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  Dead Man's Eyes Blind Terror
Year: 1944
Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr, Jean Parker, Paul Kelly, Thomas Gomez, Jonathan Hale, Edward Fielding, Acquanetta, George Meeker, Pierre Watkin, Eddie Dunn
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: David Stuart (Lon Chaney Jr) is an artist who has been working hard on his latest painting for which his model is the exotic Tanya (Acquanetta). Although Tanya is in love with him David isn't interested because he is engaged to society heiress Heather Hayden (Jean Parker), and enjoys the patronage of her father "Dad" Hayden (Edward Fielding), but one day Tanya accidentally swaps the position of David's eyewash and his bottle of acid on the shelf by the sink. Unwittingly, David applies the acid to his eyes - now his career is ruined! He is blind!

That disembodied head in the glass globe wittering about murder can only mean one thing: it's anoyther Inner Sanctum mystery. This one was written by Dwight V. Babcock, his first script setting him on a string of horror-themed B-movies, and followed the template of this series by setting its star up as the most likely suspect for the murders featured herein. Naturally, he is nothing of the sort and is exonerated by the final five minutes, but at least the true killer was fairly well hidden this time around. One thing that will be plain is the amount of whingeing that goes on in this entry, which even for a film starring Lon Chaney Jr is quite something.

No, hardly anybody is entirely happy with their lot in life here, although in the case of the recently sightless David that's not surprising. There's also quite a bit of padding although the story lasts just over an hour, so that it's halfway through before the operation the title implies takes place. There is a possibility of saving David's sight, and that's a cornea transplant, but first they must find a donor and the doctor isn't hopeful. As he's getting on a bit, Dad Hayden writes it into his will that he wants to donate his eyes to David when he goes, but that event happens quicker than he might think.

The cast is filled with dissatisfied characters, from the understandably moaning David, to the jealous Tanya, and the spurned Heather whose engagement is broken off when the feeling-sorry-for-himself David goes off the idea thanks to his new disability. Then there's Alan (Paul Kelly), the best friend who is in love with Tanya (who he describes as "passionate and primitive"), and Nick (George Meeker) who is Heather's ex and wants her back. They're all suspects, and it's a pity it takes murder to solve their problems - some more drastically than others - but mainly this feels contrived, the real selling point being the appearance of cult forties starlet Acquanetta in one of her few movie roles.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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