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need more Catman!

(lack of) A Discerning Eye

(I thought I had posted this, but I cannot find it in the archive, so here it is -- again?)

I don't know if David Heavener the actor is right-handed or left-handed, but I feel it's safe to say that David Heavener the director is heavy-handed. At least with regards to the film Eye of the Stranger.

It's not that he lacks style (or technical ability). It's just that when he has a clever technique, he promptly uses it to death.

So just understand that when you see a nifty shot (such as his character appearing out of the darkness by lighting a cigarette near his face), you'll see that shot again. And again. At least one time too many.

And the soundtrack isn't really a whole lot of help, either. The sound effects were slightly off, and sometimes it was impossible to tell whether something weird that you heard was an oddity of the score or was intended to be an off-screen Foley of something that you should recognize (be it gunshot or wind-chime).

The plot is very mysterious. By which I mean there is a little too much Spooky Mystery lying about for what (when all is said and done) is a simple little noirish revenge flick.

A couple of thugs (lead by Don Swayze, Patrick's brother) are harassing the owners of a Chinese restaurant. The town's Sheriff (Joe Estevez) is doing nothing to stop them, in part because he's a drunk, and in part because the thugs are sent by the town's Mayor (Martin Landau). Hanging over them all is something bad which happened several years previously.

Into this mix walks a nameless stranger who proceeds to play the harmonica, give money to a shoeshine bum, stand up for the owners of the Chinese restaurant, work for the mayor, double-cross the mayor, pay for a really expensive funeral, and so on. He's played by David Heavener, the writer/director/producer of the film. David plays mysterious-man-in-town well, and eventually gets to the bottom of everything, at which point everybody gets his comeuppance (or comedownance).

Even if we never do find out what his character's name is, or who the expensive funeral is for (as the last time we see that coffin open, there are three dead bodies in it).


On a completely unrelated note...

The mutant ostriches (without "beefy arms") are from Island of the Lost (1967):