31st Mar2014

‘White of the Eye’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: David Keith, Cathy Moriarty, Alan Rosenberg, Art Evans, Michael Greene, Danielle Smith, Alberta Watson, William G. Schilling, David Chow, Pamela Guest, Marc Hayashi, Mimi Lieber | Written by Donald Cammell, China Kong | Directed by Donald Cammell


Arrow Video are good at finding the cult movies that although sometimes obscure always deserve to be watched.  White of the Eye is a release that fits into this criteria, for the most part it would be just another average serial killer movie until Donald Cammell adds some style to it.  With a hint of mysticism and an artistic touch White of the Eye is a unique mystery that although flawed is well worth the experience.

Taking place in an isolated desert community a sound expert Paul White (David Keith) finds himself a suspect in the killings of some of the local suburban housewives.  Trying to prove his innocence, memories from the past are brought back to the present for both him and his wife.  With all the evidence pushing towards White being the killer just what is the truth behind the killings?

The first scenes we see in White of the Eye is the murder of one of the rich housewives and it’s through this murder that we are shown what to expect from the film.  With a more artistic hint to the cinematography we are given constant shots of the white of the murderer’s eyes.  We are then introduced to the main character Paul White and his wife Joan (Cathy Moriarty) who we get to know through flashbacks to their past, how they met and how they are connected to Joan’s ex Mike Desantos (Alan Rosenberg).  It’s interesting that as these murders start he makes a reappearance on the scene, something he asks Joan not to tell Paul about.  This complicated relationship between the three is the important aspect of the film, with the concept that Joan and Mike were caught in the white of Paul’s eye and somehow cursed by this fact.

Something I found about White of the Eye is that there is a certain offbeat feel to the style, and the added mysticism puts the audience off edge.  It’s hard to understand the character of Paul, and even Joan and Mike are hard to fully read at times.  Their actions don’t conform to what we would usually expect and this makes it hard on first viewing to work out who the murderer is, although when we finally know it does all make sense.  This did go against my theory though, but in hindsight it really is no surprise.

As usual Arrow Video give plenty of special features and give the film itself a good clean up on Blu-ray.  I will say though that there were some scenes, especially darker ones where the quality does diminish at times but this does not spoil the enjoyment of the film.  If anything you are more interested in seeing what happens next and not noticing the quality.  This is not to say the movie does not have its weaknesses though, especially as we get closer to the end.  There are some things that go unexplained and this leads to the feeling that although the idea of the film is a good one, its actual execution could have been better.

As with move Arrow Video releases White of the Eye is definitely a film to watch, especially with the fact that it’s one that many may have missed in the past.  Donald Cammell’s style of direction in White of the Eye gives a unique edge to what could be just another serial killer movie where the art of cinematography at times becomes more important than the story itself.  Whether this is a bad thing or not, White of the Eye is still one to watch.

White of the Eye is available on Dual Format DVD & Blu-ray now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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