Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)
The basic premise surrounding Eyes of Laura Mars is an intriguing one, unfortunately it's never fully realized and it devolves into a nonsensical and tedious exercise in futility.
Faye Dunaway stars as the title character, a much sought after fashion photographer who likes to pose her models in explicitly violent and sexual situations. She's an artiste, see, but she is also a lightning rod for controversy. Anyway, one day Dunaway begins to have visions, or more accurately, she begins to "see" through the eyes of someone else, and this someone else happens to be the local serial killer. Now she begins to experience all of this violence first hand. So far, so good.
Naturally she goes to the cops and provides details that only the killer would know and the detective in charge, Tommy Lee Jones, decides to join forces with her in order to find the killer. And, as these kinds of movies almost always go, he also becomes her romantic love-interest.
It's with the whole premise surrounding Dunaway's weird, psychic gift, that Eyes of Laura Mars makes its first, crippling stumble. The screenplay, by John Carpenter (he ended having to share credit with David Zelag Goodman who, along with several uncredited writers, pretty much trashed the original concept, so whatever was the original vision was turned into hash) never can get around how Dunaway is able to both see the killer's vision and still see with her own eyes. Is she seeing in only one eye the killer and one eye herself? Is there picture-in-picture? The coolness of a scene where the killer is stalking Dunaway while she runs away, seeing herself running away, is derailed by the constant questions of how can she still see the door, stairs or anything else in her way as she essentially stalks herself.
Another big problem with Eyes of Laura Mars is the mystery itself. It's so blindingly obvious who the killer is, despite the flaccid attempts at generating red herrings, that it becomes an endurance test to keep sitting and watching while all of the characters run around higgildy-piggildy trying to figure it all out. All you want to do is yell at the screen and snort in derision as to why everyone in the movie is so unbelievably slow to catch on.
To her credit, Dunaway gives the movie her all without tripping over the line into scenery-swallowing Mommie Dearest territory. Considering how blank and monotonous Jones's performance is, we have to be thankful for Dunaway's energy. Supporting performances by Raul Julia, Brad Dourif and Rene Auberjonois also provide little impact.
Despite the talent in front of and behind the camera, Eyes of Laura Mars is just a disposable piffle of a thriller. If you're just looking for a little flash of color and noise in order to waste some time, have at it, just don't expect your mind or nerves to be jangled in the slightest.