13 February 2003 | Maciste_Brother
I like movies about UFOs, which is why I recently decided to rewatch EYES BEHIND THE STARS after seeing it when I was a kid back in the late 1970s. And now I'm compelled to write a review about it because I'm afraid I'll start forgetting everything about it FAST. You see, even though EBTS ain't bad, it's VERY dull and nondescript. The story is sorta interesting but flat. The actors are good but their roles are boring and a little confusing. The FX are terribly amateurish but I can overlook something like that if the movie is compelling, which, unfortunately, this one ain't.
Also, there's very little violence and there's no nudity whatsoever, which makes this 1970s Italian sci-fi opus a TRUE oddity, because if there's one thing that distinguishes Italian genre movies made in the 1970s from genre movies of other countries made in the same decade, it's the astonishing amount of violence and sex to be found in them. Oddly enough, because of the almost complete lack of exploitive elements, EBTS stands out from the rest of the pact. I don't know if this can be seen as a compliment though. Personally, I can enjoy a movie without sex and violence but I think EBTS NEEDED more violence and some sex here and there to spice it up because it is so deadly dull and dry. And the special effects aren't that special.
The story itself is actually interesting. It's a combo of THE X-FILES and Antonioni's BLOWUP: a photographer accidentally captures aliens on film during a fashion shoot in the country. The aliens know they were captured on film and they proceed to kidnap the photographer and a model, subsequently destroying any evidence of their presence on earth. The problem starts when the model meets a man at the recently abducted photographer's apartment (this taking place just before she's to be abducted herself). The man takes some of the negatives and leaves, with the aliens having no knowledge of the missing negatives. The whole story is about this man wanting to know more about the aliens and a secret spy group who want to get a hold of the negatives. The majority of the movie centers around boring political intrigue, in the spy vs spy variety. The UFO element of the story is almost unimportant and could have easily been replaced by any cold war McGuffin. But as dull as EYES BEHIND THE STARS is, it does resemble THE X-FILES a LOT! I wonder if Chris Carter saw this movie. Anyway, the best thing in EBTS are the POV shots, which are creepy and effective. But the rest is almost completely forgettable, including the goofy looking aliens.
Even though I've been mostly negative about this film, I sorta cherish it nonetheless. I still remember the effective ad campaign which scared me when I saw it as a kid. And I own the video. The film could have been so much more if it had been done properly. Oh well...