The Headless Eyes

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The Headless Eyes
Headless Eyes poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byKent Bateman
Produced byRon Sullivan (as Henri Pachard)[1]
Written byKent Bateman
Starring
Production
company
Laviniaque Films
Distributed byJ.E.R. Pictures
Cinema Shares International Distribution
Release date
  • October 27, 1971 (1971-10-27)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Headless Eyes is a 1971 American exploitation horror film written and directed by Kent Bateman.

Plot[edit]

The film depicts an artist named Arthur Malcolm (Bo Brundin) who sneaks into a woman's bedroom and tries to steal the money off her nightstand to pay his rent. Mistaking thief for rapist, the woman pushes his eye out with a spoon from her evening tea and knocks him out the second-story window. After being gawked at with his eye dangling from his head and the ultimate loss of his eye, Arthur becomes a serial killer and uses his victims' eyes in his artwork.

Cast[edit]

  • Bo Brundin as Arthur Malcolm
  • Gordon Ramon
  • Kelley Swartz
  • Mary Jane Early

Production[edit]

The film was produced by Ron Sullivan (credited as Henri Pachard), a cinematographer with a background in pornographic films.[1] The film's director, Kent Bateman, is the father of actors Justine and Jason Bateman.[1]

Release[edit]

The film was distributed by J.E.R. Pictures, an independent company based in Times Square, New York City, who paired it as a double feature with The Ghastly Ones (1968).[1] It opened in Canandaigua, New York on October 27, 1971 as part of this double feature.[2] Though it received an X rating due to violence, the film was a box-office success.[1]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD by Wizard Video on July 16, 2013.[3] Code Red released a Blu-ray edition of the film featuring two alternate cuts on December 6, 2016.[4]

Reception[edit]

Joseph A. Ziemba from Bleeding Skull! gave the film a positive review, writing, "Unkempt and gloomy, yet somehow radiant, the mind-bending Headless Eyes is a touchpoint for every element that makes nonconformist 70s trash-horror cinema so enduring today. As soon as “The End” rolls around, you’ll want to watch it again."[5] On his website Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings, Dave Sindelar gave the film a negative review, calling it "pointless, pretentious, annoying, and no fun at all".[6]

Film scholars Bill Landis and Michelle Clifford write in Sleazoid Express (2002): "With murder scenes choreographed like slow-moving sex assaults, The Headless Eyes is true to the psychosexual underpinnings of blood horror...  Ultimately, [it] earns its place in the exploitation pantheon because it's as isolated, weird, and discordant as its main character."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Landis & Clifford 2002, p. 123.
  2. ^ "The Ghastly Ones/The Headless Eyes advert". The Daily Messenger. Canandaigua, New York. October 26, 1971. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ "The Headless Eyes (1971) - Kent Bateman". AllMovie. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  4. ^ "The Headless Eyes Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019.
  5. ^ Ziemba, Joseph. "Headless Eyes (1971)". Bleeding Skull.com. Joseph A. Ziemba. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  6. ^ Sindelar, Dave. "The Headless Eyes (1971)". Fantastic Movie Musings.com. Dave Sindelar. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  7. ^ Landis & Clifford 2002, p. 124.

Sources[edit]

  • Landis, Bill; Clifford, Michelle (2002). Sleazoid Express: A Mind-Twisting Tour Through the Grindhouse Cinema of Times Square. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-743-21583-1.

External links[edit]