Girl With the Hungry Eyes, The (2007): Jon Jacobs’ Vampire Tale

(Vampire Noir)

It must be high season for female vampires, for The Girl With the Green Eyes is the third picture this year, following Michael Almereyda’s Nadja and Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction, to revise the time-honored genre by centering on an alluring femme. Significantly inferior to its companions, new take is too allegorical, a bit pretentious, and way overlong. After a three-week midnight run at Laemmle’s Sunset 5, pic heads straight to video, where it might be appreciated by the genre’s hardcore aficionados.

Dedicated to the novelist Fritz Leiber, whose short story has inspired the film, the narrative begins in 1937, when its heroine Louise (Christina Fulton), a top fashion model and owner of the Tides hotel, kills herself after realizing the cheating and other shenanigans of her beloved photographer-fiancee.

Jumping to the present, most of story is set within the now derelict building, which used to be lively center of the city’s bustling art deco district. The place’s old spirit continues to haunt Louise, who comes back, determined to restore the hotel–and avenge herself.

Used as a metaphorical creature, Louise terrorizes all the men who objectify her into a commodity of desire–until she meets Carlos (Isaac Turner), a Cuban refugee trying to make a living as a photographer. A peculiar relationship, based on physical attraction, obsession and power games, evolves with some irritatingly predictable results.

The best thing to be said about Girl With the Hungry Eyes is that, unlike most low-budget vampire flicks, its intent is serious and unexploitative. Nonetheless, tale is burdened with a metaphorical structure and pregnant symbolism, suggesting that human beings are like desperate vampires when it comes to their need to be loved and respected.

Realizing his picture lacks engaging plot or intriguing characters, first-time director Jacobs goes heavy on dark mood and eerie ambience–to little effect. Shot in Miami’s South Beach, brooding pic plods along monotonously at an elephantine pace. Running time of theatrical version is unjustifiably 15 minutes longer than its video format.

As a revisionist item, pic not only lacks an interesting angle, it also fails to deliver genre’s most basic thrills–and fun.


A Merton Shapiro and Cassian Elwes presentation of a Kastenbaum Films/Smoking Gun production. Produced by Michael and Seth Kastenbaum. Executive producers, David Niven, Jr. and Cassian Elwes. Directed, written by Jon Jacobs, based on Fritz Leiber’s short story, “The Girl With the Hungry Eyes”; additional story and dialogue, Craig Robins, Christina Fulton. Camera (color), Gary Tieche; editor, Jason Rosenfeld; music, Paul Inder, Oscar O’Lochlainn; art direction, Tony Parras; costume design, Evelina Diaz; makeup, Susan Dextersound, George Lockwood; associate producers, Edward Bates, Holly MacConkey; assistant director, Douglas Bruce; casting, Jeffrey Passero.

Reviewed at the Royale theatre, L.A., Feb. 3, 1995.

Running time: 100 min.


Louise…Christina Fulton
Carlos…….Isaac Turner
Johnny…….Leon Herbert
Bud………….Bret Carr
Mandy……..Susan Rhodes