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If you want to see something different for a change (instead of your average psycho-killer, haunted house, monster movie, etc.) then rent Terror Eyes. The movie just has so many plot twists and stories in itself. It changes from horror to a suspense to some Twilight Zone episode. It is weird and many probably won't appreciate it like I do. But this movie was just something originally different for a change. You'd think lots of more famous movies of today might of copied off it hoping that no one saw it such as Jumanji, The Never-Ending Story, Run Lola Run, Cube, etc. That just shows what a variety of genres you get from this surprisingly good (and many times confusing) horror flick. Unfortunately it is very unpopular and I'm sure many videostores don't carry it. It depends on your taste, but I definitely think this movie is worth watching. I gave it a 6. The acting's not that bad and (for the time-period it was made in, of course) the effects aren't that bad. The box throws you off and summaries about it in movie-books and other internet sites do also so don't be fooled. This movie has a little bit of everything in it even if it is a little cheesy.
A young woman is hired by Satan to write a movie script for a horror movie.She and the group of her friends go camping and tell cheesy horror stories which we the viewers are about to witness.The last story which involves unlucky female chess master and labyrinth of traps becomes my instant favourite as it predates concepts used in "Cube" and "Saw"."Terror Eyes" by Eric Parkinson and Michael Rissi is pure 80's cheese.Vivian Schilling's presence is incredibly sexy,the acting is fairly decent and there are some great one-liners.There is no nudity and only a little bit of violence,so fans of more exploitative horror will be disappointed.If you are deeply into 80's horror "Terror Eyes" is a perfect way to kill some time.7 horror stories out of 10.
Now I know that the eighties spawned a nearly immeasurable amount of dumb and low-budgeted horror movies, and that it's practically impossible to have seen them all, but still I'm somewhat surprised that this particular one never caught my attention before. I'm a tremendous fan of the genre, the decade and particularly anthologies, and the list of '80s anthologies isn't that enormous after all. Considering the fact that I've struggled myself through some truly bad ones that are less obscure, like for example "Shock Chamber", I had very little hopes that this "Terror Eyes" would be worth checking out, but my second pleasant surprise was that I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. "Terror Eyes" is an incredibly cheap and amateurish, but the lack of professionalism is widely compensated by the spirited acting performances, the ingenious wraparound story and most of all the astoundingly clever short stories. The segments are curious and compelling, all three of them, and I certainly didn't expect that they would also be tense and well-scripted. The wraparound story introduces a young female marketing executive who, strangely enough, is charged with writing a horror screenplay. She's inexperienced and frustrated about this, but she finds inspiration in her nightmares and around the campfire during a trip with her friends. At some point during the camping trip the lead actress' boyfriend even gets possessed by a sort of rancid demon, but even that bizarre plot twist results in a couple of funny moments. The first story, which is definitely my favorite one, introduces the marginal couple Troy and Starla Floyd. They are offered a book by a strange door-to-door salesman and discover that it very accurately describes every move they make and every word they say; even stuff that hasn't occurred yet. The second story deals with the difficult themes like time loops and altering history, but the narration is light-headed and unpretentious and thus very easy to follow. In order to pay off his debt, a loser gambler is sent to rob the house of the creditor, allegedly so that he can recover the insurance money. Once there he witnesses the murder of his creditor's wife, but when he flees he ends up in the exact same place and the exact same time as the day before. As he's reliving the same experience multiple times, he discovers who the murderer is and why. The third and final story revolves on Alex Bender, as she just the world's first female champion chess player. Alex also happens to be a truly devoted and feminist opponent against violence towards women in video games and grabs every opportunity to criticize the famous Rubinstein Game Corporation and its CEO on national television. After another fierce press interview she gets kidnapped and ends up in the mansion of the deranged CEO Martin Rubinstein. Alex now becomes the lead character in a very vivid violent game herself, and the price of defeat is death I can't emphasize enough how deeply I'm impressed by the originality and the freshness of the little stories featuring in "Terror Eyes". That alone makes it easier for me to overlook the poor technical aspects and micro-budgeted production values. Most of the actors/actresses appear in various roles and clearly enjoy themselves a lot. One of the actresses, Vivian Schilling even co-wrote the better-than-expected screenplay. Talk about multitasking!
You can do worse for a very obscure little home video era horror
thriller with zero boobs or beheadings. Not quite a horror anthology in
the traditional sense of the word, which is why I sought it out. More
sort of an extended series of loosely connected psychological thriller
sections, connected by the common thread that they all feature the same
actors. First up is a nifty one-set take on the "Devil's Gift" premise
of an unwanted acquisition you can't seem to get rid of. I liked how
ordinary it looked. Second is a bizarre version of "Groundhog Day" with
a misfit two-bit loser finding himself stuck in a causality loop of
greed and murder. Last segment is the most interesting with a demented
twist on "Tron" with an anti-gaming violence crusader running for her
life in a human sized rat maze.
Most was shot on film, the final segment on video equipment and the blend of the two mediums makes an interesting concoction. The wrap-around segment of a ditzy writer attempting to write a horror movie isn't very involving and Daniel Roebuck's presence in the film is puzzling ... Maybe he went to high school with one of the producers? He is sort of in the Peter Cushing role, the screen presence who out-acts everyone just by sitting up in his chair and looking involved. There's some decent squibbage and a melted head but no real splatter and fans of exploitation may be disappointed by how respectful the film is towards its female cast members.
For that matter the "rat maze" sequence is itself a little bit of commentary on the over-hyped nature of pop culture, it's inherent admiration of violence and misogyny, and how we all get caught up in the frenzy of consuming it every now and then. Kind of interesting to see it in the wake of the Aurora Batman massacre & reflect upon how the pop culture represented in such films found a horrifying real-world form in its barbarity. Not to minimize the event but to point out that a popular culture eventually starts breeding gross parodic versions of itself to mimic those forms which it celebrates. Sick minds latch onto base whims partly on suggestion, which means only that the madness of film violence & its de-sensitizing effect on already disturbed minds can lead to genuine chaos. Like nobody knew that already, and whoever crafted the sequence had to have an intimate familiarity with late 80s arcade gaming to have skewered it so effectively.
Commentary aside that one sequence is maybe worth the effort of seeking out this understandably obscure film for lovers of low budget regionally produced horror films. One segment finds a participant getting high scores in a video game based on the number of rapes & kills he had committed, and a genuine belly laugh awaits those who get to watch the Pac Man doggie chase it's victim. Pretty interesting stuff! the banal locations, non-acting and pert screen presence of sexy Vivian Schilling amounting to more than the sum of its parts. Just don't go in expecting disembowelings or female exterior anatomy lessons and this will give it up for you. Kept the attention of two very jaded horror film buffs who have seen "Header", and were drinking beer.
As its on-screen caption 'HOLLYWOOD Writer's Strike. No More
Movies...No More Horror! What's the Devil to do?' began, I found myself
asking "What the Devil is this? This isn't the 1980 Rachel Ward movie I
was searching for!"
Film opens with distorted, point-of-view shots of Hollywood Blvd, weird blue- and red- lighted smoke, soft focus; bleached-out, or just underexposed? Or was the lighting intentionally too hot, and for what reason? (That's the second film I've watched recently with this problem. The first was the non-James Cameron 'Terminator 2', from Italy)
Once guy and girl set fire to something called The Book Of Life, the smoke effects begin, the disgusting fire effects begin, and the film becomes very weird, as it is explained away as being merely a dream, from which the girl (Vivian Schilling) wakes up from and writes down, convinced it will make a good horror movie. Apparently, Schilling's character is a horror film screenwriter, and the first half hour of this student film is vignettes dreamt by her, and typed later for use as potential ideas for new horror films. A disembodied hand punches through the door of her office, then rips the door off its hinges to get to her- but it's all just another one of her dreams.
She and her friends go camping and tell each other weird stories, which she also thinks will make great material for the horror movie she's writing. Here is where the film becomes slow moving and plodding, with the typical grotesque 80s clothes only serving to annoy.
Chick's chase through checkerboard hallway mazes while being followed by a rabid dog is surreal and eerie; but its effect negated by dated computer graphics, and bizarrely out-of-place ragtime piano music, as she suddenly appears in an old west ghost town.
A twist says that the entire film is the work of Satan, telling tales around a campfire to Schilling and the rest of her friends. Schilling then wakes up, turns these events into a screenplay, and becomes a filmmaker with a huge hit from it, in a supremely bewildering ending.
"Student Produced at USC", this has a few interesting ideas and camera shots, but painfully slow pacing, and not much action for a horror flick. It would have worked better as a 30-minutes long short film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I guess it had to happen sooner or later. I've finally found a film so
obscure that there is only one other rambling review on the IMDb and I
couldn't find any thing else about it on the internet. Well ladies and
gentlemen, I present here for your viewing pleasure my complete,
authoritative, comprehensive and totally uncensored review for Terror
Eyes! The only review of Terror Eyes you will ever need. It starts with
an on screen caption that reads 'HOLLYWOOD Writer's Strike. No More
Movies...No More Horror! What's the Devil to do?' And no, I don't know
why they spelt Hollywood in capital letters. After the opening credits
have played we find a young woman named Eva Adams (co-producer Vivian
Schilling) who looks like a secretary in a room sat in front of a type
writer. She appears to have writers block and can't seem to type
anything she is happy with. Suddenly a cloud of smoke starts to seep in
through the door, and a couple of red glowing eyes appear. As if by
magic she begins to type, the camera shows us the piece of paper in the
type writer and it says 'Book of Life' which leads us nicely into the
This tale is set almost entirely within an apartment belonging to Troy Floyd (Lance August) and his wife Starta (Vivian Schilling, again) who are getting ready to go out and meet some friends. Someone knocks their door, they answer it and a man named Clark Rogers (Daniel Roebuck, with a dodgy moustache) gives them a book. As they read it, they discover their entire lives have been accurately portrayed within the pages, past, present and a horrifying future............
Eva Adams wakes up, it was all a nightmare. Her husband Richard (Daniel Roebuck, without dodgy moustache this time) complains that they need to be up early tomorrow to go camping with their friends. Eva complains right back saying her boss has told her it's up to her to write a horror film because of the writer's strike, and that she can't remember her nightmare so she can't use that. The next morning Eva and Richard set of in their van and pick their friends up, Julie (Gina Hightower), Mannie (Dan Bell), Scott Parker (Lance August, again) and April (Becky McGovern). Once deep into the woods they set up camp and decide to try and help Eva by telling scary stories. Which leads us into the second story called 'Perfect Alibi'.
Mannie (Dan Bell, again) is a small time crook who owes a loan shark named Mike (Christopher Roland) some money. Mike gives him the opportunity to pay his debt off by robbing his ex-wife's (Elinor Baggett) house. He says they will spilt the loot 50/50. After Mannie has set himself up with an alibi he breaks into her house and finds her dead on the floor. He finds himself reliving the same night over and over again, only changing slightly each time. Mannie tries to use this to his advantage but just after he thinks he has the perfect alibi something rather unexpected happens that he hadn't seen coming...........
Back round the camp fire and it's on with our third and final story called 'Snake Eyes'.
Alex Bender (Diana James) has just beaten an opponent (Paul Caruso) to become the worlds first female champion chess player. Soon after facing the press she is kidnapped by her chauffeur (Gary Hodgson) and taken to an isolated mansion owned by Martin Rubenstein (Phil Lowey) president of the Rubenstein game corporation who make violent video games like 'slasher' where the object is to kill and rape as many people as possible and get the high score. Alex is a very outspoken critic of the Rubenstein corporation. Now Alex must play a deadly real life game that only one can win, and the price for defeat is death............
The film then switches back to the camp and rounds off with a couple of silly twist endings. Each segment have their own set of credits. The first segment and the wrap around story appear to be co-written and directed by Eric Parkinson, who also has a small role in the film as a T.V. reporter at the end. The second segment was written and directed by Steve Sommers and 'student produced at university of Southern California'. The third story has Micheal Rissi credited as writer and director and was 'student produced at USG', and also features footage playing 'under' the credits not found in the actual film. What this film appears to be is three student made films all stuck together with a wrap around story. It would be interesting to know what grades these films got! It's generally quite poorly made with bad acting, effects, music and production design. But I must admit I quite liked the individual stories, especially the third one 'Snake Eyes'. There's not much blood or gore, a melted face, a few gunshot wounds and a sequence in which a large snake eats a rat. Difficult to recommend as it's technically so rough around the edges, but I felt it wasn't a complete waste of my time. A+ for effort, E- for execution.
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