We don’t half explore some bonkers movies on this blog. It’s the beauty of the collab honestly and although it doesn’t always hit the spot, it does lead to some interesting discussions/reviews.
This week’s pick is certainly on the odd side, taking us into the cold embrace of the fashion industry in the 1980s, by way of many, many classic Giallo tropes. Does it work? You know what to do.
CRYSTAL EYES (2017)
Buenos Aires, 1985. It’s the first anniversary of the death of Alexis Carpenter, the unstable supermodel who died tragically when she was set on fire while closing a runaway show. Lucia L’uccello – Editor-in-Chief of Attila must choose a worthy replacement. But who’s murdering the beautiful people one by one? Not Alexis, returned from the grave, surely?
Genre: Horror ∙ IMDB user rating: 5.7
My score: 3.5/5 ∙ Runtime: 82 mins
Directors: Ezequiel Endelman, Leandro Montejano ∙ Stars: Silvia Montanari, Anahí Politi, Camila Pizzo
Alexis is a stone-cold c**t, there’s no beating around the bush. She’s beautiful obvs, the baby darling of the fashion scene – but she’s horrible, erratic and highly medicated at all times – which makes her almost impossible to work with. The end results however are astonishing, which is why she’s the supermodel of the whole world, often replicated but impossible to replace.
After a rocky getting ready session backstage at a runway show – set in what looks like an abandoned warehouse – Alexis insults her hair stylist and throws coffee at her new make-up artist before taking to the spotlight in a wedding gown. Alas her outrageous performance leads to her unfortunate death – a scene that puts me in mind of the masterpiece Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II.
Fast forward to almost one year later and Editor-in-chief Lucía L’uccello is planning the anniversary edition of magazine Attila. With two top models in the running for the homage to Alexis cover, tensions are high and Lucía makes it clear that whoever does best in the shoot will win. Beautiful girl next door-esque Irene is up against hard-nosed babe Eva, who has an ambitious streak that stands out a mile.
All this competition is one thing but there’s something else going on behind the scenes: a masked killer knocking off each character as we meet them. Including Alexis’ brothers, most of Attila’s personnel, a top designer and anyone who gets in the way.
What will become of this sinister scene, who will survive – and is this glamorous but rubber-faced villain really Alexis, back from the dead?
I can’t deny this baby ticks a lot of boxes for me. The eighties setting is divine while the very bitchy fashion environment appeals in every way – but it feels authentic rather that forced as some period pieces do.
It is also incredibly camp and brandishes its neo-giallo badge with pride, paying homage to Argento and co with slashing blades and possibly the most outrageous chandelier-cum-death-device I’ve ever seen. What a way to go.
Despite those pluses it feels a bit rushed in its big reveal and gets a little repetitive after a while. Perhaps a bit of Hitchcockian suspense would have gone a way to firming this up a bit. That said the characters are so repellent you have to love them and I would just die to be at that opening fashion show.
2 thoughts on “Crystal Eyes review”