Recently we had the great pleasure of attending the Hexploitation Film Festival in Hamilton, Ontario that showcases acclaimed independent horror features and short films from across the globe. As the festival celebrated its 10th annual showcase of films - program director and founder Aaron Allen introduced Canadian audiences for the first time ever to a film he credited as a nod to the Giallo era of cinema with a twist.
Crystal Eyes (Mirada de Cristal) takes place in Argentina in the mid 80’s in the competitive world of high end fashion and glamour. The film kicks off with ultra bitchy supermodel Alexis Carpenters gruesome death during a mishap during a fashion show and sets the tone for the rest of the feature film.
The moments following of the murder features an array of fashion professionals all capitalizing off the passing of the infamous model while fellow models and editors alike try to hastily replace Alexis spot at the top of the Argentinean fashion world.
This film flawlessly captures the aesthetic of the golden era of 1980’s horror from the perfect execution of its casting, costumes, set design and score. While other modern films have tried and failed at recreating a nostalgic portrayal of the eighties on screen; Toy Boys Movies production and directorial team have managed to get it right in so many ways.
Crystal Eyes has the bitchy mean girls that you can’t help but love to hate (which is essential in any good horror film when you actually think about it!), dream like lighting and a layer of creepiness that permeates on screen with every scene especially when the slasher (which is a female mannequin) is on the prowl.
This film gave us everything we needed and more in B-List/ Art House horror that we haven’t seen in decades. High end glamour, nostalgia infused set designs and costumes that were not only visually stunning but accurate to the era. The Canadian premiere of this film left audiences laughing but throughly entertained.
If you can appreciate the art of Giallo style horror and enjoy a campy cult like film this is one worth a watch and then some. If you were a fan of mannequin murder films (yes, this is totally a thing - trust us we sort of have a thing for it) like Canadian cult classic PIN or Maniac this is right up your alley. Think Phantom of the Mall meets Suspiria.
Crystal Eyes is authentically retro and a fun, weird ride from start to finish with a hearty dose of gore and glamour directed by award winning team Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano. Crystal Eyes ( Mirada de cristal ) was awarded the winner of multiple Hexploitiation Film Festival Scariest Film, Best Villain, Best Director (Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano), Best Actress (Erika Boveri) and Best Musical Score (Pablo Fuu) for the Hexploitation Film Festival.
We give this film 4.5 well polished mannequin hands out of 5.
Felicia Mancini, www.girlswithgunz.com