This is Franco’s most professional-looking film, even if the film has it’s share of plot-holes. The cinematography looks very much like a typical 80’s Hollywood film, and the use of the French locations are also excellent. But what makes the film better than most is the cast. Helmut Berger and Brigitte Lahaie are simply perfect in their roles, playing the most suave killers you could think of. Lahaie in particular shines, with her bisexual tendencies and just plain hotness. We also get small parts by such recognized actors as Caroline Munro (who plays an incarcerated victim), Anton Diffring who plays a similar psycho surgeon as he did in Circus of Horrors (hell, it might be the same character) and Telly Savalas as a wealthy businessman who’s trying to find his daughter, a victim of these two psychos. We even get Florence Guerin playing herself, and cameos from Franco regulars Howard Vernon (as Dr. Orloff!) and Franco’s muse, Lina Romay, in a small role. It’s the best cast Franco’s ever had.
But for most of us, what attracts us to this film, more than anything, is the gore. And boy is this thing gory! Believe it or not, I first heard about this film thanks to the band Impetigo, who named one of their EP’s after this film. Taking the gore from Eyes Without A Face and multiplying it by one hundred, we get to see every process of the surgeons cutting up the young women’s faces and exposing us to their grotesque, skinless faces. When it happened to Guerin, I was actually kind of grossed out. The special effects are excellent and are some of the best of the 80’s. This is one of the most underrated horror films of the eighties and it is just waiting to be discovered by fans of gory horror cinema. Don’t get turned on by the name Jess Franco in the credits, this film is excellent and comes highly recommended.