The Killer Eye (1998)

Rating:

USA. 1998.

Crew

Director – Richard Chasen [David DeCoteau], Screenplay – Benjamin Carr, Rolfe Kanefsky & Matthew Jason Walsh, Producer – Sky Sharp, Photography – Howard Wexler, Music – Carl Dante, Visual Effects – John R. Ellis & David A. Wagner, Eye Designed/Created by Mark Williams, Prosthetic/Tentacle Effects – Chris Bergschneider, Jeff Farley & Bud McGrew, Production Design – Hunter Cressall. Production Company – Pulp Fantasy/Tanna Productions

Cast

Jonathan Norman (Dr Jordan Grady), Jacqueline Lovell (Rita Grady), Nanette Bianchi (Jane), Costas Koromilas (Morton), Roland Martinez (Joe), Dave Dien Ward (Tom), Blake Bailey (Creepy Bill), Ryan Van Steenis (Street Kid)


Plot

Dr Jordan Grady conducts an experiment, placing drops in the eye of a young street hustler he has picked up, something that will allow the subject to glimpse into the eighth dimension. However, the experiment goes wrong and the kid is killed by an alien force that possesses his eyeball. The eyeball grows to giant size and moves through the house, sexually teasing the unfulfilled women there.


The Killer Eye comes from Richard Chasen. Richard Chasen’s one other directorial credit so far is Voodoo Academy (2000), the first stupendously bad B film of the millennium. Richard Chasen is in fact a pseudonym of low-budget director David DeCoteau who made the cheap and ratty likes of Creepozoids (1987), Sorority Babes from the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama (1987) and Test Tubes Teens from the Year 2000 (1994). (See below for a full listing of David DeCoteau’s genre films).

The Killer Eye belongs to a body of films that were all the fad in the late 80s/early 90s, which set out to be deliberately schlocky imitations of bad 1950s science-fiction films (the abovementioned DeCoteau films are prime examples). Most of these unfortunately ended up being simply bad films made with a cheesy cynicism. The giant eyeball here is at least a competently well done effect, while the acting tends to the terrible. (Most of the cast seem to affect Aussie accents even though the credits indicate the film was shot in L.A.). With enterprising economy, The Killer Eye is restricted to the single location of one house and never strays out of doors.

What is amusing about Chasen/DeCoteau’s films is their ludicrous underlying sexual symbolism. The Killer Eye gives the impression of trying to be a would-be made-for-cable erotic film (an area where Jacqueline Lovell has certainly found employ before). There are numerous scenes with the two women of the film – Jacqueline Lovell and Nanette Bianchi – naked and the eyeball caressing them into sexual deliria with its long single drooping tentacle (which also has the nifty effect of shooting tiny electric shocks to the nipples). Voodoo Academy proved hysterical with its underlying homo-eroticism, something that has become a recurrent element of David DeCoteau’s films. Similar things infect The Killer Eye – all the men in the film seem either sexually disinterested in the women or impotent – the most sexual interest ever demonstrated seems to be a husband impotently caressing himself as the eye erotically titillates his wife. There are underlying hints of homo-eroticism – the wife of the sexually disinterested scientist finding he has picked up a young pretty boy hustler for ‘use in his experiments’; or the two handsome studs who appear disinterested in the wife’s sexual overtures and who prefer to lie around in bed in their boxers getting stoned together. Indeed, the only non-female sexually vital force in the film is the eyeball itself, which seems to have, despite lack of sex organs or gender, the ability to tap the frustrated female libido. It all comes with lots of crashing symbolism about voyeurism.

If Chasen/DeCoteau had been any cleverer, The Killer Eye could have maybe been something akin to Anguish (1987) and drawn connections between the horny eye impotently looking on as women writhe before it and the obvious connection with the viewer left impotently watching the extended sex scenes the film offers. However, The Killer Eye is not a film steeped in meta-fictional self-awareness. Instead, all that we have is a cheesy, cod-bad film pitched as easy sexploitation sell.

David DeCoteau’s other films of genre interest are:– Dreamaniac (1986), Nightmare Sisters (1987), Creepozoids (1987), Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1987), Dr Alien/I Was a Teenage Sex Maniac (1988), Murder Weapon (1990), Puppetmaster III: Toulon’s Revenge (1991), Beach Babes from Beyond (1993), Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 (1994), Blonde Heaven (1995), Prehysteria! 3 (1995), Beach Babes 2: Cave Girl Island (1996), Bikini Goddesses (1996), Lurid Tales: The Castle Queen (1996), Petticoat Planet (1996), Prey of the Jaguar (1996), The Journey: Absolution (1997), Shrieker (1997), Skeletons (1997), Beach Babes from Beyond 2 (1998), Curse of the Puppet Master (1998), Frankenstein Reborn (1998), Talisman (1998), Alien Arsenal (1999), Witchhouse (1999), Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy (2000), The Brotherhood (2000), Frankenstein and the Wolfman Reborn (2000), Prison of the Dead (2000), Voodoo Academy (2000), Final Stab/Final Scream/Scream 4 (2001), The Frightening (2001), The Brotherhood 2: Young Warlocks (2001), The Brotherhood 3: Young Demons (2002), The Wolves of Wall Street (2002), Leeches (2003), Speed Demon (2003), Ring of Darkness (2004), The Sisterhood (2004), Brotherhood IV: The Complex (2005), Killer Bash (2005), Witches of the Caribbean (2005), Beastly Boyz (2006), Grizzly Rage (2007), The Raven (2007), House of Usher (2008), Alien Presence (2009), The Brotherhood V: Alumni (2009), The Brotherhood VI: Initiation (2009), Nightfall (2009), The Pit & the Pendulum (2009), Son of a Witch (2009), Stem Cell (2009), 1313: Giant Killer Bees (2010), Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010), A Dream Within a Dream (2011), 1313: Haunted Frat (2011), 1313: Actor Slash Model (2011), 1313: Boy Crazies (2011), 1313: Wicked Stepbrother (2011), 1313: Bermuda Triangle (2012), 1313: Bigfoot Island (2012), 1313: Cougar Cult (2012), 1313: Frankenqueen (2012), 1313: Hercules Unbound (2012), 1313: Night of the Widow (2012), 1313: UFO Invasion (2012), A Halloween Puppy (2012), Immortal Kiss: Queen of the Night (2012), Santa’s Summer House (2012), Snow White: A Deadly Summer (2012), 2: Voodoo Academy (2012), Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft (2013), My Stepbrother is a Vampire (2013), A Talking Cat (2013), A Talking Pony (2013), 3 Scream Queens (2014), 3 Wicked Witches (2014), 666: Devilish Charm (2014), 666: Kreepy Kerry (2014), 90210 Shark Attack (2014), Bigfoot vs D.B. Cooper (2014), Knock ‘Em Dead (2014), Asian Ghost Story (2016), Bloody Blacksmith (2016), Evil Exhumed (2016), Sorority Slaughterhouse (2016), 666: Teen Warlock (2016), The Wrong Child (2016), The Wrong Roommate (2016), Swamp Freak (2017), The Wrong Crush (2017), The Wrong Man (2017), The Wrong Student (2017), The Wrong Cruise (2018) and The Wrong Friend (2018). DeCoteau has made films under a variety of pseudonyms, including Ellen Cabot, Richard Chasen, Julian Breen and Victoria Sloan.




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