The Hypnotic Eye
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The Hypnotic Eye (1960) is a horror film, released by Allied Artists on February 27, 1960, starring Jacques Bergerac, Allison Hayes, Merry Anders, Eric "Big Daddy" Nord, and Ferdinand Demara, billed as "Fred Demara".
|The Hypnotic Eye|
Theatrical poster to The Hypnotic Eye
|Directed by||George Blair|
|Produced by||Charles B. Bloch|
Ben Schwalb Birchwood
|Written by||Gitta Woodfield|
William Read Woodfield
|Music by||Marlin Skiles|
|Cinematography||Archie R. Dalzell|
|Distributed by||Allied Artists Pictures|
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Mysterious hypnotist Desmond (Jacques Bergerac) comes to town to present his act, just as a series of women gruesomely disfigure themselves, apparently while in a trance. A local doctor and a detective try to find the reason.
Some scenes — showing Nord playing bongo drums and Lawrence Lipton as "King of the Beatniks" — were supposedly filmed at Nord's beatnik cafe, The Gas House, in Venice, California. But it was done in a studio.
The consultant for the hypnosis used in the film was Gil Boyne. Gil Boyne founded the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners and the Hypnotism Training Institute in Glendale, California. Gil also performed live shows between screenings of the film at the opening at the Golden Gate Theater in San Francisco and went on a press tour to promote the movie appearing on numerous TV news and talk shows performing live hypnosis demonstrations.
The "Hypnomagic" part of the film although somewhat implied was not a filming process like 3D. "Hypnomagic" was advertised on the posters as an "Amazing New Audience Thrill" and although new to film was a much more organic and time tested approach than 3D. "Hypnomagic" featured the Bergerac character performing segments in the film where he looks directly into the camera and as such at the movie theater audience and performs some hypnotic suggestibility tests with them. One suggestibility test presented in the film involved the use of a balloon with an eye printed on it, when the film was in its original run in theaters each theater goer received an eye balloon to use during the demonstration.
Influence on popular cultureEdit
There is a scene in the film where a lady while in the trance state thinks her stove is her sink and washes her hair in the stove, receiving horrific burns and disfigurement. In the 1960s the Kodak film company took that scene and using a then cutting edge process made a lenticular photograph out of it. When moving the photo up and down the girls head would catch on fire. The photograph was a little larger than a business card and used as a giveaway to buyers, to spotlight the new photo process that the Kodak company was promoting at the time.