Eyes of Crystal (2004)

November 10, 2012 - 9:58pm | steelba
  Tags: Desislava Tenekedjieva, Eros Puglielli, Eusebio Poncela, Eyes of Crystal, Giallo, Giallo Flicks, José Ángel Egido, Lucía Jiménez, Luigi Lo Cascio, Simón Andreu

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Eros Puglielli
Luigi Lo Cascio, Desislava Tenekedjieva, Simón Andreu, José Ángel Egido, Lucía Jiménez, Eusebio Poncela

This modern day Gialli flew completely under the radar, but it seems Italy is still at it. Admittedly, they are few and far between, but it's sweet they're still being made. Especially when you factor in new techniques, improved effects, and some fresh faces behind the director's chair. Of course this would all be for not if the films aren't shot or scripted well, but however it shakes out I'm pleased to see some new blood taking a crack at an old genre..

The first thing that came to mind as the flick started is man this is gonna be intense.. Immediately you see two police officers running at break neck speed to stop a brutal rape in progress, which was filmed in a manner that really pulls you into the action. After the initial action sequence we realize the two cops are the leads, and you can tell that Detective Giacomo Amaldi is a troubled fella. Zero time is spent on that though instead we get a lengthy glimpse of the killers personal hobby, murdering helpless animals. After a quick butchering, disemboweling, and stuffing, it's off to catch some more animals to murder. Pretty sick stuff to start this flick off, but it gets worse when the deranged man spots a couple making love. As you would suspect he doesn't take it easy on them and serves up some graphic, gory, carnage.

The stage is now set for the rest of the film to take place when the Giacomo and company arrive and investigate the recent bloodbath. Things go the conventional route with the detective work, until Giacomo meets Giuditta, the films only hot chick. Some time is spent fleshing out a relationship between the two, but they're constantly interrupted by the prolific murders. A sweet deal because the Killings are quite inventive and often gory. A few of them stick out in my mind, like one where the a woman's arms are sawed off, then replaced with doll's limbs. The film really is packed with gruesome imagery and the dark undertones are ever present and in your face. Even the flashbacks are of the twisted variety, showcasing grim, surreal, and weird pieces from the past.

As I already mentioned there is a good amount of gore present, the body count is also relatively high. Most of the effects appear to be standard or practical if you prefer, instead of the often overused CGI. They all look great except for the a spotty job on a mangled breast, but that's forgivable. Another win for the movie is the cinematography, very artistic, and not overworked. It is the same story with the direction and editing, both were above average for this type of film. The serial killer was handled well too, leaving me in the dark about his true identity until the finale. About the only negatives are the unrealistic reactions by some of the actors, plus a slight pacing issue after the 50 minute mark. I should also mention that the score was ominous and awesome, saturating the screen with dread.

Eyes of Crystal has a mean streak a mile wide, and dives head first into the bizarre. This fresh take on the on the genre delivers a dark, violent, thrill ride. The disturbing serial killer, surreal imagery, and an interesting story all mesh nicely. I wish the pacing was kept a little tighter though, still worth a look if you're into serial killer flicks or dark brooding horror films.

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