aka Blind Terror
Director – Richard Fleischer, Screenplay – Brian Clemens, Producers – Leslie Linder & Martin Ransohoff, Photography – Gerry Fisher, Music – Elmer Bernstein, Art Direction – John Hoesli. Production Company – Genesis Productions.
Mia Farrow (Sarah), Brian Rawlinson (Barker), Norman Eshley (Steve Redding), Dorothy Allison (Betty Rexton), Robin Bailey (George Rexton), Diane Grayson (Sandy Rexton)
The blind Sarah goes to stay on her uncle’s farm in the English countryside. While Sarah is out with her old boyfriend, a killer slaughters her uncle, aunt and cousin. She returns home, unaware of the bodies in the house, even in her own bedroom. The killer then returns for the locket he has dropped. When the killer finds Sarah there, unaware of his presence, he determines to dispose of her as well.
This little seen psycho-thriller was a fruitful collaboration between British screenwriter Brian Clemens and American director Richard Fleischer. Brian Clemens has found acclaimed as producer and story editor on tv’s cult The Avengers (1962-9) and later as creator of The Professionals (1977-83) and writer, sometimes director (see below for his other genre films). In the director’s chair was Richard Fleischer, a versatile American director of vehicles such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and Fantastic Voyage (1966) among others (see below). Alas, See No Evil was little seen when it came and is one of Richard Fleischer’s rare flops. It is also a film that has failed to ever emerge into video/dvd release.
Brian Clemens essentially reworks the basic set-up of the Audrey Hepburn-Alan Arkin thriller Wait Until Dark (1967), stripping away the contorted crime caper plot and turning it into a psycho-thriller. Clemens is unconcerned with anything more than the minimal set-up required to get to the cat-and-mouse game. Once there, Richard Fleischer is in his element with Mia Farrow’s character unaware of bodies in the bed next to her, the killer rifling the pockets of her clothes while she bathes and so on. Fleischer’s confident use of low-set, wide-angle lenses creates a strong sense of unease. Mia Farrow, the only recognizable name on board, is good. The film’s principal failing is the denouement where the unmasking of the killer comes without any significance.
Richard Fleischer’s other genre films are:– 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Fantastic Voyage (1966) about a miniaturized submarine journey inside the human body, the musical version of Doctor Dolittle (1967), The Boston Strangler (1968), the true life serial killer film 10 Rillington Place (1971), the over-populated future film Soylent Green (1973), Amityville 3-D (1983), and the Robert E. Howard adaptations Conan the Destroyer (1984) and Red Sonja (1985).
Brian Clemens’s other scripts are:– The Tell-Tale Heart (1960), Curse of the Voodoo/Curse of Simba (1965), And Soon the Darkness (1970), Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971), Ray Harryhausen’s The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), the Disney ghost story The Watcher in the Woods (1980) and Highlander II: The Quickening (1991). Clemens also wrote and directed Hammer’s Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (1974). He has acted as script editor and producer on the tv series’ The Avengers (1962-9), The New Avengers (1976-8), The Professionals (1977-83) and Bugs (1995-8).