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LOVELY MERRY ANDERS GETS ENTRANCED BY 'THE HYPNOTIC EYE'

Lovely dame Merry Anders being levitated YEAR: 1960
How a Horror or Suspense film is catapulted from a prologue is extremely important – that rudimentary push sticks with you for the rest of the story as everything basically relies on it, which is as important as the end of a Mystery, sans the inevitable twist: A woman (Evan MacNeil) in her mid twenties enters frame: Then cut to the perspective of a kitchen stove and, in the blink of an eye, her hair's on fire: And if you're not screaming at this point, she's loud enough for everyone, and then some...

Evan MacNeil on fire
The entire movie follows this scene by going beneath the shock value exploitation in a deliberately slow, meticulous, detailed fashion on how a stage hypnotist, using a blinking HYPNOTIC EYE to seal the deal, pulls off his nightclub act. Meanwhile, various women do horrible things to themselves, from drinking lye (unseen) to using acid for facial soap...

Merry Anders gets a LIFE stalker
The latter happens to our favorite beauty, whose four-pack of b-movies (and a semi-regular role on DRAGNET 1967) is covered throughout this site and also includes AIR PATROL, RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA, THE DALTON GIRLS, HOUSE OF THE DAMNED, THE TIME TRAVELERS, and more. While important in those ventures, here, alas, she's but the last straw that ignites a pivotal investigation... a lovely third wheel to Detective Dave Kennedy and his girlfriend Marcia, played by lead ingenue Marcia Henderson, providing an undercover Noir-inspired snoop to unravel how Jacques Bergerac's mesmerizing Desmond, a visual hybrid of Rock Hudson and Dracula, might be doing more than putting beautiful women in a trance before a stunned audience...

Marcia Henderson RATES: ***1/2
It takes half the time for Marcia to convince her banal beau cop, Dave (Joe Patridge), one of the slowest lawmen in the history of cinema, that there might be a connection, even after Merry Anders' character is hospitalized for becoming facially disfigured following her role in the nightclub act...

Evan MacNeil as "Victim"
This is followed by the most effective scenes in which, after closing her own eyes to the hypnotic one and telling the men about the experience back home, Marcia goes deeply under a wanton spell, successfully evoked by that neon blinking light in the villain's theatre lair, and then, surreptitiously tailed by Joe and a wise police department hypnotist, using these skills for "good things," she's practically jumping in the Frenchman's trousers...

Painting the town green at a fancy restaurant and then a ludicrous Beatnik Lounge where bad poetry's read by an old fat guy, to the "beat" of a standup bass: hilariously dated and showing how awkwardly Hollywood related to pre-hippie craze...

Merry Anders hypnotized by The Hypnotic Eye
It's the buried lead Marcia Henderson who has both a girl next door appeal and the housewife you dream of... cuckolding, that is... making her scenes with the subtle yet formidable Bergerac ahead of its time in provocative undertones...

Yet it turns out that the most important 11th hour cog in the wheel plot-wise is someone that had appeared throughout...

With a chiseled face narrowing into an alluring, determined gaze, Allison Hayes, best known for ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, becomes more of a worthy antagonist than the man she assists (even subtly helping him choose the next beautiful victim in the audience) during those stage performances that are much too long, often derailing an otherwise contained and uncomplicated, entertaining low budget ride that could've been better had Merry Anders had a much bigger role. Of all the beauties herein, she's the most hypnotic.
Marcia Henderson and Joe Patridge and Merry Anders in THE HYPNOTIC EYE
Merry Anders, Marcia Henderson and Joe Patridge in THE HYPNOTIC EYE
Jacques Bergerac with Merry Anders in The Hypnotic Eye
Jacques Bergerac with Merry Anders in The Hypnotic Eye
Jacques Bergerac with Merry Anders in The Hypnotic Eye
Merry Anders in The Hypnotic Eye
A hypnotized Merry Anders makes herself ugly in The Hypnotic Eye
Marcia Henderson with Joe Patridge and Jacques Bergerac in The Hypnotic Eye
Merry Anders under THE HYPNOTIC EYE Merry Anders THE HYPNOTIC EYE
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