"I've never dropped a case yet and I won't stop now."
When English Interpol agent Alistair McAndrew is murdered by a kabuki-masked assassin, his colleague, Michael Laurence (Anthony Steffen) is sent to Lisbon to identify and retrieve the body. But while in Portugal, Michael gets pulled into Alistair's case and, with help from an international team of agents, starts his own undercover investigation into the city's drug smuggling operations. As he gets closer to his friend's killer, informants and fellow agents are getting taken out by the mysterious gloved killer. Could it be the work of crime boss Costa (Eduardo Fajardo) or is someone else pulling the strings? Michael must hurry to find out before more people are murdered!
The Killer with a Thousand Eyes (not to be confused with The Man with Icy Eyes) is one of those fun gialli-poliziotteschi hybrids, combining the mysterious black-gloved killer and mystery aspects of a giallo with all the action and idiomatic themes of an Italian police procedural. And boy is this one action-packed. There's intrigue, explosions, six kung-fu fight scenes, a shootout in a dark warehouse and a couple of car chases - the last of which ends with the bad guys driving over the side of a giant suspension bridge. And it all winds up with a satisfying twist ending.
- 1974 was director Juan Bosch's giallo year. He's best known for his Westerns, but he released this movie and The Killer Wore Gloves within a few months of each other.
- Marcello Giombini's score mixes a 1970's crime movie aesthetic with a strange electronic bebop style of synthesized bleeps.
- This movie has a really high body count, but in includes six anonymous thugs, who are gunned down in the warehouse shootout in the course of four minutes.
When French agent DuVallier (Raf Baldassarre) lets Michael crash at his apartment, he makes a point of showing off an exercise device he keeps in the kitchen. I thought for sure that this would pay off later on - maybe Michael could choke an intruder with it - but it never does.
Crime boss Costa's girlfriend, Sarah is a real psycho, as evidenced by her boisterous bloodlust during a cockfight at a dinner party.
Crime movie cliché #104: the detective and the crime boss square off over a quiet but intense game of chess. Because the chess game is a metaphor for their contentious relationship.
DuVallier's murder scene takes place in the woods and as the tension builds, the birds get louder and louder - but instead of sampling actual bird sounds, they used electronic chirps and whistles, building to a weird robotic cacophony.
When we first see Michael, he's getting his hands dirty, busting up a small-time London drug ring in this cool black jacket and turtleneck.
In Lisbon he gets decked out in his Carnaby Street finest. Love this chic jacket-waistcoat-ascott combo.
But for the rest of this investigation, he wears these less flashy outfits: sport coat, chinos, and a wide tie, all in solid colors. He does have a magnificent gold belt buckle, though.
But the real fashion iconoclast of the movie turns out to be Michael's commanding officer, Albert (Antonio Pico) who climbs out of a pool in one scene wearing a tiny white banana hammock.