“The Hypnotic Eye” — It Has Arrived!

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For those of you not familiar with this little curiosity of a movie, "The Hypnotic Eye" is a B&W horror movie from 1960 and featured a suave hypnotist whose female subjects all disfigured themselves. It has been a minor quest of mine to locate a decent and legal copy of it for my collection, but for years, the only copies available were obvious bootleg copies of varying quality.

When I first was aware of the availability of the DVD through Amazon, I was skeptical about the quality, but it also was the only way to get a legitimate copy, so about two weeks ago I ordered a copy as a Christmas present for myself.

Well, today, it arrived, and here's my reaction to it.

What makes this horror movie particularly interesting, besides the hypnosis angle, is the fact that in order to add authenticity to the movie, the producers hired famous stage hypnotist Gil Boyne to teach the actor playing the hypnotist how to perform as a stage hypnotist on film. Boyne said that he even went to far as to hypnotize the actresses who were to be hypnotized on film into going into trance upon command: he would stand behind the camera during the induction scenes and put the actress into trance on cue.

For years, this movie was unobtainable. Several theories were advanced why this one movie was ignored while other movies of the same genre, time period, quality, etc., were given the full treatment, but none have ever been proven. My theory is that whoever owned the rights to it probably didn't know they had them. That seems to have changed, for Amazon to get into the business of producing and marketing a copy of the movie as a DVD. A print-on-demand DVD, which led me to believe it would be a quick and simple version of the movie without any frills or extras.

What I got was exactly as I predicted, which was still somewhat of a disappointment. The video quality is very good, given the age of the film and the probable quality of any remaining prints, and the case and DVD are actually nicely designed, but that's about it. There are no extras, no copies of trailers, no pages devoted to the history of the film or the actors and crew involved, not even a page with chapter selections. All in all, it looks exactly what I predicted it would be, a very simple transfer from film to video file to DVD without a lot of work devoted to adding anything else of value, or even locating it. Which is a pity, as there is quite a lot of history and material that could be included with the DVD.

That much I know, as I have managed to collect what I consider one of the largest collections of material related to the movie, including presskits from both the US and England, copies of the press photos with original descriptions, poster cards and one sheets, etc. I even was given a number of press and casual images obtained by Gil Boyne when he was on the set, some of them in color. There is so much I could have done with this DVD, and may, just for my own experimentation and research into DVD production.

As for the movie itself, I will be writing a full description of it at a later time.

4 Responses to ““The Hypnotic Eye” — It Has Arrived!”

  • Darci says:

    Well, this definitely deserved better treatment.  Looking forward to part 2!
    Thanks,
    Darci

  • John Holland says:

    Hello there —
    So glad to hear that others like this movie too.  It is one of my ALL time favorites.  I am old enough to have seen this one in the theatre. 
    Very interesting to learn about Mr. Gil Boyne's role in the film's realism.  I wanted to be the women being hypnotized ( except for the disfiguring part).  I have seen "clips" of this film on "You Tube".
    Thank you —-
     John

  • That's awesome that this old movie is available in it's entirety. I recently found a clip on YouTube and now I want to watch the whole thing. Looking forward to your follow-up post.
    – VM

  • Nancy says:

    I saw this movie at a slumber party, in 1968.  It scared the heck out of me, and I have never forgotten it. However, I thought it was called "The Face of Fear".  I'm so glad I finally found it!!

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