THE THIRD EYE (1966)
aka Il terzo occhio
Article 4955 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Mino Guerrini
Featuring Franco Nero, Gioia Pascal, Erika Blanc
What it is: Thriller
After both his fiancee and his mother die on the same day (both are homicides that look like accidents), a count goes crazy and begins picking up and killing women.
This effective little Italian thriller doesn’t fit in easily with the standard Italian fantastic genres of the era, though describing it as a modern-day version of a period gothic thriller crossed with a giallo gets us within the ballpark. It could also be described as a cross between PSYCHO and one of those Vincent Price movies where he’s obsessed with a dead wife. It’s certainly fairly bloody for its time, and it plays as a straightforward horror movie enough that the occasional arty touches don’t detract from it. Franco Nero gives an excellent performance, though I’m not sure if the script is consistent in the way it portrays his character’s madness; at times he seems blindly delusional, but at other times (especially at the end of the movie), we’re not sure exactly how delusional he is. Still, overall this is a very effective horror thriller, and it’s one we’re never sure exactly how it’s all going to come out in the end. It was apparently remade by Joe D’Amato as BUIO OMEGA.