“The Hypnotic Eye” — It Has Arrived!

[amtap amazon:asin=B0047DKLBO]

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 comments to “The Hypnotic Eye” — It Has Arrived!

  • Darci

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

  • John Holland

    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 —-

  • 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

    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!!