Saturday, March 2, 2013

Headless Eyes

Directed By Kent Bateman. Starring Bo Brundin. (1971)

You may be surprised to find that the sick bastard behind Headless Eyes is none other than the father of Jason and Justine Bateman! Is Headless Eyes ever mentioned at hollywood parties by Kent Bateman's more famous offspring? probably not.
A whiny burglar tries to get enough money for rent by attacking a sleeping woman (with an ugly wig). The woman retaliates by jabbing a spoon into his eyeball and his obnoxious sobbing is played on repeat over the credits (Yow, my eye)!
There's wobbly psychedelic music and constant shots of eyeballs (some drenched in blood). The whiny burglar graduates to maniac, he sort of looks like Phil Collins with an eyepatch. He collects eyeballs in his very small apartment, keeping some on ice. An elderly couple spot him and he follows them home and kills both of them with a hammer. Later on he stabs a friendly prostitute and takes over her slightly bigger apartment. He makes the headlines as The Eye Killer, but considers himself an artist. His over dramatic high pitched "theater" voice sometimes resembles the butler from Pink Flamingoes. His x-girlfriend who looks like Leonard Nimoy shows up and he rambles on about his failed art career and other gibberish. 
 The police are searching for him and he totally fools them by wearing sunglasses over his eyepatch, he is a textbook wanted poster ad looking character and still no one can find him. The psych music gets replaced by sneaky piano noises as he follows different people around. 
His weapon is a spoon and at one point he shakily performs amateur surgery on an old lady. He babbles lots of gobbilty gook and it seems like he only preys on the very frail and timid, because he's such a spineless wimp! After the woman who plucked his eye out from the beginning coincidentally shows up again, he goes insane and prances around while voices monotonously waver back and forth. He drives out to the country side and  exhumes a corpse so he can pull out her eyeball. 
Check out my Senor Wences impression!

An art school girl follows him and tries to convince the killer that she should teach her the craft. Not how to pop out eyes with spoons, just how to sculpt. He starts to behave normally (maybe he just needs a friend)? The first time I heard of this film was through a 70's grindhouse company called Alpha Blue Archives that sold a handful of exploitation films, but mainly classic porn and they soon became an all porn company soon after. Why this film was rated X is confusing to me (possibly the version they sold had porn inserts edited in), I can't imagine where they would fit though. There are hardly any woman in the film or opportunities to show gratuitous nudity. The lead actor Bo Brundin went on to appear in one of the most sought after film rarities in existence,  Jerry Lewis' notorious The Day The Clown Cried! Jerry has this film locked in a vault and vows to never show it ever again, it first played in 1972. Headless Eyes has plenty of interesting people attached like Jason and Justine Bateman's father and the Jerry Lewis connection, but ultimately fails as a slasher. Some critics mention that it is like The Driller Killer (a totally unfair comparison).  If anything it's one of those low rent dimestore sleazy spectacle films you watch to poke fun of and it never rises above that bottom level of quality.

check out the real director's comment on IMDB (Listed under mis-crediting)


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