(Originally an IP Movies Review)
If the only question running through my head as the credits roll on a film is “why did this movie get released?” then said film must have some serious problems. Unfortunately, Eyes of the Chameleon left me asking exactly that question. There is no artistic merit to be found in any of the film’s 78-minutes, and that isn’t even the worst part of the movie.
Eyes of the Chameleon opens with a random killing that is never really explained – a bit like the other Troma Entertainment release I reviewed recently, Killer Yacht Party – and then introduces our main character: Sara (played by Ann Teal). Sara and her friend are visiting a psychic when Sara is warned of an approaching evil (I think; it was unclear exactly what happened in the psychic’s shop). After that visit, Sara starts acting differently: she becomes more aggressive towards her boyfriend, and others. When the people around her start turning up murdered, Sara’s psychotic break gets worse, and she gets some news that will rock the foundation of her world.
Chameleon is a slasher film at its core, but not only are the slasher elements disappointing, the story as a whole is never fully realized. The killer is never explicitly explained, and the “slasher film twist” that fans have come to expect is so far out of left field that it doesn’t even make sense. When fans pop a slasher film into his or her DVD/BD player, not a lot is expected in terms of acting, story, or plot development, but Chameleon’s attempt at all of these – including the special effects – are laughable.
There is nothing positive to say about Anne Teal’s work as Sara. Her acting is extremely subtle – too subtle – while the rest of the cast tends to overact, making the movie disjointed. Teal is unable to build a realistic character even though she is onscreen the vast majority of the film. The other actors in the film are just as terrible, but for a multitude of different reasons. The tiny budget of the film is blatantly obvious every time another inept actor is introduced.
If Eyes of the Chameleon merely had bad acting, a stupid script, an annoying musical score, and cheesy special effects, I think I could stomach it. The fact that the story is completely nonsensical, however, is unacceptable. The staple of a slasher film is finding out who the killer is; this moment is only implied in Chameleon, and then another killer randomly shows up for some (terribly underdeveloped) reason. All of these factors make the film an unpalatable mess that isn’t even enjoyable to sit through for mocking purposes. Eyes of the Chameleon is a pathetic attempt at a micro-budget slasher film, and every aspect of the movie falls flat on its face.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.