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1981 Movie Reviews – Eyes of a Stranger

by Sean P. Aune | March 27, 2021March 27, 2021 9:30 am EDT

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1981 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.


We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly three dozen.

Yes, we’re insane, but 1981 was that great of a year for film.

The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1981 so that it is their true 40th anniversary. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.

This time around it’s March 27, 1981, and we’re off to see Eyes of a Stranger!

Quick side note: Since we launched this series this year, we’ve discovered that Vintage Video Podcast is doing the exact same project with two differences: First, it’s audio (naturally), and second, they are doing every major film. We’ve listened to a couple of episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.

1981 Movie Project - Eyes of a Stranger - 01

Eyes of a Stranger

We commented two weeks ago about how heavy 1981 was on slasher films, and that continues this week with Eyes of a Stranger.

Eyes of a Stranger follows a run-of-the-mill serial killer as he terrorizes the women of Miami. A reporter played by Lauren Tewes – best known for The Love Boat – begins to piece together who the killer is and tries to gather proof on him.

Directed by Ken Wiederhorn, there is nothing that memorable here when it comes to kills, but there is an interesting twist with the sister played by a very young Jennifer Jason Leigh. She was abducted as a young girl and assaulted. The trauma caused her to shut out the world meaning she is, for lack of a better term, willingly blind, deaf, and mute.

This leads to one of the tensest scenes I can remember in a long time as Stanley (John DiSanti) comes to the sisters’ apartment to get rid of Jane’s snooping ways. He figures out Tracy is blind and then begins to torment her by moving things on her while he stands a foot away from her. The danger she is unknowingly in, and DiDanti’s glee at how close he can be to the victim is unnerving.

That scene alone is worth checking out this movie as it is one that will stick with me for some time.

The 1981 movie reviews will return on April 3 with Atlantic City!

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Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing