BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Madness (1992)

Also known as Gli occhi dentro (The Eyes Insideand Occhi senza volto (Eyes Without a Face), this Bruno Mattei* giallo — made a few decades late, but hey, give the man a break — tells the story of Giovanna Dei (Monica Carpanese, who is also in Mattei’s Dangerous Attraction and Legittima Vendetta). She’s the creator of a comic book called Doctor Dark, the tale of an anti-hero who is a Pagan professor by day and a babysitter killer by night, cutting out his victim’s eyes and replacing them with shards of broken glass. Now, someone is acting out the murders in real life and leaving the ocular evidence in her apartment.

Written by Lorenzo De Luca — who is writing the upcoming Anthropophagus 2 and The Fourth Horsemen which will have Franco Nero as Keoma and Fred Williamson as Cobra, as well as appearances by Mick Garris Alex Cox, Ruggero Deodato, Fabio Testi, Enzo G. Castellari, Gianni Garko, Ottaviano Dell’Acqua, R.A. Mihailoff, Massimo Vanni and more — and shot by much of the same crew that worked on the aforementioned Dangerous Attraction.

There’s a fair amount of story taken from Tenebre — like the line “If they kill someone with a power drill, do they take it out on Black and Decker?” which comes directly from Peter Neal’s question “Let me ask you something? If someone is killed with a Smith and Wesson revolver…do you go and interview the president of Smith and Wesson?” in Argento’s movie, as well as the idea of art becoming real-life murder. Doctor Dark’s trick of putting glass into the eye sockets of his victims feels a lot like Manhunter. And, of course, there’s Eyeball to be taken from as well. And while we’re on the subject, the entire plot of Sexy Cat. But the most grievous theft is in the Italian VHS release of this film, which completely takes two murder scenes from Lamberto Bava’s A Blade in the Dark. Did Mattei think no one would notice**?

That said, it may just be the fact that I love giallo and am a Bruno Mattei apologist, but I found myself liking this movie. You’d have to be a superfan of both for me to recommend it to you, but if you are, come on over and watch it with me.

*Using the name Herik Montgomery.

**Trick question. He didn’t care.

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