Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days of Fright Feature 2: Troma Does Giallo with EYES OF THE CHAMELEON

It wouldn't be the final day of 31 Days of Fright without a post from longtime ER contributor and tireless curator of trash, Doug Waltz. Be sure to check out the latest issue of Doug's zine Divine Exploitation at CreateSpace.

EYES OF THE CHAMELEON starts with a psychotic older man screaming at a boy in a pit. We are informed that it is the 70s. The man is so foul that you really feel for the kid even though he never comes in to the pit after the kid.

Flash forward to the present where we meet Sara who has a dead end job in a casino in Vegas. She feels like her life is a waste of time so she spends a lot of time drinking, smoking dope and snorting cocaine.

Then a bizarre, violent encounter with a gypsy palm reader starts sending Sara's world out of control. Casual sex coupled with increasing drug use would be enough to bring anyone down that spiral, but Sara has a kicker to all that.

Someone is slaughtering everyone she knows: from her boyfriend to the corner deli guy. A person, hidden from view, is cutting them all to ribbons. And Sara could be next.

EYES OF THE CHAMELEON gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling when someone gets it right. This flick would fit into the Something Weird catalog without missing a beat. It shows us a grimier side of Vegas and Anne Teal (Sara) takes over the screen whenever she's on it. But, she does it in a clever way. At the beginning of the flick we just see this girl, but as the film goes on she becomes this unstoppable presence.

The fact that this micro-budget flick has some of the hardest softcore sex scenes I have seen in quite sometime is amazing. And when the movie is over it leaves you with a 'What did I just watch?' feeling. I'm still not sure and I might have to go back and check it out with the commentary.

The gore effects are well done. Anne Teal makes this her picture and Vegas looks more down to Earth than ever before. This isn't about what happens on the strip. This is about the people who inhabit the tourist trap and how things can be a little rotten beneath the shiny veneer.

The only extras are a slide show and a commentary by director Ron Atkins which I will definitely be listening to on a second viewing. Troma puts their usual block of fun filled nonsense on the disc and they designed the DVD case to make it look like an old school giallo, which I thought was cool.

EYES OF THE CHAMELEON is one of the sexiest, goriest, kinkiest flicks I've seen in recent years and Ron Atkins is a guy who gets the most out of a tiny budget and a very well done script. – Doug Waltz

Doug Waltz is a longtime contributor to Exploitation Retrospect and contributed a variety of reviews to ER #52 (available from our website).

EYES OF THE CHAMELEON is available from Amazon.

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