White of the Eye

white of the eye

White of the Eye (1987)

directed by:Donald Cammell

cast;David Keith, Cathy Moriarty, Alan Rosenberg

Stylish to the point of video art and full of subtle in their extravagance nuances “White of the Eye” is wild beast to tame and remains unpredictable and full of animalistic magnetism like its protagonist Paul White(David Keith) even thirty odd years after its theatrical release.

In a wealthy and isolated desert community, a sound expert with a troubled past is targeted as the prime suspect of a series of brutal murders of local suburban housewives who were attacked and mutilated in their homes. As he desperately tries to prove his innocence, his young wife starts to uncover mysteries of her own…

White of the Eye…oh my god…this one would probably deserve a fullblown essay to do it justice but let’s try to describe it. A Gialloesque exercise in 80ies cinematic style, the “Paris,Texas” of slasher films,a charming depiction of double personality disorder,universal/black hole conspiracy theories,Indian/native American mysticism with a climax straight out of a Cannon films movie (Invasion U.S.A anyone?)All those little things compose Cammell’s movie.This is White of the Eye in a nutshell…

And being a genuine brainchild of its director (just do yourselves a favour and refer to the various sources regarding the life and carreer of Cammell)this movie is…bonkers,but an eye candy to watch.

The movie is set in the particularly atmospheric town of Globe,Arizona and revolves around two characters Paul White and his wife Joan (I cannot stress enough how excellent the performances by both lead actors,David Keith and Cathy Moriarty are).The film begins with a very stylish depiction of a murder but it then grinds to a halt and slowly but surely reveals the shenanigans of the couple.Through repeated flashbacks we get acquainted with the central characters and we are almost embarassed to discover the proverbial skeletons they seem to hide in their closet.

To set the record straight ,this movie is too off kilter to appeal to everybody.The viewer needs to be patient and to focus on and co-ordinate with the rhythm and with the organic character of the film.

Technically speaking,Cammell’s film is as masterfull a mid/late 80ies thriller could ever be.To say that this one is stylish would be an understatement.Larry McConkey’s cinematography  is spectacular. He adorns the film with  location shots of the sprawling desert a plenty. He effectively utilizes wide tracking shots and extreme close ups of eyes, thus giving White of the Eye an artistic edge.Cammell’s narrative is plain weird,and comes off as off-key but is in fact multi-layered and full of subtleties and makes full sense after a while.The soundtrack by Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) and Rick Fenn is very atmospheric too and plays a huge role in establishing the feel and the overall atmosphere of the film.

Long story short.This one is as artsy as an 80ies “serial-killer” film could ever be and dabbles a lot with the psychological background of its characters but it doesn’t (literally) lose the plot. In my view “White of the Eye” is a masterpiece.It could pass as style over substance,but I strongly believe that it also has an interesting storyline,hence quite a bit of substance.

A very original thriller.emphatically recommended…

“murder is a work of art…” ή κάτι παρεμφερές είχε μαρκάρει με στένσιλ πάνω στο μπλουζάκι του η “κουνημένη” ιδιοφυία που λεγόταν Ντόναλντ Κάμμελλ ,ατάκα την οποία δικαιώνει στην ταινία καλλιτεχνική προβοκάτσια που σκάρωσε εδώ πέρα.

Παρ’όλες τις ιδιοτροπίες του ο Κάμμελλ ήταν μια αυθεντική σκηνοθετική ιδιοφυία ,της οποίας το ταλέντο δεν άφησε ασυγκίνητο το Μάρλον Μπράντο,ο οποίος ήταν και αυτός που έσωσε το παρόν από τα αζήτητα,αφού πριν την κυκλοφορία της η ταινία υπό παρουσίαση είχε διχάσει τους υπεύθυνους του στούντιο παραγωγής,οι οποίοι χαρακτήρισαν τη σε σημεία βιντεοκλιπίστικη εξταραβαγκάντσα του σκηνοθέτη του Performance σαν “διαφημιστικό για φόνο”.

Το “Λευκό του ματιού” ήταν όμως μια εξαιρετική ταινία με κατακερματισμένη αλλά όχι χαοτική αφήγηση,εξαιρετική κινηματογράφηση,μοντάζ και σκηνοθεσία, ερμηνείες που εκτοξεύουν το κύρος του φιλμ στη στρατόσφαιρα και ατμοσφαιρικό soundtrack, ευγενική χορηγία του Νικ Μέησον των Pink Floyd.

…ένα arthouse Slasher,ένα κακό τριπάκι ενός επίδοξου άλφρεντ Χίτσκοκ,μία αυτοβιογραφική αλληγορία πάνω στην ψυχική νόσο,στον άγνωστο που επιλέγουμε για σύντροφο και στη λατρεία του αίματος…το “Παρίσι,Τέξας” του σινεμά τρόμου? τι είναι στα αλήθεια το White of the Eye ?

Έχω την  εντύπωση πως όσο κι αν προσπαθήσουμε να το ‘ξεκλειδώσουμε” ωφελημένοι τελικά δε θα βγούμε, το παρόν φίλμ είναι μια φιλμική παρόρμηση που ορθό θα ήταν να απολαμβάνει κανείς ακριβώς με αυτόν τον τρόπο, χωρίς περισυλλογή και χωρίς προφυλάξεις…

Δείτε το…

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Night of the Creeps

Night of the Creeps (1986)

directed by;Fred Dekker

cast:Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall

…The terror had come from above during the Fifties when a flying saucer had crashed next to a  drive-in theater in the city of Corman but scientists had managed to stop the alien invasion by putting the human host of some  parasitic organisms in suspended animation.27 Years later two freshmen students of the Corman college  who want to enter a fraternity are assigned with breaking into the lab where the body is kept in order to steal a corpsem,what they do is to  accidentally let the dormant body escape from his cryosleep chamber.Soon enough the entire community is infested by thousands of Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.Meanwhile a haunted detective that was also present during the original events decides to take action…

“Night of the Creeps” is another quintessential cult movie,a love letter to genre cinema in general,especially to the  monster movies/alien invasion films of the 40ies/50ies .The film is an earnest attempt at a B movie and a homage to the genre. While the main plot of the film is related to zombies, the film also mixes in takes on slashers and alien invasion films.

Night of the Creeps is executed with gusto,it has verve,neat effects and effective pacing.The comedic gags work and the horror moments are genuinely bone-chilling.The performances by the cast are also quite convincing.

All in all,Night of the Creeps was never meant to be an original film .Director Fred Dekker even originally wanted to shoot the film in black and white. He included every B movie cliche he could think of and insisted on directing the script himself. However what could have easily turned to a trainwreck works like an atomic clock and entertains effortlessly even after 30+ years.

Recommended…

Αρχετυπικό καλτ ταινιάκι φόρος τιμής σε ό,τι μπιμουβάδικο υποείδος μπορεί κανείς να φανταστεί το Night of the Creeps ,του οποίου ακόμα και ο τίτλος ηχεί σαν ο τίτλος κάποιου monster movie από τη δεκαετία του 50′, σκοράρει σε όλα τα επίπεδα και μας προσφέρει μιάμιση ώρα αγνής και ανόθευτης απόλαυσης.

Νευρώδης ρυθμός,πειστικά εφέ,δουλεμένη σκηνοθεσία και σοβαρές σχετικά ερμηνείες συντελούν στην επιτυχία του φιλμ.

Δείτε το…

Doctor Hackenstein

hackenstein

Doctor Hackenstein (1988)

directed by;Richard Clark

cast;David Muir, Michael Ensign, Cathy Cahn

Irredeemable piece of tosh served by Troma.This doesn’t necessarily have to mean something about Lloyd Kaufman’s infamous nest of guerilla B-movie making,as Troma has also given us  as milestones of genre cinema such as:Combat Shock or Class of nuke’em High.However Doctor Hackenstein which plays like a Re-animator spoof is nowhere near as good as the aforementioned films.It is a meandering,tedious exercise in stupid cinema  without any merit.

Dr. Hackenstein is a genial but somewhat misguided scientist. He murders the locals for their body parts, but it’s not for power or scientific research; he just needs them to put his wife back together.

For starters this one looks surprisingly Eighties-like especially for a film that is supposedly set in the 1910s.Alas,if only this was the sole problem of this film…Doctor Hackenstein is disjointed,plagued by downright moronic attempts in black humour.The “special” effects are nonexistent and the pacing of the film is atrocious.Nothing stands out in this mess,there are literally tons of other films that have influenced this one and are actually way better than this movie.

This is excruciatingly standard video fodder that wasn’t able to convince anyone even in the heyday of video fodder pilgrimage…Next please…

Ανούσια κωμωδία “τρόμου” που προσπαθεί να μας πείσει πως μπορεί να κάνει τη δουλειά καλύτερα από το Reanimator…Ας είμαστε όμως ειλικρινείς,αυτό το πράγμα δεν πρέπει να το δει κανείς…

Χάσιμο χρόνου και ακαλαίσθητη συρραφή από κλισέ ο τεκές με τον ανεκδιήγητο Ελληνικό τίτλο “Δόκτωρ Χασαποστάιν” είνα μια  απόλυτα ανειλικρινής απόπειρα να τσιμπήσει ο παραγωγός κομματάκι από τη παχυλή βιντεοπίτα της εποχής,το παρόν είναι φιάσκο ακόμα και για τα στάνταρ της Τρόμα.

Αφήστε το να σαπίζει στα ράφια των βίντεοκλαμπ που έχουν απομείνει