Procedure: Removing a woman’s face and grafting it onto a burn victim’s filleted skull
Inarguably a primary influence on Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In, French director Georges Franju’s Eyes Without A Face isn’t just cinema’s most shocking mad doctor flick of all time—it’s also one of cinema’s most overlooked horror gems. In it, Doctor Genessier (Pierre Brasseur) lures innocent young women to his mansion in an effort to cut off the current victim’s face and fasten it onto that of his daughter, who suffered face-ruining burns in a car accident.
Without a new, scar-free face, the doc’s girl, Christiane (Edith Scob), wears an all-white, featureless mask that makes her look like a bloodless walking corpse, a lasting image that gives Eyes Without A Face a haunting quality that’s tough to shake. And one scene in particular, a grisly and methodical face-removal sequence uncommon for its time, is one of horror’s great try-not-to-look-away moments.