White of the Eye (1987)


Donald Cammell had a bit of a messed up career, and an awful death (he shot himself, but lived for a further 45 minutes fully awake according to his wife). But Donald was involved in two masterpieces – one – Performance he co-directed with Nic Roeg.

The other masterpiece he directed himself nearly 17 years later, the little seen White of the Eye which is an insane, glorious, beautiful to look at (and listen to) slasher/horror/thriller. It’s a film that hard to categorise. It’s also very high art (and camp).

The film stars David Keith (brilliant) and Cathy Moriarty in what is her best, and most breathtaking performance (she’s also stunningly pretty here).

The whole film is off kilter in every respect. And you can clearly see that Cammell was a painter before he became a filmmaker. It looks stunning.

It’s got a lot of Hitchcock in there, but pay close attention to the flash back sequences as the script jumps back and forward, there’s clues galore that lead to one of the great insane endings in cinema. It’s a beautiful horror film (that doesn’t have any horror film clichés).

Read up on Cammell, there’s a career littered with projects that never came off, but this and Performance are enough to signal a genius working in film.

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on matcoop23@yahoo.co.uk or hire him on Peopleperhour