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Mino Guerrini
Franco Nero, Gioia Pascal, Erika Blanc
Writing Credits:
Piero Regnoli, Mino Guerrini

A young count who lives with his dominant and jealous mother, begins in a downward spiral into madness after his fiancée dies in an accident.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Italian LPCM Monaural
English LPCM Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 87 min.
Price: $99.95
Release Date: 10/18/2022
Available Only As Part of 4-Movie “Gothic Fantastico” Collection

• Audio Commentary with Film Critic Rachael Nisbet
• “The Cold Kiss of Death” Introduction
• “Nostalgia Becomes Necrophilia” Visual Essay
• “All Eyes On Erika” Featurette
• Image Gallery


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The Third Eye [Blu-Ray] (1966)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 26, 2022)

In 1966, Franco Nero starred in a career-defining role as Django. That didn’t become his sole effort that year, though, as he appeared in eight movies across this time span.

For another of these, we go to the Gothic horror fable The Third Eye. An Italian production, this one casts Nero as Count Mino Alberti.

Mino lives with his overprotective mother (Olga Solbelli). He plans to get away from her, though, as he soon intends to marry fiancée Laura (Erika Blanc).

However, family maid Marta (Gioia Pascal) wants Mino for herself, so she sabotages the brakes on Laura’s car. This results in an accident that leads to the young woman’s death.

Mino takes this poorly and experiences a mental breakdown. He begins to bring strange women into the home and behaves in increasingly irrational – and threatening – ways.

All of this posits Eye as a psychological thriller about a grieving man’s descent into madness. Not only does Mino deal with the sudden loss of his fiancée, but also the conniving Marta murders his mother at about the same time.

Clearly the filmmakers aspired to relate this kind of tale, but Eye fails to pull off the story with any real competence. Oh, it looks pretty good, and it comes with more artsy contrivances than one might expect from a (presumably) low-budget Italian offering.

For instance, the filmmakers opt for unusual photographic choices throughout the flick. These don’t seem unique – especially because they occasionally mirror Bergman – but they nonetheless give Eye more visual flair than I expected.

Unfortunately, the script itself apparently received less attention. Rather than create a rich journey into insanity, Eye just feels sloppy and slow.

Too much of Eye doesn’t make much sense. Marta’s plan fails to seem logical, and the movie doesn’t really explain why Mino’s grief suddenly makes him a murderer.

Sure, Marta remains as the catalyst behind some of this. However, she doesn’t present the obvious controlling figure that would better explain various plot points.

Eye also feels a little heavy on filler, as some scenes run longer than necessary. For instance, when Mino meets the stripper (Marina Morgan) who becomes his first victim, the sequence stretches out more than necessary, and that continues when Mino gets the woman back to his home.

This all intends to build tension, but instead, it just comes across as sluggish. Granted, Morgan looks good enough unclad to make the segments more tolerable, but they still lack the narrative momentum they need to use up so much space.

I could forgive some erratic plotting and excessively long scenes if Eye managed some actual tension. Unfortunately, it never gives us anything especially nerve-racking, as it feels superficial and without drama.

Like many films, Eye offers the bones of a quality affair. The end result doesn’t live up to that potential, though.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

The Third Eye appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not stellar, this usually became an appealing presentation.

Sharpness turned into the only relative weak link. While much of the film exhibited nice accuracy and delineation, some shots felt oddly soft.

Did these represent the original photography? Perhaps, but they didn’t come across that way. In any case, these instances remained modest and most of the film looked well-defined.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects arose, and I saw no edge haloes. With a nice layer of grain, I didn’t suspect any egregious noise reduction, and print flaws remained absent.

Blacks felt dark and tight, while low-light shots offered pleasant clarity and smoothness. Except for occasional softness, the disc delivered a solid image.

For its era, the film’s LPCM monaural soundtrack held up reasonably well. As always with Italian production, the dialogue got looped in after the shoot, and that meant the lines could feel somewhat unnatural.

Nonetheless, speech remained concise and without edginess or other issues. Neither music nor effects mustered great range, but both seemed clean and lacked distortion. Given the movie’s age, this became a perfectly decent mix.

Eye included an English dub as well, one that came with subpar voice acting. Choose it if you hate subtitles, but go with the Italian if you want superior performances.

When we shift to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from film critic Rachael Nisbet. She offers a running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, themes and interpretation, cast and crew, genre domains, and some production elements.

When Nisbet focuses on filmmaker notes, this turns into a pretty good track. However, she spends too much time on the movie’s plot and characters.

I appreciate her attempts at insights in those domains, but let’s face it: Eye doesn’t offer a particularly rich tale. There’s enough here to make the commentary worth a listen, but expect ups and downs.

Called The Cold Kiss of Death, “Italian film devotee” Mark Thompson Ashworth delivers a six-minute, 15-second introduction to the film. He gives us basics about the movie in what seems more like a brief overview than a true “introduction” but he adds some good notes.

A visual essay entitled Nostalgia Becomes Necrophilia spans 12 minutes and brings notes from author/filmmaker Lindsay Hallam.

She offers some context, interpretation and film connections but she mainly describes the story. This becomes a spotty piece.

All Eyes on Erika brings a 15-minute, 40-second interview with actor Erika Blanc. She tells us about her experiences during the shoot in this enjoyable chat.

An Image Gallery encompasses four publicity elements. It seems forgettable.

With its tale of a man whose grief drives him mad, The Third Eye comes with a potentially intriguing plot. However, the final product lacks drama or much to sustain the viewer. The Blu-ray comes with generally good picture, adequate audio and a mix of bonus materials. Eye gets some points as a way to see Franco Nero, but the movie itself doesn’t satisfy.

Note that as of September 2022, The Third Eye can be found only as part of a four-film “Gothic Fantastico” collection. The set also includes Lady Morgan’s Vengeance, The Blancheville Monster and The Witch.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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