Evil Eye (Featuring The Girl Who Knew Too Much) (1963) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Mario Bava
Starring: John Saxon, Letícia Román, Valentina Cortese
Rated: UR/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Kino Lorber
While vacationing in Italy, a young woman with a passion for crime fiction (Letícia Román) witnesses a brutal murder. With the help of a handsome young doctor (John Saxon), she launches her own investigation and uncovers a series of crimes known as the Alphabet Murders, only to realize that she may be next on the killer’s list. This Kino Classics edition includes both the original Italian-language version (The Girl Who Knew Too Much) as well as the American cut (Evil Eye, featuring a score by Les Baxter and alternate footage). The last of Bava’s features to be shot in black-and-white, Evil Eye is considered one of the earliest giallo, and opened the door for Bava to indulge in a more violent and provocative flavor of films.
Oh to exit one thing and kick-start another! In the movie, Evil Eye, or The Girl Who Knew Too Much (Both cuts are here for the record) Mario Bava managed to exit the black and white films and still manage to give us something that launched the giallo. Which is only fitting since the man would go on to set the blue print later for what would be the modern slasher. Here, we are with a character named Nora. Nora is probably have the worst day of her life and the ending result leaves a whole lot of questions that she, along with the help of Dr. Marcello Bassi (John Saxon) will try to answer during the running time of the movie. There is some differences in the cuts that we will talk about here in a bit, but just know if you watch this movie you will be getting a thriller, a movie that just seems to be cool with the way it was shot, and a film that was called the first giallo and with very good reason. You will be anything but bored as this one unfolds before you and the acting is great, but this is just a movie that was shot with such a masterful eye and attention to detail that you can’t help but notice the extra effort. I’m not even usually a fan of black and white, but I think here it actually helps add to the mood.
Now depending on which version of the movie you watch here, there are some differences you will notice. The Evil Eye cut is a bit shorter, has a new score, and seems to have a bit more comedy added in with it. While The Girl That Knew Too Much cut seems to be more for the fan that doesn’t have a sense of humor. You could sit here and pick apart some of the plot regardless, but I don’t want to do that. I think the package this one is wrapped up in tosses such a style over it that it makes up for the faults of the plot overall. If you love Dario Argento movies and giallos in general, then I highly suggest you watch this, simply because it is the one that started it all. You will see what cleared the way for others and you will also see a movie that manages to hold your attention and even be a bit clever in spots. Sure, you could say it gets silly in others, but I think there are more positives than negatives overall with this one regardless of which version you decide to go with while viewing. Mario Bava is a master behind the camera and this is a good example of why I say that.
– Evil Eye (the AIP American release English language version) mastered in HD from the original 35mm negative
– The Girl Who Knew Too Much (the alternate European cut), in Italian with optional English subtitles
– Audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark
– Original theatrical trailers
Quality of Transfer: 93%
Screenshots from DVD Beaver