The Headless Eyes/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Inelegant but curious, this no-budget artist-been-wronged pic (AKA Bloodthirsty Butcher) is something to behold: even if you only have one eye!
Arthur (Bo Brundin) is an artist struggling to make ends meet. Reduced to petty theft, one of his robberies goes terribly wrong—resulting in the loss of one of his eyes. He escapes but now has a chip on his shoulder: and a penchant for revenge and collecting the eyes of others. To this end Arthur embarks on a string of assaults and dismemberments (more than fifteen we're told) that garner headlines and holds NYC in the grip of terror. Anyone can be a victim, a lonely prostitute, a wealthy couple, a man on the street. Who'll be next?
Writer/Director Kent Bateman makes good use of grungy locations: street corners, tenement apartments, decrepit "artistic spaces", and back alleys. And his parade of non-actors are presented without apology—as is the preposterous narrative (Arthur has a storefront dedicated to eyeballs but doesn't attract the attention of the local police). Even that spinning mobile, with those "very realistic looking" eyeballs, doesn't expose him.
Presaging 1979's like-themed Driller Killer, The Headless Eyes is the type of film that was created to fill out the bottom half of Grindhouse double bills. Worth a look, if only for Brundin's Shakespearean-styled thespian turn: he's taking this project very, very seriously. Oddball.
Josiah Howard is the author of four books including Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide (now in a fourth printing). His writing credits include articles for the American Library of Congress, The New York Times and Readers Digest. A veteran of more than one hundred radio broadcasts, Howard also lectures on cinema and is a frequent guest on entertainment news television. Visit his Official Website.