Headless Eyes (1971) Film Review: Old School Gore

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Earlier this week I watched this rare film from 1971. Not to be confused with The Killer Eye, this film is about a man who loses an eye in a robbery and decides that he is going to dedicate the rest of his life to digging women’s eyes out with a spoon. This film was directed by Kent Bateman who famously directed six things, including an episode of Family Ties in 1987. According to IMDB, it was given an X rating and only a score of 3/10.
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I bought the Full Moon Grindhouse version of this film and, as most people know, these tend to be pretty low quality DVDs. It is not really a surprise that this film was probably transferred straight to DVD from whatever film footage could be acquired. And you really can tell. There are many points in the film where the editing seems to jump to inappropriate scenes at strange times. This makes things a little confusing, but whoever watched this back in the day was probably not watching it to think too hard.

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What I did like about the film was the gore. The low quality transfer seemed to make the eye gouge scenes much more realistic. There was a certain edginess to these death scenes that you don’t get from Saw 12 on Blu-Ray. In fact, I have been told by many film makers that gore effects look better on VHS. I tend to agree at times because the grainy picture just makes it feel dirtier. It’s almost as if the pain on the screen just makes more sense when it’s not crystal clear. Even the dark red colored blood they used in this film created a sense of reality that you just don’t get from the many different shades you see in other films.
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What I didn’t like about the gore was the fact that there still just wasn’t enough. With an X rating for violence and a DVD case that claimed to be one of the goriest films you’ve ever seen, I found myself let down. Oh yeah, you know what else let me down? The ending. It had an absurdly long and slow moving final chase scene and then it just ended. It just stopped, as if they ran out of money and just said screw it. So I’m going to say screw it too. I will give it 5/10 just because it is rare and worth seeing just to say you watched it. I also got it for $5 on Amazon, so it’s not like I felt ripped off. I will also probably watch it again someday, when I’m in the mood for some old school gore.

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