Gatti Rossi In Un Labirinto Di Vetro
Sales Title: Wide-Eyed in the Dark
US Video Title: Eyeball
D: Umberto Lenzi
P: José Maria Cunilles//St &Sc: Felix Tusell & Umberto Lenzi//DP: Antonio Millan//E: Amadeo Moriani//M: Bruno Nicolai//Art D: Jose Massague//Color
Cast: John Richardson, Martine Brochard, Inez Pellegrin, Silvia Solar, Jorge Rigaud, Martha May as Alma, Daniele Vargas, Andres Mejuto, Raf Baldassare, Jose Maria Blanco, John Bartha, Olga Pehar.
An eclectic group of Americans are touring Barcelona by bus. Before long, this diverse gathering (which includes a priest, executive with his mistress, a lesbian couple, a husband and wife who fight all the time and others) begin to be decimated by a maniac with penchant for removing his victim's eyeball. Each tourist seemingly has a reason for being the orb snatching killer, however blame finally rests on a person who lost his/her eye while playing doctor as a child. She is now psychotically trying to replace it by killing those around her.
The only misstep in Umberto Lenzi's prolific career in the genre, one has to believe the addition of graphic gore to his bag of tricks was not a welcome one (unlike Sergio Martino, whose Torso was both extremely violent and a taut thriller to boot). No doubt Lenzi was more comfortable making thrillers that relied on eroticism (the many films he made with Carroll Baker) rather than grue. He allows everyone to overact shamelessly which throws the entire mood of the movie off kilter. It becomes ludicrous after a while with every move someone makes framed as if he was the guilty party (a man can't even shave without coming across as a potential maniac). This mostly Spanish production boasts fine photography by Antonio Millan and a host of familiar faces—Jorge Rigaud, Silvia Solar and Mirta Miller from that country's film industry—but it's not enough to overcome the handicap of a poor script. Fortunately for Lenzi his career would rebound and head off into another genre, Crime Films, where he did his most interesting work.