From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Review of Ghost Eyes
30 years before Thailand’s Pang Brothers had an international hit with their ‘I see dead people’ themed horror movie ‘The Eye’ Shaw Bros studios in Hong Kong produced this twisted tale concerning the supernatural sights seen through a pair of haunted contact lenses!!
Bao Ling is a manicurist at a beauty salon who is knocked down by a car when leaving work one night. She is unhurt but her glasses are badly broken. A mysterious man, who introduces himself as Shi Jong Jie, offers her a discount on contact lenses at the optician’s shop that he runs. Bao Ling takes Mr. Shi up on his kind offer however when he later calls at her home to see how she is adapting to her new lenses he hypnotizes her into dropping her drawers and going to bed with him. When she awakes the next morning she looks and feels like shit.
Back at the salon Bao Ling is startled by the sudden appearance, and equally sudden disappearance, of an elderly neighbor who supposedly died over a year ago and while walking home she is harassed by a crowd of long-haired zombies in tattered clothes. Her work colleagues become increasingly concerned about her wacky behavior and her boyfriend An Pin, who is a avid reader of horror fiction, isn’t impressed when she starts with the Haley Joel Osment impersonation.
It’s not long before shifty Shi reappears and repeats the old hypnotic shag routine. Bao Ling wakes up in a derelict house with no idea how she got there and is attacked by a filthy snaggle toothed vagrant (who looks just like a guy who works in my local comic book store). She rushes back to the optician’s shop only to find a gutted shell of a building. A neighbor explains that there was an awful fire in the shop 3 years previous and that the owner was trapped inside and burned to death. Soon enough the now confirmed as thoroughly deceased Mr. Shi is back for more supernatural sex and this time demands that Bao Ling procure him some fresh victims. Totally under his influence and unable to resist she entices one after another of her colleagues from the salon over to Shi’s haunted house.
With the police showing an interest in the sudden disappearance of multiple manicurists (try saying that after a few beers) Bao Ling confesses all the gruesome details to An Pin. Unable to get hold of Bill Murray & Dan Ackroyd they call on the services of a local Tao priest to cook up a trap for the evil Mr. Shi. But all does not go according to plan.
‘Ghost Eyes’ was the 1st horror film directed by Chih-Hung Kwei for Shaw Bros studios and he would follow it with a number of increasingly gruesome titles such as ‘Hex’, The Killer Snakes, Bewitched and ‘Corpse Mania’.
‘Ghost Eyes‘ is low on gore but high on tension and atmosphere. It’s relatively restrained when it comes to the exploitable potential of the hypnotic-ghost-rape aspect of the story which is surprising when you consider that Chih-Hung Kwei had previously been responsible for the incredibly sleazy women-in-prison flick Bamboo House of Dolls.
The admittedly silly idea of haunted contact lenses can easily be overlooked as the film is consistently stylish and well executed and the theme of a ghostly power released via a modern everyday object can be seen as a precursor to the wave of Japanese horror movies which appeared at the tail end of the 1990s such as Ring, Pulse & One Missed Call.
Trivia geeks are advised to keep eyes open (or rather ears open) during the scene where An Pin’s chubby kid brother is watching TV; although you don’t get a clear view of the screen, the theme tune from super cool Japanese sci-fi show ‘Kamen Rider’ can be heard blaring from the box.
Narcan is the GCDb's esteemed UK contributor. As a youth his earliest exploitation film experience was a My Bloody Valentine/The Funhouse midnight double bill. Grindhouse icons that he holds in highest regards are Christina Lindberg and Frank Henelotter. Two of his favorite exploitation genres include Nunsploitation and Lucha Libre.