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Eyes of the Chameleon (2005)

Eyes of the


Director Ron Atkins delivers an interesting low budget psychological slasher film with Eyes of the Chameleon.  The story follows a Las Vegas casino bartender named Sara (played by Ann Teal) who is told by a fortune teller that she is cursed.  One by one, the people around Sara are brutally murdered and Sara is looking more and more like a suspect.  She begins to fall into a blurry haze of angry depression and detaches herself from the people who are close to her.  She ends up doing a lot of cocaine, having sex with her boyfriend's brother and eventually hopping into a random limo to do some drugs with some strange chicks who are on their way over to a costumed orgy.  Unfortunately, the killer turns the place into a bloodbath before the orgy really has a chance to get going.  Sara escapes and starts to put together the pieces of the puzzle.  The conclusion of the film doesn't really wrap everything up very neatly, but it does offer some insight into what's been going on throughout the film.

The opening scene of the film is probably one of the best scenes in the whole movie in terms of acting, framing and editing.  After that scene, there were a lot of technical problems, mostly with lighting and audio.  The lighting was pretty bad through more than half of the movie.  It was so dark that you couldn't really see what was going on a lot of the time.  The opening scene balanced the light out pretty well, but after that there were too many scenes that were just too dark.  The editing wasn't bad and the shots that were lit well looked pretty good.  In fact, there is a funeral scene that takes place outside during the day that was shot beautifully.  I think that the entire visual quality of the movie would have been a lot better If they had just used more light in the darker scenes.  In fact, I would even say that if they had good lighting throughout the film, it would have made a huge difference in the perceived cost of the project.

Often when there are problems with the audio in no budget films, the volume is drastically inconsistent.  In Eyes of the Chameleon, the audio is more or less the same volume throughout the film.  Although there are a couple of lines that are tough to make out, for the most part if you turn up your volume you can hear everything.  The problem is that there is some kind of strange effect on the audio that makes everything sound like it was recorded in a bathtub.  It's distracting at first, but as the film goes on, I got used to it and mostly forgot about it. 

Although the movie suffers from some pretty serious audio and lighting issues, the story isn't bad.  There was plenty of nudity and a good bit of fake blood.  Ann Teal gives a pretty damn good performance considering the budget of the film.  Then again, Ann wasn't just the star of the film.  She also co-wrote and produced Eyes of the Chameleon, so she had more invested in the success of the movie than most actors in these kinds of films.  Still, I would love to see her in something else because she really can act.  With the exception of Ann and the two actors in the opening scene, the performances of most of the other actors could have been better.  I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone who doesn't like no-budget films, but if you can look past the low budget qualities of the movie and you're a fan of twisted slasher films, Eyes of the Chameleon is worth checking out.


Gore-o-meter rating: 3 out of 5 (there's a good bit of thinly mixed fake blood)

Skin-o-meter: 3 out of 5 (plenty of boob, one sex scene and one shower scene)