Eyes of Laura Mars

Based on an early screenplay by Halloween’s John Carpenter (but re-written) Eyes of Laura Mars chronicles the bizarre murders which are happening to associates of a famous photographer played by Faye Dunaway.

Laura Mars’ photography is both erotic and disturbing and is equally loved and hated by the critics.  She is preparing to release a book with even more of her images and begins to suffer from nightmarish visions showing the deaths of people she knows before and whilst they are happening.  The police find it all a little bit ‘out there’ and difficult to believe but she does get the attention of one detective John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones).

The visions continue and the film throws at you all kinds of twists and red herrings to confuse you until the climax.  Director Irvin Kershner who a couple of years later made The Empire Strikes Back assembles a first rate case top-lined by Dunaway and Jones but supported by Rene Auberjonois and Brad Dourif as Laura’s creepy driver.  Shot around New York, the film is a fabulous snapshot of 70’s life complete with big frizzy hair, fur coats, no nonsense cops and a groovy soundtrack featuring disco tunes of the era.  Although an American film through and through, it’s got a little bit of giallo styling to it and if everyone was in Rome talking Italian you’d swear it was an Argento, Lenzi or Fulci film.

It might be incredibly dated but with the strong storyline and Kershner’s directorial skill, the film still stands up after almost 40 years.  Seeing that awesome Columbia Pictures’ sunburst logo at the beginning makes me all nostalgic for old Nicholas Hammond Spider-man movies and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, an oldie but still a pretty good if slightly camp thriller.

  • Starring Faye Dunaway  Tommy Lee Jones  Brad Dourif  Raul Julia  Darlanne Fluegel
  • Director Irvin Kershner
  • Distributor Powerhouse/Indicator