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Eyes of Fire

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Director: Avery Crounse
1983 / 90min / 35mm

One of the most ambitious and unusual films of ’80s independent regional horror, Crounse’s debut feature—shot in the Ozarks, among other Missouri locations—lays its scene in 18th century British America, where refugees on the run from the Puritan pieties of their village, led by renegade preacher Dennis Lipscomb, seek refuge in a forbidden valley that’s under the control of an even more sinister entity hungry for souls. Brad Fiedel, soon to compose the theme for The Terminator, summons soundscapes that combine period-appropriate folk melodies and anachronistic electronica, creating an aesthetic, together with Crounse’s experimental optical effects, that could be described as colonial psychedelia. A mind-melting tab of grindhouse Hawthorne, guaranteed to leave you with flashbacks.