Eye Of The Devil
Eye Of The Devil may be crap and far too long, and it may be black and
white even though there's no reason for it to be, but it is a veritable
roll-call of Brit Horror alumni and half forgotten TV faces.
For a start not only has it got David Niven, Donald Pleasance, John Le
Mesurier, David "Blow Up" Hemmings and even Devon out of Knight Rider in it, and it also features
top 60s bird Sharon Tate. And it's also practically a dry run for
The Wicker Man. So there's a few reasons for
digging it out.
Phillipe (Niven) is a French aristo without a hint of a French accent,
who has to return to the family pile when his grapes start failing (which
as we all know is a painful business). He's followed there by his wife
Catherine (also French, also sans accent) who slowly deduces that things
aren't what they should be, and soon drops herself right in the merde.
There's Satanic rituals a-plenty going on, and Philippe is in it up to
his baldy pate. So too is the local vicar (Pleasance), the doctor (Le
Mesurier) and assorted mustachioed French peasants (both male and female).
There's a couple of good bits - Catherine is chased though a forest by
a gang of cowled figures at one point, and later suffers a nightmare where
she relives this and any other vaguely scary bit from the film, with a
few new scenes chucked in too for good measure.
Hemmings and Tate also wander around with a bow and arrow trying to get
kids to jump off ramparts and turning toads into doves (like you do),
but not even a bizarre scene where Niven gives Tate a good flogging (which
she looks like she's enjoying just a bit too much for 1966) can
save this one from being anything more than average.
Eye of the Devil (1967)
Director: J. Lee Thompson Writer(s): (in credits order) Philip Loraine
(novel Day of the Arrow) Robin Estridge and Dennis Murphy
Cast: Deborah Kerr - Catherine de Montfaucon, David Niven - Philippe
de Montfaucon, Donald Pleasence - Pere Dominic, Edward Mulhare - Jean-Claude
Ibert, Flora Robson - Countess Estell, Emlyn Williams - Alain de Montfaucon,
Sharon Tate - Odile, David Hemmings - Christian de Caray, John Le Mesurier -
Dr. Monnet, Michael Miller - Grandec, Donald Bisset - Rennard, Pauline Letts
- Servant, Robert Duncan - Jacques de Montfaucon, Suky Appleby - Antoinette