A beautiful French film that brings a certain gore and fright to the mainstream that hadn't been there before. The director might not have intended to make a horror movie. But dammit if this movie isn't horrific. I wasn't familiar with this title before picking it up. But, I was really happy to discover it. It's a chilling movie that comes complete with a terrifying atmosphere and creepy tone.
Docteur Génessier is a surgeon with a disfigured daughter, Christiane. He feels very remorseful for her condition, since he was the one that caused it. Now he and his wife are going to stop at nothing to make their daughter beautiful again. This means abducting young women and taking them back to their house. Then drugging the women and cutting their faces off. It's quite brutal.
Eyes Without a Face is interesting from beginning to end. Franju did an amazing job of making this movie unique. It may take a few moments to get started. But, once the movie is moving it cannot be stopped. It's very smart. It keeps you glued to the screen with its really intense visuals. This is the first horror movie to show such grotesque medical procedures on film.
The writing and the acting are superb. Edith Scob did a phenomenal job as the young and confused Christiane. It shows the anguish that she goes through based on her fathers extra curricular activities. For that matter, Pierre Brasseur, Docteur Génessier, was also very good. He was chilling in his performance as the demented and murderous surgeon.
I really liked this movie. It was slow to start. Sometimes, subtitled movies are hard for me to just jump right into. This one was easy to follow and had a plot that kept me watching. I never expected any of these grotesque twists and turns. However, I was pleasantly surprised and really impressed. This was definitely a one of a kind feature. If you enjoyed watching this movie then I would suggest Martyrs. It's a bit more grotesque. Just a bit.
Georges Franju, Jean Redon and Pierre Boileau
Pierre Brasseur, Edith Scob, Alida Valli, and Juliette Mayniel
Champs-Elysées Productions and Lux Film
2 March 1960
France and Italy
Did ya Know:
John Carpenter was inspired by this movie to go with the mask that he used in
Originally released in the US in an edited version titled "The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus" - an odd title considering there's no one named Dr. Faustus in the film.