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Dead Eye - Rubicon Features Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
Written by Jay Creepy   
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Severed Cinema Review of Dead Eye


Directed by: Louis Affortunato
Written by: Louis Affortunato
Produced by: Louis Affortunato, Greg Colletti
Cinematography by: John Kelley
Editing by: Louis Affortunato
Music by: Orestes Anastasiou
Special Effects by: Christy Falco
Cast: Gary Devirgilio, Joel M Reed, Tom Wardach, Maria Rusolo, Natalie Savage, Hank Offinger
Year: 2011
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 34min

Studio: Rubicon Features

You know, there's a lot of life left in that old dog.

That, it turns out, is the last thing young man Ray wants to hear from a doctor as he checks over his Uncle Joe after a demobilising stroke. You see, Ray (Gary Devirginio) has tolerated a long running time of abuse from the said Uncle.

If we mention Joel M. Reed, many think instantly of Bloodsucking Freaks, that infamous and absolutely hilarious nasty which annoyed the hell out of many, but thrilled far more. Joel is also responsible for low end trash epics such as G.I. Executioner and Blood Bath. Yet, he hasn't directed a film since Night of the Zombies in 1981. So how has he kept busy in the movie world? Well, for instance, he's had a fair few cameo pop-ins for flicks like The Fappening (see review here) and I Spill your Guts, but to think of him taking on a central role is unthinkable to some.

Joel M. Reed excels as Uncle Joe in Dead Eye, this broken down to basics tension mounting underground film by Louis Affortunato. Aside from the worst falling moment in cinematic history, Joel nails the brutal and arrogant old bastard to a tee.

Ray is suffering. He has terrible headaches, and is constantly required by his eye-patch wearing Uncle Joe to cook, iron, tidy, and on and on and on. No matter what he does it isn't good enough. The verbal abuse is flattening. As we meet Ray, he is in fact having a fit of pain in the bathroom whilst Uncle Joe shouts over and over.

In the kitchen as Ray prepares eggs, his Uncle, after losing his shit about the lack of cranberry juice in the house, spits out jagged edged instructions of what his chores are for the day and makes Ray repeat them back to him. At one point, Ray rebels and Joe stands up, Ray backs down instantly. Afterwards whilst taking freshly ironed clothes into Joe's bedroom, he jiggles with the small safe situated in one corner.

Joe's regular Doctor, Fisher, makes a once every six months home visit and, aside from his blood pressure being a bit high, Joe is fit and well for his age. “You know, it'd be easier for me if you came into the office, Joe.” he says.

Easier for you? I wanna make it easier for me!” he goes on a long tirade about sick people in the waiting room. Such is an example of the cantankerous old bugger’s wisdom. Ray isn't too thrilled about how his Uncle's health is, and he mentions in passing about the headaches he suffers. Dr. Fisher recommends he drop by the clinic.

Ray's only retreat from the world is in his illustrations wherein violence and creatures exist. As he explains to a neighbour who pops by with cranberry pie, he wishes to work on graphic novels. Soon after, Joe is throwing hot tea on his nephew for making it incorrectly. She looks the other way. In his dreams his wish to kill Uncle Joe becomes a reality – yet stabbing him becomes a nightmare. “You can't even kill people properly! This is a joke!

An overheard conversation between Joe and his financial advisor, plus a sneaky look at the bank balance, stuns Ray. Without a will, he will be executor to the estate. Uncle Joe's answer is to demand a will be drawn up as soon as possible. Then Joe suffers a stroke which leaves some of his body paralysed. Ray is told with enough care he will regain movements and recover. Now looking after his Uncle who is in a wheelchair, there is a temptation to do bad things, but he either pulls himself back or is interrupted.

Doctor Fisher tells Ray that he's making a very quick recovery. There's a lot of life left in him, it seems. Not the best news, however, Uncle Joe is becoming gradually nicer all round.

Meanwhile though, he has a distraction in his longing for neighbour, Ashley. Stealing her mail, he finds she has been rejected for an art institute. They are kindred spirits.  The first time they have a chat in the street he discovers that she likes comics and wants to be an illustrator, as well as opening her own studio to showcase her own work and the works of others. They meet and compare sketches. Ray tells her how, since his parents died when he was six years old, it's just been him and his Uncle. He wasn't allowed friends, he was home tutored. In fact, he was very sheltered.

As they grow closer, Uncle Joe agrees with his nephew that it's time to draw up a will. The results of which is a final snapping point for Ray in his lifelong nightmare. Everything crashes down around him.

I have no idea why Gary Devirgilio hasn't done more work because the lad is certainly talented in the 'losing your mind' and paranoia department. You actually give a damn about Ray.

It's not splashed with gore, or saturated with chilling horror, Dead Eye happens to be a well-acted simple film that has a bit of atmosphere created and that's it. Joel and Gary are marvellous, bouncing off one another. I think what I particularly liked was the fact it doesn't feel over-long, the pacing is steady for what boils down to what could have been a short half hour viewing. It won't be to everybody a great thing, but it's memorable. Dead Eye quite simply could make a great stage production. In fact, it has little pointers to classic tales and plays.

Dead Eye is recommended for a relaxed evening if you fancy something a little different.




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