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Cold Eyes of Fear

2.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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(Apr 28, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Stylish and extravagant, Cold Eyes of Fear is an excellent example of an Italian giallo thriller. Set in swinging 'seventies London, this movie brings you a dark and decadent world of corrupt cops, vengeful ex-cons, threats, betrayal, fist-fights and feisty femme fatales.

Motivated by revenge, an ex-con abducts the son of the judge who put him behind bars. The plot thickens as a deeper betrayal is revealed, leading the story to erotic S&M scenes with scantily-clad women and violent trysts in darkened, atmospheric nightclub settings.

Starring the sexy cult actress, Karin Schubert and directed by Enzo G. Castellari, famous for the movie Inglorious Bastards, which is to be remade by Quentin Tarantino in 2009, Cold Eyes of Fear is a most memorable movie of psychedelic effects, intriguing plot twists, striking shots and a stunning jazz score!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Giovanna Ralli, Frank Wolff, Fernando Rey, Julian Meteos
  • Directors: Enzo G. Castellari
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Redemption Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001PQT3AG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Amazzini on May 22, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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Format: Blu-ray
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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