Eyes of the Chameleon (2009) – By Duane L. Martin

I received this film to review, even though it had already been reviewed on the site by our own Brian Morton, and even has a quote from his review on the cover. While it’s against our submission policy to accept unsolicited screeners, I usually try to do my best to get them reviewed whenever possible. So here it is…my review. I dare say, it’ll be considerably different from Brian’s. This review does contain spoilers, so be warned. I had to include them so I could fully bitch about everything that’s wrong with this film.

Sara (Ann Teal) is stuck working a dead end job as a bartender in Las Vegas. After a really bizarre encounter with a kind of a gypsy fortune teller at the beginning of the film, people start dying around her. She’s also using drugs frequently, blowing off the boyfriend who cared about her, banging his brother and just generally wasting her life in an endless search for some excitement…I guess. As the police investigate the murders, it becomes clear that it’s all revolving around her, but does it have anything to do with her, or is it all just random chance? Is she killing them, or is it someone else? Does it even matter? If you want the truth – not really.

While the acting in this film isn’t awesome, it also, at least on the part of the majority of the cast, isn’t horrible either. Where this film falls really short is in the story. First off, you won’t give two squirts of duck crap about any of these characters, nor will the dialogue really draw you into what’s going on. In various scenes, the killer is obviously a man, and there are scenes from past events that even make it look as though it’s a man. So, by that logic, you’d think it’s a man right? I mean, that would be the logical conclusion, at least you’d think so.

The way it’s shot and edited leaves a lot to be desired as well. There are numerous scenes and bits of dialogue that add virtually nothing to the film, nor do they cause the story to progress in any sort of a meaningful way. For example, one scene has a guy in a tattoo parlor getting all jacked up on cocaine, and then Sara comes in and wants her clit pierced. The guy’s all twitchy and you’re left wondering whether or not he’ll mess it up. That’s about the only value that scene has. It has nothing to do with the rest of the film, nor does anything interesting happen other than she gets her piercing. That bit of suspense drops out of sight when nothing bad happens, and we’re left feeling like we just dry humped a pillow and didn’t even get to finish. I know that’s a stupid analogy, but hey, it’s 2:07 a.m., and that’s the best I can come up with right now.

The visual quality is somewhat lacking, especially in the darker scenes, which unfortunately seem to permeate this movie. I can forgive that however, because independent film makers can only work with the equipment they have, and the visuals aren’t horrible by any means. The sound was also pretty decent, but the editing could have used a bit more work. There are some scenes in this film that just shouldn’t be there, some of which are actual scenes, and some of which are filler scenes that I guess were intended to set a mood. The only mood they managed to set was boredom.

If I could have cared about some of the characters, I might have been able to overlook some of the other problems with the film, but really I didn’t care about anyone. To me they were little more than cardboard charicatures that you’ll be hard pressed to even remember anything about the day after you watch the film.

Eyes of the Chameleon is being distributed by Troma, but for me this one is a huge miss, and mostly just a waste of time. If you want to see a good release from Troma, check out the far superior Killer Yacht Party, also reviewed in this issue. That film did it right. This one, unfortunately, just didn’t.

From what I read in Brian’s review, he seemed to like it to some degree. I personally didn’t. You can come to your own conclusions, but I would highly recommend that you don’t buy this film until you’ve seen it somewhere else to make sure it’s something you actually want to own. It’s currently available from Amazon and whatever other outlets sell films that are distributed by Troma.