BLIND DATE (1984) Reviews and overview of sci-fi giallo

 

Blind Date is a 1984 sci-fi horror thriller film about a man that goes blind but uses new eye technology to help track down a serial killer.

Produced and directed by Nico Mastorakis (In the Cold of the Night; Nightmare at Noon; The Wind; Island of Death) from a screenplay co-written with Fred C. Perry. The movie stars Joseph Bottoms, Kirstie Alley, James Daughton, Lana Clarkson and Keir Dullea.

Plot:

Athens, Greece: Struck by sudden inexplicable blindness after a fall, arrogant American ad executive Jonathon Ratcliff (Joseph Bottoms) is frustrated when doctors can find no medical explanation. With the aid of his girlfriend (Kirstie Alley), he consults a leading eye doctor who fits him with an experimental device allowing him to see with the aid of a computer interface and brain electrodes.

Meanwhile, a psycho posing as a taxi driver is taking young women back to their apartments, sedating them, and murdering them. The paths of Ratcliff and the serial killer inevitably converge…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“It’s certainly entertaining to watch Blind Date deal with CompuVision, which empowers the lead character to battle bullies with a lead cane and expand his memory (another idea only loosely defined in the writing). Less enchanting are the murder sequences, and while Mastorakis whips out some Argento colors and tinkers with style, the feature grows repetitive with numerous scenes of the scalpel-wielding monster preparing whimpering women…” Blu-ray.com

” …a film saddled with inane dialogue. The story is so loopy it could possibly make a viewer go temporarily blind.” Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

“This is more of the same cheese drifting from strong atmosphere to less-effective budget constraints […] Blind Date is no masterwork of the far-fetched, slasher-esque genre – but I’d say it’s in the upper half. Nice to see Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Keir Dullea with a mop of wavy hair, and the cat-like Kirstie Alley making appearances.” DVD Beaver

” …I never feel a shred of suspense; though intellectually I know how I’m supposed to feel in certain scenes, I never actually feel it, and at least part of the reason here is that I don’t really like or care for the main character. It also doesn’t help that the script seems quite contrived at times, and the climax just plain doesn’t work for me.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“As a horror film, Blind Date won’t really suffice for true horror fans, due to its more drama driven nature. The film “feels” like it should be about this mystery slasher, but ends up being more about Ratcliff’s lack of sight. This blindness enhanced by technology actually proves to be more interesting than the kills which play more of a background agenda.” Horror News

” …what hampers Blind Date the most is the character of Jonathan, who is just too much of a letch to be particularly sympathetic. Perhaps it’s to suggest to the audience that he’s really the killer, although it is very clear early on he can’t be. Fitting the mould of the Argento inspired foreigner-in-a-strange-land amateur sleuth, he simply doesn’t have the charm of, say, David Hemmings or even Tony Musante.” Hysteria Lives

“This is actually a fairly good thriller, but ultimately it is gimmicky and I don’t think it any great loss that we never got the sequel promised in the end credits…” Rivets on the Poster

” ….would benefit from a few pace-quickening tweaks; a little tightening to a handful of moments stricken by tin-eared dialogue, and a little pruning to a couple of passages that veer close to shaggy dog territory […] the actual meat of the film — the gentle smattering of T&A, the bursts of violence, the general air of pomp and spectacle — are delivered with the director’s usual panache.” The Schlock Pit

“It’s completely far-fetched, but we get the picture. Nico Mastorakis is a jack of all trades and master of none. He’s competent with photography, directing, writing, but the whole isn’t greater than the sum of his parts. The result is entertaining but hyper convoluted. It’s like you’re watching three movies in one.” Tales of Terror

Cast and characters:

Joseph Bottoms … Jonathon Ratcliff
Kirstie Alley … Claire Simpson
James Daughton … Dave
Lana Clarkson … Rachel
Keir Dullea … Doctor Steiger
Charles Nicklin … Robert
Michael Howe … Subway Gang Member
Gerard Kelly … Subway Gang Member
Gerry Sundquist … Subway Gang Member
Marina Sirtis … Hooker
Kathy Hill … Murdered Lover
Louis Sheldon … Murdered Lover
Danos Lygizos … Production Manager
Spyros Papafrantzis … Crazy Old Man
Antigoni Amanitou … First Victim (as Antigone Amanitis)
Ankie Grelson … Rachel’s Friend
Noelle Simpson … Final Victim

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