THE HYPNOTIC EYE (1960)
Article #569 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-5-2002
Posting date: 2-28-2003
An investigation into a rash of self-mutilations by beautiful women leads a policeman to suspect a stage hypnotist.
It’s a public service film! To warn us against the dangers of non-medicinal hypnotism! Though these dangers are as immense as those that you can face going against giant Killer Shrews (a threat which Dr. Radford Baines warns us about in an ad for the movie of the same name), they’re also about as substantial; hypnotism in the movies has very little in common with hypnotism as used in real life. Thus, with the message aside, I feel free to say that the movie works to some extent; the whole theme of women mutilating themselves does have a way of getting under your skin on a gut level, and the actual scenes where these things happen do have a kick to them, but it tries a little too hard to shock us with the faces of the victims at times. Some of it is shot quite creatively, but it ends up spending far too much time on the hypnotist’s stage act, particularly in the latter part of the movie, where it almost turns into an audience-participation type of affair, which would probably work better with a live hypnotist rather than a filmed one. This one’s a mixed bag.