Article first published as Blu-ray Review: Cold Eyes of Fear on Blogcritics.
While Kino Lorber may be knocking its own films out of the park with each Blu-ray release these days, its Redemption genre division leaves plenty to be desired. Focusing on erotic thrillers and nudity-filled horror seems to be the name of the game, but not every release can lead to coining the genius phrase, “zombie knife fight.” That line will probably wind up being the pinnacle of reviewing this line of films, but I can keep my fingers crossed, right? Unfortunately for the Italian thriller Cold Eyes of Fear, not even a jazzy Ennio Morricone score can keep you enthralled through the talky, wrongfully accused shenanigans.
They’re both in for more than a night of sexual escapades when the murdered butler makes an appearance, and they discover they’re not alone. Turns out a man named Quill (Julian Mateos) has come to hold them at gunpoint, while Arthur (Frank Wolff) will arrive to explain his revenge and hold the two — and viewers — hostage for the remainder of the film.
Co-writer/director Enzo G. Castellari may have a few fun gimmicks up his sleeve as far as his camera work goes, but the snail-like pacing kills any kind of thrills that might have been. Even a sequence involving a wired bomb sputters because you already know what the intended victim is going to do to escape because it’s such an easy way out. Never has a bomb been so easy to disarm. The cast does what they can considering the whole film falls on them. Redemption may be releasing plenty of horror films, but this one is a strictly thriller affair. And it’s also far too talky to be even slightly thrilling. You could call it “Bored Mouths of Monologue.”
Redemption Blu-ray releases are all pretty much take-em-or-leave-em affairs, and in the case of Cold Eyes of Fear, you’re more likely to be bored to death faster than any of the characters can be offed.
Cover art and photo courtesy Redemption