Before sitting down to watch White of the Eye, I knew nothing of director Donald Cammell’s work. After watching the movie and seeing how the features mention he was such an artist director, who loved to cause trouble on the set with the workers, just to get them to produce something fantastic, I have to say, he was certainly someone who could do something different. In White of the Eye, the different is being a film that isn’t your straight forward slasher flick. It does start with hints of giallo style killings, with a gloved killer stalking a rich woman in her home. After, though, we settle down with David Keith’s character, Paul White, who can somehow hum really loudly and know exactly where speakers are in the walls (yeah, I didn’t get that part either) and his wife Joan, played by Cathy Moriarty. The film features numerous flashbacks, a bit of killing here and there and a bunch of random scenes that end abruptly. I have a feeling that White of the Eye isn’t going to be for everyone. Read on to see why…
SUBTITLES: English SDH REGION: A RATING: R PRODUCTION DATE: 1987 RELEASE DATE: Nov 17, 2015
If you’re a wealthy, attractive woman, stay out of Arizona, because you are fair game. A twisted killer is on the loose and he tortures and dissects his beautiful victims as part of a primitive Indian ritual. All the clues lead to one man who is clearly innocent. But nothing is as simple as black and white in White Of The Eye.
As I’ve already mentioned, White of the Eye starts off with an 80s bang, looking like it was smeared with vaseline, a shiny glow around everything. We witness a brutal murder, with awesome music by Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) and Rick Fenn (10cc) blasting through your speakers. I’m thinking, right on, this is going to be good. Sadly, things start to slow to a crawl as we catch up with Paul. He’s an electronics repairman/installer, who is one of the first suspects the police are looking into, all because his tires match those at the crime scene. The film slowly doles out weird scenes after another, numerous bleached flashbacks, showing how Paul met Joan. All of these scenes don’t really connect together that well and there are several times where some just end abruptly, almost like they didn’t know what to do with the flick in the editing room.
Things really only pick up as we near the end, but things are too far gone to really save it. I hear a lot of people calling this an underrated thriller, but honestly, I can’t see that being the truth. It’s lacking kills to be considered a slasher and too slow to really thrill you much. I can see why some would like the movie as the visuals and music are top notch, but it just wasn’t enough for me. With that being said, I did like some parts of the film, especially the aforementioned music and what few murders we got were pretty cool. I did guess early on who the killer was, even though there are several red herrings in play, so it didn’t work in keeping me glued to my seat, which is a damn shame.
Scream Factory was able to license the transfer from Arrow Video’s Blu-ray, so anyone that owns that disc should expect the same kind of transfer here. It’s a little scratchy in parts, especially the flashback scenes, but that was actually a directorial decision, so no blame can be placed on the transfer. The audio does a wonderful job at pumping that groovy music and the dialogue comes through clear. All around, it’s not a bad disc in the least bit.
Special features have a few carry overs from Arrow’s release, such as the sit down with Cinematographer and Steadicam Operator Larry McConkey. Mr. McConkey goes into detail on how it was to work with Donald Cammell and it’s an interesting watch. The audio commentary by Donald Cammell Biographer Sam Umland is also included, along with an alternate opening, deleted scenes and the flashback scenes before the bleach bypass process. Unfortunately, the feature length by Kevin Macdonald and Chris Rodley on Donald Cammell’s life is not included. New features, however, are interviews with actors Alan Rosenbery and Art Evans, both actors in the movie.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
NEW Into The Vortex – An Interview With Actor Alan Rosenberg
NEW Eye Of The Detective – An Interview With Actor Art Evans
Audio Commentary By Donald Cammell Biographer Sam Umland
Deleted Scenes With Commentary By Sam Umland
Into The White – An Interview With Cinematographer And Steadicam Operator Larry McConkey
Alternate Credit Sequence
Flashback Sequences Prior To The Bleach Bypass Process
White of the Eye disappointed me. It lacked in the killings department and the movie focused too much on the mundane life of David Keith’s character, who doesn’t do much but fight and sleep with his wife (I guess like every marriage really). It’s an artsy film in some aspects, so some may get enjoyment out of the aesthetic visuals and pumping soundtrack, but those alone aren’t enough to save the movie (Disclaimer: remember, this is just my opinion). The Blu-ray from Scream Factory is a great way for North American fans to get a hold of it, but if you already own the UK Arrow release, it’s best to just stick with that.