When people talk about lovers of foreign films being pseuds, I can't help wondering if Eyes Without a Face is exactly the kind of movie they mean. It's exactly the kind of film that if it were made in English - say with Vincent Price in the lead and Terence Fisher directing - that many of its supporters wouldn't hesitate to dismiss as pap, yet because its set in a foreign country and filmed in a foreign language is suddenly elevated to the status of cult classic when really its just a tatty piece of grand guignol that plays like what they used to call a 'quota quickie' in the UK.
The French setting is about all the novelty this film has going for it. It's our old friend the mad scientist (ok, mad plastic surgeon) killing various bit part actresses so he can get the bits of them he wants - their faces - to rebuild his daughter's disfigured face. No pace, no thrills, not much striking imagery until a couple of shots at the end, just competent but uninspired film-making. Its watchable but nothing special in any way, although the daughter's mask is strangely expressive. Did they use More than one for different moods? Strange to see early credits for Maurice Jarre and Claude Sautet here, but not worth it for their admirers.
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