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THE EYES OF THE CITY ARE MINE!” After being hypnotized by his bizarre mother, a man goes on a brutal killing spree complete with telepathic commands from mom to carve the eyeballs from his victims. But just when you think you've seen it all, comes the most shocking twist imaginable…Zelda Rubinstein (POLTERGEIST, SOUTHLAND TALES) and Oscar® nominee Michael Lerner (BARTON FINK, MANIAC COP 2) star in one of the most acclaimed and unconventional horror films of the '80s. You won't believe your eyes as controversial Spanish writer/director Bigas Luna, known primarily for his 'art house films' like JAMON, JAMON, creates an otherworldly twist of reality in the William Castle tradition.
"A Very Intelligent, Original, And Effective Thriller!" --DVD Maniacs
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"The Best Fright Flick That Most People Have Never Heard Of!" --Reel.com
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I LOVE THIS FILM...!!!
So, I'm trying to relay the fact that while it may be bunched in with horror films from the 80's, which are a risky bet for some fans, this isn't your run-of-the-mill horror story. Some mother issues, the wonderful, late Zelda Rubenstein, the often funny Michael Lerner being not so funny, and a... well if you haven't read the "concept" don't. Just rent or buy and sit down, and honestly, clichés aside you DO need popcorn for this one. Pretend you're in a theatre, keep the room dark, few distractions.
THIS is what horror movies were meant to be like!
It's difficult to review this film because I don't want to spoil the experience of watching such a slippery, convoluted experiment in cinematic narrative. Let me just say that this film's narrative structure is highly unusual, and the frequent sudden shifts of reference could cause a bit of vertigo in the viewer as they try to figure out just what the heck is going on, only to have their hypothisis shattered (or at least tightly twisted) a few minutes later. This twisting, shifting narrative is fascinating to me, even though others may find it annoying. It's like living in a chinese box puzzle.
Perhaps I am especially partial to the film because I saw it in its original theatrical release. The theatre in which I watched it apparently had a very cool manager. During the last scenes of the film, when all the temporal and spatial references collapse, this theatre staged yet another plot twist by presenting yet another twist to the plot, enacted by a live "cast", sort of like the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The effect was startling and disorienting.
SPOILER ALERT!!!! Do not read any farther if you haven't seen the film before.
Imagine This: There is a movie, a silent movie, playing on a theatre screen. In the theatre, there is a murderer holding a person hostage in front of the screen, but this, too, is a movie . . . and in the theatre in which it is playing, there is a murderer holding a person hostage in front of the screen . . . but this, too, is a movie . . . and in thetheatre in which it is playing there is a murderer holding a person hostage in front of the screen . . . but this, too, is a movie . . . and in the theatre in which it is playing -- the theatre where YOU are sitting . . . there is a murderer holding a hostage in front of the screen. Yes, this murderer and his hostage are in the theatre with you, and the hostage was sitting on the same row you are sitting on. Then the police break in to all four theatres (yes, even the one where you are sitting) and shots are fired, and the movie ends. On the screen is the interior of Theatre number 3, and the credits unfold on that screen, as people in the MOVIE begin to file out of the theatre where they were sitting, amd apparently somehow find themselves in the theatre where You are sitting, because people are also exiting from THIS theatre.
Now, of course, unless you really work on it, the live show in the theatre where you are sitting, will not happen. Police will probably not break down your door and shoot the villian holding a friend of yours hostage in front of your tv, but when you actually watch ANGUISH, why not imagine this 4th theatre, this is actually your TV room, and that this fourth layer of the plot is actually taking place in your home.
PS: As long as we're spilling spoilers, let me invite you to be sure you have your surrounds run up all the way when watching the film. There is an extremely disorienting disconnect between layers early in the movie, as we assume we are watching one movie, but then begin to hear conversation and "popcorn crunching" all about us. Then the image is reframed and you realize that you have been watching a movie within a movie.
Watch With: The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, Memento, Identity, The Tingler, and any film that has an experimental narrative structure, such as Last Year at Marienbad, Intolerance, Time Code, etc.
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