Reviews

Eyes Without A Face

5

Georges Franju’s classic horror grafts poetry onto brutality as a crazed doctor (Pierre Brasseur) attempts to restore the mutilated face of his daughter (Edith Scob) using the scalpeled skin of abducted ‘donors’. What follows is a mad experiment in moviemaking, turning Eyes Without A Face into a deranged-scientist flick, a proto-slasher, an ethereal, esoteric fairytale. Its fragile images – Scob’s waif wraith fluttering through a chateau in nightgown and waxen mask – invoke the cine-dreams of Jean Cocteau and yet a scene of vivid vivisection recalls the horrors of the Holocaust and precedes torture porn by 45 years. Long overdue on Region 2, this package fails to rival the Criterion Edition (which includes Franju’s esteemed slaughterhouse doc Blood Of The Beasts). The solitary extra, recorded months before Franju’s death in 1987, sees the filmmaker explain the mechanics of suspense by gruffly dissecting two of the film’s scenes.

 

 

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