picks up a girl at a disco (this is supposed to be set in London although the film is Italian) and takes her back to his uncle's country farmhouse for some nookie. There, they are interuppted by a man who murders the servant and keeps them hostage. The hero's uncle is a judge (Fernando Rey)and he sends a cop to investigate but the cop (played by Frank Wolff) turns out to be in league with the hostage taker and is in fact a man that the uncle sent to prison and is after revenge. He's also after something hidden in the house but we're never quite sure what.
Tedious and boring, poorly dubbed and ridiculously scripted - this is not a horror film and certainly not a giallo either. There's also practically no sex and violence despite the Redemption promises. The main problem is that there seems to be no point in the whole hostage saga at all since Wolffe has already planted a bomb in Rey's office. A number of convoluted plot twists are gradually revealed but the fact is nobody really knows what's going on here and the thing is padded out about twice as long as it should have been.
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on October 2, 2009
When one sees the name Enzo G. Castellari as the director of a film one expects action. This is because his specialty is action films. His entries into the spaghetti western, poliziotteschi, macaroni combat genres are classic and some of the best the films the genres have to offer. He could arguable be the best action director in Italy (See Kill Them All and Come Back Alone, Eagles Over London, Street Law, Keoma, The Big Racket, The Heroin Busters, and The Inglorious Bastards to see what I mean) . This here lies the problem with Cold Eyes of Fear.

Cold Eyes of Fear as it is not an action film but suspense thriller, or better known to Italian film buffs as a giallo. Perhaps wanting to try something different Enzo decided to give the giallo genre a stab as they were really popular at the time this film was made (1971). The results prove that Enzo should stick with action as he seems very uncomfortable at handling the suspense/thriller genre.

Don't get me wrong as I love the giallo genre. I own 37 giallo films on DVD and Cold Eyes of Fear is one of the most blah ones in my collection. The film has some cool trademark Enzo camera work but the plot is overly talky and rather dull. There are some good twists to keep fans of Italian cult cinema interested and Ennio Morricone's funky score kicks but overall the film is very passable.

Salvation/Redemption films also doesn't seem to know how to advertise it either. Proudly displayed on the cover is "The Director of Inglorious Bastards". The two films are totally different. That's like having "From the Director of The Exorcist" on the cover of William Friedkin's film "Rules of Engagement." It's also strange that Redemption would release this film as most of their catalogue is dark soft core material. Collector's of their other films wouldn't be interested in this film and vice versa. Their DVD release is decent but far from the reaches of such great companies like Anchor Bay, Blue-Underground, and NoShame. Those companies could have done a much better release but this dull giallo wouldn't gain much attention from those companies. The film is presented in widescreen but it's non-anamorphic which stinks. The transfer again is decent with the print (displaying the title "Desperate Moments") and soundtrack showing minimal damage. A trailer and still gallery is also included as well as some trailers to other Redemption "films". On a side note I hate that Redemption's symbol is a inverted cross and that symbol is displayed largely on the front right corner of the cover art and the on the spine. That symbol just looks tacky and is a eye sore for a film like this.

Overall get the DVD if you're a die-hard Enzo or giallo fan. Otherwise your money is better spent on other Enzo films or other films in the giallo genre.
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on August 1, 2008
If you're into Giallo...this is an average "Giallo". I would recommend seeing ones like: "Night Train Murders", "Death Carries a Cane", "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh", "Tenebrae".

As for Redemption dvds, I cannot stand the stupid "gothic chick" into and image. It's so cheesy, late night Cinemax softcore looking. Not cute at all! It's just annoying that Redemption thought it was a good idea. I also hate some of their dvd covers. Does not go with the film at all.
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on March 31, 2007
"Occhi freddi della paura" ( Cold Eyes of Fear ), by Enzo G.

Castellari, released 1971 is a major achievement for a

cinematographer, considering the extremely well filmed work, the

suspense that lasts reasonably long, with the caveat of not

falling into a bloodfest like too often happens with American

movies these days, that suggest that people are either totally

peaceful, or totally insane, with no shade in between, unlike

this picture.

The downside of the release, is the lack of wide-screen release,

as it pan and scans for the TV format. Another downside is the

graphics of the DVD jewel case itself, that is completely poor,

misleading the audience in terms of what lies in store for them,

should this rent this talented movie.

There are several positive aspects, the first, as said is the

story, the suspense, the effort put forth by the British actors

(and Italian ones, such as the lovely Giovanna Ralli), the

soundtrack, (reminiscent of Miles Davis' fusion period, not

unlike B*tches Brew, or Live at the Filmore West/ East, for

example, using a muted trumpet.)

The story revolves around a convict who does time in the pen for

15 years, for his participation in a gang that had committed

crimes and been organized, controlled, and planned out by a

series of individuals who were of Blue Blood and part of the

Establishment, later going on to important titles and positions

in society.

The "system" had decided to place the blame, all of it, on that

single felon, whitewashing all the others. As soon as the

individual is released, he goes about searching for details on

his case, having been decided back 15 years earlier, to recover

the proofs that he had submitted to the judge at the time,

implicating a series of high level people in society. He also

attempts to get revenge on the magistrate of the time and the

nephew, the first who had turned the other way, ignoring all the

evidence that didn't suit his one-sided approach of justice

obtained in exchange for a large bribe by those involved.

The result is a series of tense exchanges and a struggle that

ensues over 90 mins.
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on September 5, 2013
this a distracting film. The Director did not put the film sequences in any sensible order. I totally disliked this film
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