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  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film is a lot of fun, mostly because it is so very bizarre. It's about a mad hypnotist who leaves a trail of disfigured beauties in his wake, women who apparently performed acts of self-mutilation while in a hypnotic trance.

    I first saw this on TNT when they ran a series called "100% Weird", and boy they weren't kidding. This is a camp classic, right down to the period hairdos and the stereotypical characters (the stupid cops, the beautiful woman in peril, the suave euro-trash magician, the jealous woman with a secret).

    It's a painless experience due to the short running time; in fact, several scenes are obviously padded in order to make the film feature-length, such as scenes of an entire audience being hypnotized and a sequence inside a beatnik jazz club that's a real hoot. It's even got a Scooby-Doo ending involving a character who tears off a false face. Unbelievable. There's no way you could take it seriously, and no way you won't enjoy it either.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In this surprisingly watchable chiller from 1960, a hypnotist Desmond (Bergerac) gets his entertainment by having beautiful young women disfigure themselves in pretty graphic ways—setting their hair on fire, washing faces with acid, drinking lye, putting their faces in fans—well, you get the idea. With all of this going on, the local police send a detective and a police psychologist out to solve the cases.

    This movie features undoubtedly the dumbest duo of police officers ever, detective Steve Kennedy and Dr. Philip Hecht. These two guys are such idiots that their incompetence is fascinating to watch. At first, they can't decide whether all of these disfigurement cases are related (duh!) and spend the rest of the movie trying—sort of—to catch the perpetrator.

    The many unintentionally funny scenes include Steve's girlfriend (Henderson) being kissed and groped by Desmond (while Steve blankly watches from a distance), the first hypnosis scene ("You are the meanest of all the dogs!!"), the beatnik bar scene, and the final scene at a theater, where the "secret" is revealed, but only after the audience is mesmerized into doing pretty outrageous things—like bad acting.

    Released during the hypnosis and beatnik crazes of the early 1960s, this bizarre movie is an interesting time capsule and stars cult actress Allison Hayes. Be sure and catch Hecht's (Guy Prescott) jaw-dropping closing line…it's guaranteed to leave you speechless.
  • The film opens up with a women washing her hair over a lit gas stove.Naturally her hair catches fire and she has the hairdo from Hell.This isn't the first case of self mutilation in the big city.Many women have been doing this for weeks.Some have washed their face with sulfuric acid, stuck their faces into fans etc.Is there a connection?

    Well if you're the police department with a collective IQ of minus six it is tough to figure out.This force couldn't find a donut shop with a road map.Yes there is a connection. All of the women have been to see a show by Desmond a well known hypnotist.

    Desmond hypnotizes woman picked by his va va voom assistant(Allison Hayes). He also whispers something to them just before he breaks their trance.Hmm, wonder what that could be?Then he hypnotizes the crowd and makes them do foolish things which is a giggle.Everybody goes home happy.

    Sensing a connection before her idiot police detective boy friend does a young woman allows herself to be put under Desmond's spell.When she goes home that night Desmond's assistant tells her to take a shower in scalding water.Luckily old slow on the uptake shows up before she does.

    There is a bit of twist ending to this movie.The disfigurements are done "tastefully"(no gore after all this is 1960).Much is left to the imagination. The acting is par for this genre.

    The police are portrayed as such morons you wonder how any crime gets solved in this city.The movie is padded with lingering scenes of the audience under hypnotic commands.Even so it is above average.

    You will look deep into the Hypnotic Eye.You will open your wallet/purse and send me your money.Told you I had a better use for hypnotism!
  • Before the jaded, post "Star Wars" audiences took over, there were "B" films, independent films and foreign films all playing at those comfortable neighborhood theaters and drive-ins. "The Hypnotic Eye" is one of the best.

    Featuring crisp, moody black and white cinematography, a wonderful main title theme and excellent performances from its cast, this offbeat thriller was somewhat influenced by the popularity of quality detective series, like "Naked City," appearing on television at the time. "The Hypnotic Eye" combines a solid mystery story with hard-hitting horror effects for a chilling and satisfying ride.

    This was one of the first movies I can recall seeing as a child, as a re-run on TV. I was drawn in by its atmosphere and attractive cast. The end seemed very exciting to me and over 40 years later, I can still enjoy it through adult eyes.

    Younger audiences, desensitized by the vulgarity of the post-modern world, its drug culture, hippies and bombastic films will be completely unable to understand this film. However, in the context of the era in which it was produced--1960--it is impactful and entertaining.

    If you're over 45 and haven't seen it, check it out.
  • I just heard Michael J Weldon of Psychotronic Video talk about this on a podcast interview. It reminded me of the first time I saw this on television ( sometime in the 1960's I guess) on the late night Friday Chiller show. The woman burning herself, her hair catching fire, etc. was really terrifying. The film is kind of a B-Movie horror-noir with the oily continental Jacques Begerac performing that Hypnotic Eye thing and causing all manner of mayhem and mutilation. Then there was the wonderful Allison Hayes just 2 years past The Attack of the 5o Foot Woman giving another great performance and of course, my favorite, Merry Andrews from TV's How to Marry a Millionaire. They just don't make them like this anymore. A campy horror classic!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ... and that's too bad since for schlocky horror at its spartan best you just can't do any better than 50's and 60's vintage films like this one, Macabre, and From Hell it Came. This was never intended to compete with the likes of Universal's Frankenstein.

    The central issue of the plot is that the great beauties of the town are mutilating themselves. One puts her face in a running fan, another washes her face with acid, another shampoos with the flames of a gas stove. None of the girls remembers doing what they did much less why they did it. Police detective Steve Kennedy is running into a bunch of brick walls in his investigation when one night his girl takes him to see a show featuring a hypnotist. The next day the girl that was with them during the show, and one of the guests that was invited on stage as a subject for hypnotism, is found mutilated too. The detective and his girl begin to suspect the hypnotist, but still the questions remain - why and more so how, since all of the girls were found alone.

    The film is full of the kind of stream of consciousness dialogue and wooden acting that was a trademark of Jim Abrahams and the two Zuckers, except they were doing this kind of thing on purpose often as a spoof of these kinds of movies, and in these old B horror films it works well. Plus this old film is loaded with scenes that were knocking on the door of breaking down the old production code once and for all such as Desmond the hypnotist putting his subjects in a sexually receptive trance so that he can make out with them while a deliberate yet passive Justine looks on vicariously.

    The film has been splendidly restored by the Warner Archive, and I highly recommend that copy as everyone else who is peddling DVDs of the movie is using third rate unrestored copies. Not just for Halloween, this one is for anytime you're in the mood for a guilty pleasure.
  • When a series of strange self-mutilations against women occurs throughout the city, the police investigator assigned to the case worries a big-shot hypnotist is responsible and tries to keep his girlfriend from falling under his spell and becoming another victim.

    This here was a fairly entertaining if somewhat slightly flawed effort. The main crux of this one is the fact that there's just as much of a mystery angle as there is a horror angle, almost to the point of that being the film's interest rather than the horror since the mutilations take place before the film starts with us getting involved at the most recent attack while the majority of the film takes focus on the police trying to find the cause of the attacks with little effort before stumbling onto the whole affair at the end. This isn't bad at all despite the change in tactics because the mystery is handled nicely with a rather shocking reveal late in the film that makes it a lot more shocking than expected. The few attacks shown are quite gruesome and graphic for the time-period, with one being quite shocking overall. Coupled with a bevy of attractive women and a rather healthy viewpoint of hypnosis and it's effects, this one isn't all that bad.

    Today's Rating-PG: Violence.
  • Okay, I realize that's not saying much. However, this is probably the best movie Allison Hayes was in (however, I do very much enjoy the Unearthly, but Hayes is terrible in that).

    Plot concerns a hypnotist (Desmond) who is having beautiful young women mutilate themselves. I won't give it away, but the suspense is good and the movie isn't gory even though the mutilation methods would lead you to believe so (washing hair in fire, washing face with sulfuric acid, brushing face with fan blades, etc).

    Hayes plays the evil assistant to Desmond and you're really not sure why she and Desmond are evil until the Climax. Not to be missed!
  • No one under 40 years of age should be allowed to rate this movie. It was made for the big screen. The tube takes away from the unique special effects.Todays audience does not appreciate the days of non-computer effects. As a teen-age female when I saw it at the theater, I was shocked (wasn't that the point?) at the horror. Crushed that a gorgeous hunk like Jacques Bergerac could be the bad guy, and that spiraling "hypnotic eye" was sooo much more memorable when it was bigger than the audience.It really came out at you, without it being a 3-D movie . Their advertising claimed it could hypnotize the audience. Well,of course,it couldn't, but it did have an affect of you. It could not have been the "bad" movie some sites say it was, if I recall him and the "eye" after 46 years.
  • Involving story starts out with separate reports of young and beautiful women intentionally disfiguring themselves. Investigators come to think they may be linked to a suave hypnotist (Jacques Bergerac) and his sexy female assistant (Allison Hayes in one of her best roles), so one of the detectives decides to use his own girlfriend as bait. This is a consistently interesting film, even if you have to suspend a good deal of disbelief in accepting how easily the culprit can get away with his schemes. The whole concept feels ahead of its time for the period and there are some surprises, especially in a reveal at the end. Good movie. *** out of ****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ...this movie remains, given the genre, age, and production values, eminently watchable.

    Sure, the plot has holes and incongruities one can drive a Mack truck through, the acting is for the most part wooden - but it all winds up being part of the fun. And, it stands out for two other aspects.

    (WARNING: THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS MAY BE CONSIDERED A SPOILER FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN THIS MOVIE!)

    On the one hand, the sexual content. Not only Desmond's seduction of Marcia (although he never gets to, er, consummate it - and it's left in the open whether or not he managed to do so with his other "subjects"), but also the relationship between him and Justine. And, of course, there's the rather equivocal character of the Doc. Nothing explicit or groundbreaking, but again, in context...

    Second: we're blissfully spared any detailed explanations, of the one-trauma-fits-all kind, about the origin of Justine's predicament, or about her hold over Desmond. Maybe the producers just ran out of celluloid; whatever the reason, it goes against the grain of the typical Hollywood movie, B- or otherwise.

    So, if you can get a copy (good luck...), plant tongue firmly in cheek, turn the IL' suspension-of-disbelief on and just plain enjoy it.
  • A series of beautiful women are disfiguring themselves while mysteriously hypnotized. Suspicion falls on hypnotist Jacques Bergerac. Soon it appears the girlfriend of the detective in charge of the case is to be the next victim.

    Jacques Bergerac is probably best known as being middle-aged Ginger Rogers' ex-gigolo...I mean, husband. He became an actor after their marriage. A couple of years after they divorced, he married Dorothy Malone. He's kind of creepy which works for the part. B movie queen Allison Hayes has the best role as his sexy assistant. Hayes is a favorite of mine. She made every one of the low-budget movies she appeared in better. Joe Patridge is the incompetent and obnoxious detective who couldn't find his ass with both hands and a flashlight. This guy is such a jerk and he's supposed to be the hero! Not to mention he's such a poor detective his girlfriend has to do his job for him. Guy Prescott is his psychiatrist sidekick. He's moderately smarter than his buddy and he seems to be a bit of a voyeur, judging by the stakeout scene. Marcia Henderson plays the girlfriend and amateur sleuth.

    Schlocky horror-thriller that's better than it has any right being. The "HypnoMagic" stuff is great. There are also a couple of pretty effective shocks that pushed the boundaries for 1960. A woman sets her head on fire, another washes her face with acid, and something else that happens in the climax. I mean it's not gory but still pretty rough for the time. Love the campy beatnik scene. It's an imperfect but fun movie. A nice way to pass the time but nothing extraordinary. Allison Hayes fans will definitely want to see it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    And this is high camp. The 40's and 50's were the decades of great B movies and this one's right up there.

    Each scene is a little gem. From the various disfigurements to the coffee house poetry reading to the obvious strings holding up the woman "defying gravity" to the doctor in his highly stylized (right down to the choice of dog) apartment playing his piano in a short silk robe open to the waist to the climax when all is revealed. And as others have mentioned, the cops are dumb as rocks. All in all, it's just a hoot!

    This movie requires just a small investment of time and it's worth every minute of it.
  • Something weird is happening. Reports are coming from all over town that beautiful young women are mutilating themselves--and no one, even the women, know why. The police are baffled and the trail leads to a stage hypnotist who MIGHT be giving women some sort of hypnotic suggestions to injure themselves! But why? What's all this about anyway?

    This is one of those films where you just need to accept the premise and go with it. Sure, you can't do evil things like this with hypnosis (I should know, as I have training in hypnosis and WOULD use it for evil if it was possible!). But, ignore this and watch this interesting little horror-suspense film--a film far better than I expected. That's because although it is a low-budget film with a cast of lesser-known actors, the script is exciting and creepy. I also liked the William Castle-style of direction--with the hypnotic eye! Just be warned--it might be a bit too creepy for small kids. Still, it's a dandy horror-suspense film.
  • thefensk22 September 2009
    I wish someone would re-release this, or TCM or somebody would show it. It was just another really bizarre offering from the late fifties/early sixties. It used to be a regular on the lat Saturday night TV horror show in my hometown (in Houston the show was called Weird) and this one fit the bill--really weird.

    Cinematic excellence? Surely not. But it was offbeat enough to keep your attention. Even had a debunker who explained away a lot of the "magic" for the police (and the viewers).

    The plot does have an interesting twist with the hypnotist's girlfriend. Sure it didn't win any academy awards but few movies do.

    I give it a seven because it falls within the genre of movies that are so bad they are actually good.
  • adriangr23 December 2017
    "The Hypnotic Eye" is a fairly effective B movie about a spate of self-mutilations by beautiful women who appear to be in a trance when they do the deed. A detective tries to unravel the link between the victims and a stage show that features a hypnotist that they have all attended.

    A lot of what appears in the movie is fun, although "The Hypnotic Eye" is barely 70 minutes long, and a lot of this is padding, featuring several needlessly long looks at the "hypnosis" act, as well as a very tiresome sequence set in a beatnik bar where we have to watch the whole show of beatnik music and poetry. It's a shame, because these really slow down the action. Surely it would not have been to difficult to make the actual storyline events take up some more time.

    The acting is ok, although a little hammy. The story actually has a really brutal side to it, as the methods the ladies use to self-harm are all pretty twisted. We don't witness many of them happening, but seeing somebody screaming with their hair fully ablaze is quite something for 1960 (even if it's not very realistic). Some of the "after" make up of the others victims is also pretty good.

    If all the padding was stripped out, this would rattle along and be a lot more fun, but it would be over in less than an hour! The plot really is tiny and there is barely any quality time given to the climax, in fact events dash to the closing credits with far too much haste...a little time spent on a proper ending and explanation would have been nice. Still, it's pretty entertaining while it lasts.
  • A previous entry says, in so many words, "this movie is not to be missed." Try FINDING this movie. Until it's released on DVD, a decent copy is impossible to find, even on Ebay. There are some there but they are cheap bootlegs.
  • My 10/10 rating of course only applies if you're totally into B-movies from the era of poodle skirts and pompadours; other people will find "The Hypnotic Eye" worthless. A previous reviewer said that this movie is practically impossible to find. Fortunately, I can tell you exactly where to find it: the 1950s/1960s horror/sci-fi section in Movie Madness, a video/DVD store in Portland, Oregon.

    Anyway, here's the plot. Perplexing magician Desmond (Jacques Bergerac) is hypnotizing young women with an "eye" and getting them to mutilate themselves; for example, one woman sets her hair on fire. Naturally, a detective starts investigating, and discovers more than he bargained for.

    Overall, it's the average campy flick from that period. The only other cast member whom I recognized was Allison Hayes, better known as the 50 Ft Woman. As for Jacques Bergerac, he also appeared on "The Dick Van Dyke Show", and as a villain on the old "Batman" TV series. Speaking of anything, why's his character named "Desmond"? I only know that name from "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and from Desmond Dekker (RIP). The things that we see in life.
  • Last night I watched another terrific psychotronic film that I had DVRed off of TCM. The film of the evening was "The Hypnotic Eye" (1960), a film that demonstrates that Norman Bates was not the only movie maniac to terrorize women in B&W that year! In this picture, 11 women have already hideously mutilated and disfigured themselves as the picture begins. Indeed, in the very first scene, a pretty blonde is shown shampooing her hair, over what she believes is her sink. In actuality, however, she is shampooing her hair over the stove, with the flames on, and her hair and head are quickly engulfed in flame! Over the course of the film, a police detective and his hottie girlfriend (Marcia Henderson) discover the source of the problem: showman hypnotist Desmond has been mesmerizing all these women and coercing them to commit acts of mayhem upon themselves! Desmond is well played by Jacques Bergerac (onetime, real-life husband of both Ginger Rogers AND Dorothy Malone), and the film also features beautiful Merry Anders, AND the 50-Foot Woman herself, Allison Hayes, as Desmond's even more maniacal assistant, Justine. Someone named George Blair has directed the film in a very efficient manner, and the print that I watched last night looked absolutely sharp and pristine. All in all, great fun, although I DO take points off because we never learn the exact background of Desmond and Justine, or how Justine has turned out the way she has. This, I feel, is a major detriment to the film. Still, I would not argue with "The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film," which calls "The Hypnotic Eye" "a sleaze classic." Indeed, the scene with the beatniks in the coffee shop is some kind of screwball mind boggler, that's for sure! Most definitely recommended!
  • This use to be, hard to find, bit of Psychotronic Cinema has finally been released in an excellent transfer and Baby Boomers and modern fans of off-beat, exploitive, gimmick-ridden, bizarre, cultural phenomena, and just good old fashion B-Movies can get in on the "eye" popping fun.

    It is guaranteed that if you see the first few minutes there is no turning back. With its gruesome opening and creative camera shots it will trans-disfigure you for the next 80 minutes or so.

    After all, this one is full of treats for Dive-In Movie lovers. There are some good makeup effects, a beatnik scene, some Noirish Photography, sexual innuendos, and more. With a nod to Director/Huckster William Castle and a marketing-persuasion to suggest to the zombified TV viewers to leave their "living" rooms for the Theaters.

    This fun-fest has one thing or two that keeps it from reaching the best of the best, the very long audience hypno scene for one. But who cares, the rest of this is so entertainingly enticing that most viewers are helplessly seduced by this little seen Movie.

    In the ads, and also on screen, there was a very strong WARNING to not try Hypnosis at home. For a bit of equally hokey irony, they could have added...Not for the impressionable (the target audience).
  • Hearing that THE HYPNOTIC EYE (1960) was a campy horror flick, I was prepared for the movie to be much worse than it is. It's certainly a B-grade chiller, but as other reviewers have said it is very watchable. Much better, I'd say, than ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN (1958), for instance.

    A series of self-inflicted disfigurements by beautiful women stump police detective Dave Kennedy (Joe Patridge), who is convinced there's something more than coincidence at play. The victims aren't conscious of their bizarre actions and seem to be acting under some kind of trance. One night, by coincidence, Kennedy takes his girlfriend Marcia (Marcia Henderson) to see exotic stage hypnotist Desmond (Jacques Bergerac). By now viewers can guess where the story is headed, but even after the next curious self-disfigurement victim is someone who was hypnotized on-stage by Desmond, it's only Marcia who suspects a connection with the hypnotist. Dave is too skeptical of Desmond's hocus-pocus to give the matter a second thought. "Why would Desmond want to disfigure beautiful women?" That's what you're supposed to be finding out, Dave! That's your job! Marcia takes matters into her own hands, volunteering to be hypnotized by Desmond for the sake of the investigation.

    Dave's actions as both a police officer and a boyfriend occasionally frustrate the viewer, especially when Marcia is in the belly of the beast, so to speak, and he's willing to leave her alone in her apartment overnight after she meets with Desmond. Hello! Hypnotism! Luckily the skeptic Dave is paired with Dr. Hecht (Guy Prescott), a police psychologist or something who knows the power of hypnosis. With Marcia in danger, it's up to Dave and Dr. Hecht to solve the case before it's too late.

    The movie is suspenseful, even if the plot is predictable. Reminiscent of William Castle gimmick films like THE TINGLER (1959), the movie tries to involve the audience in Desmond's act. Desmond stares directly into the camera. Point-of-view shots of the titular object, with Desmond's power of suggestion, threaten to hypnotize the audience themselves. The movie also seeks to shock viewers with the horrifically scarred faces of the victims, as well as the unforgettable hair-on-fire and acid face wash scenes.

    I don't recall seeing Marcia Henderson in any other movie, but she is sooooooo beautiful here as the cop's girlfriend. Allison Hayes, the 50-foot woman herself, plays Desmond's sexy assistant with a secret. This hypnosis thriller is pretty fun, even if the cops are dumb and the mysterious strobing Hypnotic Eye is never really explained.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ...this brainless cheapie would deserve a much lower rating. Everything from unintentional laughs like the line about the lady who mutilated her face because she thought her electric fan was a "vibrator" to the bogus "Beat" poet at an even more bogus "Beat" nightclub to the obviously closeted psychiatrist to the blatantly misogynistic tenor of the entire proceedings just, shall we say, screams? It's all the fault of a terrible script, of course, one that was apparently written by and for the mentality of the children who were likely the primary audience. The ostensible hero is a clueless dolt, the women aren't much smarter, the central topic of hypnotism is handled with no genuine understanding whatsoever, and the ludicrous plot is rife with gigantic holes and glaring inconsistencies. Still, if you turn off your brain, the film has its charms, mostly for the nostalgia value. Pretty strictly MST3000 viewing only, but one could do much, much worse.
  • The new burn-on-demand DVD from Warner's has a solid, widescreen print with only minor speckling and one or two "cigarette burns" - a surprisingly good remaster of a loopy shocker that I've been waiting to see in a good print for years. Allison Hayes is luscious and sinister, Merry Andrews reminds me of Simone Simon in profile, and although I had a crush on the Great Desmond when I saw this as a youngster, Jacques Bergerac is just plain oily now, although possibly the perfect actor to play the part. A silly, but fun, bit of psychotronic fluff that's best viewed with a wide-open mind and one's critical faculties set at their lowest point.
  • adriangr6 March 2018
    7/10
    Fun!
    "The Hypnotic Eye" is a fairly effective B movie about a spate of self-mutilations by beautiful women who appear to be in a trance when they do the deed. A detective tries to unravel the link between the victims and a stage show that features a hypnotist that they have all attended.

    A lot of what appears in the movie is fun, although "The Hypnotic Eye" is barely 70 minutes long, and a lot of this is padding, featuring several needlessly long looks at the "hypnosis" act, as well as a very tiresome sequence set in a beatnik bar where we have to watch the whole show of beatnik music and poetry. It's a shame, because these really slow down the action. Surely it would not have been to difficult to make the actual storyline events take up some more time.

    The acting is ok, although a little hammy. The story actually has a really brutal side to it, as the methods the ladies use to self-harm are all pretty twisted. We don't witness many of them happening, but seeing somebody screaming with their hair fully ablaze is quite something for 1960 (even if it's not very realistic). Some of the "after" make up of the others victims is also pretty good.

    If all the padding was stripped out, this would rattle along and be a lot more fun, but it would be over in less than an hour! The plot really is tiny and there is barely any quality time given to the climax, in fact events dash to the closing credits with far too much haste...a little time spent on a proper ending and explanation would have been nice. Still, it's pretty entertaining while it lasts.
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