Mya Communication // 1974 // 97 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // October 7th, 2011
Love, lust, and murder in the eternal city.
Louisa (Marisa Mell, Danger: Diabolik) is new to Rome and is just trying to make ends meet. Despite her best effort at legitimate work, like so many Italian movie women, she finds herself at the mercy of rich, aggressive men who force her into prostitution. Over time, she starts to enjoy the life she's built turning tricks and taking gifts, but eventually her actions start to catch up to her as the driver of one of her lovers sees something he wasn't supposed to, and now he wants some of what she's got.
It cracks me up to see what distributors will call some old pile of garbage so they can sell it to genre fans when there's no other way to market it. Death Will Have Your Eyes is one of the more clear-cut examples of this I've seen in some time. All the copy for the DVD touts it as a rarely seen giallo but, despite the ridiculous title that might make one think it belongs, the film couldn't be further from the genre. It's difficult to decide what to call it exactly, except for bad. It's genre-defying in its lameness.
I have to think there are some scenes missing from the film, because the story here makes absolutely no sense. It doesn't help that the story is told out of sequence and jumps around with little regard to continuity, but there are such deep plot holes that I can't help but think there's more to this film than what appears on the disc. The biggest problem with the film, though, has to do with how boring it is. There's sex and a little violence, which I certainly appreciate, but the story goes on and on without making any connection between one scene and the next. First, Louisa is sitting at a switchboard working a normal job with her friend, and the next she's all vamped out getting slapped around by one of her johns. How did she get from here to there? Does anybody really care?
Director Giovanni D'Eramo only has one other discernable credit in a film from 1946 called O.K. John and it makes a lot of sense that he would be a completely inexperienced and overwhelmed director. The performances are awful across the board and Death Will Have Your Eyes looks like an amateur production with a little money behind it. It's an unfortunate, mind-numbing experience that I wouldn't recommend even to fans of the most obscure of Italian cinema. Stay away.
Mya may pride itself on releasing some pretty obscure films, but in no way should it feel proud of this release. Its quality as a film aside, the disc is plainly terrible. The image, while anamorphic and likely in the proper aspect ratio, looks like a third generation VHS dub. Rarely have I seen a picture so faded and so murky, even out of decade old budget discs. The print is covered with dirt and there is almost no discernable detail in the foreground, let alone anything in the back. The sound is acceptable, given how poor the image is, but it's an average two channel mono mix that, at its best, is fairly free from noise. Extras include a photo gallery, a trailer, and absolutely nothing that anybody wants to watch.
I had hoped that Death Will Have Your Eyes would be an unknown gem, but I instead got something I wish had remained hidden. Badly filmed, badly acted, and plain old boring, it's a completely forgettable film marked with a pathetic DVD.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Mya Communication
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (Italian)
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Release Year: 1974
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Photo Gallery