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sexta-feira, 23 de abril de 2010


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  • Straight to Video
  • Director: Jeff Leroy, Tim Sullivan
  • Written by: Tim Sullivan
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Cast: Stephanie Beaton, Tarri Markell, Deborah Huber, Mark Sawyer, Jason Clark, Tim Sullivan, Kurt Levi, Eric Mestressat, Kurt Levi, Daniella Green, Lyndon Johnson, Ron Ford, Matt Howell, Steve Goldman, Vinnie Bilancio, Kent Burton

With only one other directorial credit to his name "Vampyre Femmes", Tim Sullivan's second go-round as auteur with long time collaborator Jeff LeRoy, proved less than extraordinary and maybe even a little forgettable to the average joe like myself. Hindered by a terribly lame script, "Eyes of the Werewolf" still manages to come through looking like a somewhat respectable entry in the 'werewolf horror' sub-genre mainly because of its interesting premise, stirring musical score and some rather good special effects, as well; the film seems inspired by the werewolf films that emerged out of Spain in the mid 1970's. In fact, the film appears styled almost outright on Paul Naschy and Miguel Iglesias works. Clearly Sullivan and LeRoy spent many a night indulging in the adventures of Waldemar Daninsky before they began conceiving this flick.

A terrible day for night sequence involving a group of hunters stalking a werewolf like-creature through a thick forest opens the film. After some brief snapshots of gore involving the werewolf turning the tables on his pursuers and slaughtering a pair of them, one of which is b-movie legend Ron Ford, in a cameo, the hunters eventually prevail, shooting, beheading and even cutting out the eyes of the strange beast.

At the same time, a scientist, Rich Stevens (Mark Sawyer), experimenting alone in his laboratory one night, mistakenly mixes the wrong chemicals and before he can say "oops!" his mistake boils over and explodes directly into his face. With acid burning into his eye sockets, poor Rich can only squeal in agony -- something that he'll get quite good at as the film moves forward. Cut to a bit later and we learn that Rich has become somebody else's experiment. Rich has become test subject numero uno in a first of its kind eye transplant surgery. Yes, as ludicrous as it sounds, Rich has retained his eye sight thanks to one Dr. Atwill played by the film’s director Tim Sullivan. Along with having his eyesight recovered, Rich also seems to have attracted the attention of one very friendly and very large breasted nurse, Sondra Gard (Stephanie Beaton), who works her way into a sexual liaison with the still incapacitated Rich, long before any tangible reason is given. To Sullivan's credit, there is some slight build up before the sex, but we’re talking porno "I don’t have any money to pay for that pizza, is there anything else I can offer?" dialogue here. Whatever excuse that is given, it just doesn’t wash because these two are essentially strangers (however their dialogue suggests a much deeper relationship, huh?) and there’s also that practice of nurses sleeping with patients that I’m sure is frowned upon by their superiors -- even the sleazy types who run this private clinic. This is really lame stuff, as is the awkward delivery by Mark Sawyer when he reveals that he’s already married. "Seven years," he tells Gard, who quickly points out that he’s wearing his wedding ring. She also points out that he wife has yet to visit him.

Eventually the bandages are removed and Rich is released from the hospital with a whole new hunger to live, if you get my drift. He bids farewell to Sondra and heads home to see his wife, Rita Stevens (Deborah Huber), who is less than thrilled to see him. Rita is icy cold and cruel, which goes along way in explaining why she never ventured out to his hospital bedside. Before Rich can even get in a couple of sentences, Rita is making a mad dash for the car so she can be with her new 'secret' lover, who just happens to be Rich’s best friend Craig Laven (Lyndon Johnson). Not to quick on the uptake, it takes Rich a bit of time but eventually he clues into the fact that his wife might be having an affair. After confronting the pair at Craig’s house, Rich is beaten and sent on his way. That night Rich’s anger boils over and his inner monster is released. Of course, old Rich is very much a monster -- a hulking, hairy, red-eyed werewolf, in fact. An inexcusable sequence involving a poorly drawn matte painting of a full moon (apparent laziness on the part of the filmmakers), causes Rich to transform into the beast and, before long, he’s stalking the moonlit beach where Craig just happens to be waiting with a guitar and a bottle of vodka. All of his inner turmoil and rage erupts in a violent and gruesome FX show that leaves Craig without an Adam's Apple, or much of a throat for that matter. Rich even stops momentarily to dine on Craig's entrails. Yummy!

The next day, with blood on his hands (both literally and figuratively) and his shirt torn to threads, Rich awakens in a forest and staggers to the nearby creepy shack of a crippled hermit midget named Androse, played by Kurt Levi. Barely shocked at the bruised and battered man, Androse, a soft spoken, gentle sort, simply invites him in and offers him aid and comfort. Interestingly, Androse is not just a friendly guy, he’s also some sort of expert in werewolf lore and in the occult, in general. Oh, c'mon. Anyways, he offers Rich some words of advice before sending him on his way. At home, Rich is visited by Police Lieutenant Justine Evers (Tarri Markell) who pretty much makes it clear that she believes that he is the number one suspect in the death of Craig Laven. Columbo she is not. After scooting her out the door, Rich is next visited by his nosey neighbor -- the male equivalent of Gladdice Kravitz named Siodmak (Jason Clark), an author who published a book about the occult. Oh, c'mon. For the record, Siodmak is named after the fellow who wrote the original "Wolfman" Curt Siodmak but anyone watching this should already know this. Anyways, he informs our boy Rich that he's got the goods on him. Apparently he saw him murder Craig out there on the beach the night before. Siodmak offers to not tell the cops if Rich will give him an interview for a new book he is writing. Capitalism at its best, baby. Sadly, Rich is not entirely sure of what actually happened the previous night. He hasn't yet discerned whether those nightmarish images in his head of him ripping out a man's throat, actually ever happened.

Things get a little clearer for him when, following a badgering by his philandering evil-witch of a wife, Rich turns into the beast and subsequently tears out her throat. In a fit of rage, he hits the streets looking for something to chew on. A very unlucky prostitute finds herself dessert for the beast, that emerges Paul Naschy style out of the shadows of a smoke-filled darkened alley. Up to this point, Rich has chosen his victims based on whatever nasty thing they have done to him in his human persona, hence, this victim, a complete stranger, doesn't really fit with the rest of Rich's kills. It doesn't make sense, especially considering the end where Rich, as the werewolf, chooses whom to kill or not to kill. The only thing I can think is that this prostitute was simply drafted into the script during production to add some extra gore and maybe a few minutes to the film's running time. However, it could also be a nice homage to Paul Naschy's werewolf flicks, which almost always featured at least one scene of Naschy, as the wolf, stalking the streets killing innocuous folks who just happened to get in his way.

Again, Rich awakens in the forest just mere feet from Androse’s house. Wow, that's convenient. Androse apparently has done some research and believes that Rich’s strange and sudden lycanthropic transformations might have something to do with his recent eye transplant. This sends Rich on a hunt to find the good Doctor Atwill who promptly informs him that he’ll find out where the eyes came from. Fearing involvement of the police, the good doctor sends his human pitbull, a hulking bald headed fellow named Kass (Eric Mestressat) after Rich. Note the way the Sullivan shoots this scene with Dr. Atwill centered in front of a bright window. In a filmmaking sense, this would be a big no no, but in an artistic sense, it fits perfectly with what he's trying to convey with the Atwill character. By framing him against the light, Atwill becomes engulfed in a dark shadow which obfuscates the audience's view of him. Interestingly, and I'm guessing not coincidentally, at this point in the film, the audience has begun to look at Atwill's character in a new and much more ominous light.

From here, there is the introduction of a subplot involving Dr. Atwill and his clinic being apart of some kind of weird underground human-organ harvesting operation. Of course, this factors into the the final scene. That's how Rich ended up with the eyes of a werewolf. Taking on the tone of "The Fugitive", Rich hits out with the cops hot on his tail, attempting to bust open Atwill's underground body shop, while figuring out who (or what) was the rightful owner of the eyes. With all this on his plate, Rich also finds time to re-establish his budding intimacy with nurse Sondra Gard. Justine Evers, the police detective in charge of the investigation, has also become romantically interested in Gard, setting in motion one very strange police interrogation where Evers weaves her wording around a set of questions that all but minimizes the investigation, while bringing to light her own attraction to Gard. Strangely, Gard seems not as put off by Evers forwardness as one might expect. Awkward and a little titillating, I found this whole piece strangely genuine and a bit exciting.

Looking for all the help he can get, Rich recruits Androse and his neighbor Siodmak help him figure out who the original owner of the eyes was. Siodmak's character undergoes a thorough and unexplained character transformation, happily agreeing to help Rich -- something not in keeping with the greedy one-dimensional character we were introduced to. They quickly establish that the most obvious place to find evidence linking Atwill to the organ harvesting operation would be at the home of Atwill's thug, Kass -- which is located somewhere out in the woods just off the highway. I'm guessing they got this piece of info from Sondra, but who knows? So, as Rich, Androse and Siodmak break in and stumble across the proof in the form of some disembodied legs, arms and hands and even a nicely preserved decapitated head, they are forced to flee as Kass emerges out of the forest right at the most inopportune time. Rushing to a lame finisher, Kass gives chase to the three. In an interesting turn around, the predator becomes the hunted as Kass plays his own version of "The Most Dangerous Game" with Rich and his pals. It's almost laughable as Siodmak and Androse take to hiding behind a tree right outside Kass' abode while Rich seems to have teleported himself a hundred miles away. When the bullets start flying, Rich can only stand and scream at the top of his lungs. The final confrontation, if you can call it that, where Rich, as the wolf, decapitates Kass is pretty quick and mostly unsatisfying. Audiences will be expecting more. Then there's the unnecessary "I'm sorry" from Androse, uttered under his dying breath. The whole scene will have you laughing and it's simply because the wrong guy said it. Androse should have been muttering something along the lines of, "Hey Rich, you're welcome." Not to be caught off guard but there is a surprising moment of poignancy, at film's end involving Rich making the ultimate sacrifice for Sondra.

Tim Sullivan and Jeff LeRoy had collaborated on a number of projects together in the mid to late 90’s including 1999's "V-World Matrix" and 1999's "Camp Blood" but this film proved that Sullivan’s heart just wasn’t in directing. Clearly, his real interest was in the writing and acting aspect of filmmaking. However not a complete failure, there were points in the film, namely some major continuity errors (notice that Rich's shirt seems to tear in exactly the same spot), the use of paintings rather than actually gathering external shots, reliance on coincidence rather than a solid story structure etc. that illuminated a lack of interest or outright laziness on the part of the filmmaker. This laziness, as it were, eventually translated into the finished project, which appeared shoddy and quite amateurish -- more amateurish than some of LeRoy and Sullivan's previous efforts. Being one to track the progression of these b-independent filmmakers, there's nothing more annoying than when they take a step backwards and "Eyes of the Werewolf" was definitely a step backwards for these two men. To be clear, my main quandary with the film was mainly with the dialogue, which was a first draft presentable at best. With the exception of Markell’s attempted seduction of Beaton, the rest of script felt unfinished and, or, poorly conceived, and it provided very little motivation for some of the actions of the underdeveloped characters, namely in that opening number between Beaton and Sawyer. Plus, the story relied so heavily on coincidence that it just became totally laughable and unrealistic. Examples of these lollapalooza of coincidences include when Rich just happens to wake up outside the home of an expert on werewolf lore or when Rich just happens to have a neighbor who has published a book on the paranormal or when Siodmak just happens to call Androse looking for a werewolf and it just so happens that Rich is standing right there to take the call etc. It all becomes quite ludicrous and before long you’ll be muttering, "Oh, give me a break." Had more time been taken to develop the script, such things would not be necessary.

The real strength of the film lies in its star and major selling point, Stephanie Beaton, a moderately successful b-movie actress who starred in over a dozen movies previous including 1997's "Zombie Ninja Gangbangers" and 1998's "Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft". Notable for her large breasts, playful personality and a willingness to get giggy on camera, she often livened up any movie she appeared in. Here, Beaton has the best scenes, and they aren't the scenes where she takes off her clothes. She’s hardly a strong actress but at films end, as Rich’s plight becomes all too real, her concern for him feels, at least, somewhat authentic. Another actress who needs to be commended is Tarri Markell (2000's "The Family Man"), as the detective who dogs Rich while making the moves on his girlfriend. The sneaky seduction attempt on Beaton as she questions her over a string of homicides, is as good an acting performance as one can ever hope to expect from an actress in the b-independent arena. Interesting to note, Markell has since moved on to a moderately successful career in mainstream Hollywood and independent film productions. Also good in a minor part is Kurt Levi. Small in stature, Levi almost nails his quirky Zen-like character with all the gusto of a professionally trained actor. Remember I said 'almost'. Minus a hilariously awful death scene, I thought Levi’s performance was really quite admirable. After "Eyes of the Werewolf" Levi abandoned his mainstream ambitions, choosing a better paying stint in adult movies. He has since appeared in many controversial films for director Thomas Zupko under the alias Diablo. Former tv actor Mark Sawyer (1996's "Alien Force"), the star of the film and the one with the bulk of the bad dialogue, is mostly uneven in his performance. In some scenes, like the ones with his wife or Levi, he excels, while in others, he comes across as a guy haphazardly reciting dialogue. Although you do tend to sympathize with him throughout, audiences will find themselves tuning out simply because of his inconsistency.

Regarding the special effects and gore make-up provided by Jeff LeRoy (2004's "Grave Tales"), it's definitely not up to par with the work of Tom Savini or even some of the Euro films these guys took their inspiration from, but it is quite good. You never get to see any of that stop motion man-transforming-into-a-werewolf stuff you saw in Naschy's flicks, but you do get to see plenty of gore -- some of it realistic looking and some of it not. The scene when the werewolf pulls out its own eyeballs is an example of over the top excessive gore that, strangely, works.

Another thing to note before you spend some hard earned money on this film is that the video quality is very grainy and ugly, as evidenced in some of the screen captures I made of this film. Take note of the quality and remember, those images above came from a DVD.

  • Hospedagem>Megaupload
  • Uploader> UpTheBest
  • Formato>Mpg(Mpeg)
  • Duração> 90 Minutos
  • Idioma>Inglês S/Legenda

creditos para o Post

Blog Filmes de Lobisomens

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