My first and last exposure to Robert M. Young and Miguel Pinero‘s Short Eyes was at the 1977 New York Film Festival, which happened four or five months before I left Westport, Connecticut, to move into my first cockroach-infested Manhattan tenement apartment. Hardly a “pleasant” sit but taut, riveting and quite rich overall. Very stagey but appropriately so, as it happens entirely in a confined space (i.e., the Manhattan Men’s House of Detention). Animals in a cage, all right…”I say he’s stuff.” Bruce Davison‘s performance as a squishy, white-ass child molester (“short eyes” is slang for this type of offender) was not only memorable but incredibly ballsy. I remember reading Vincent Canby’s 9.28.77 rave and going “yup, yup…exactly how I feel.” I’m mentioning this because Kino Lorber will release a new Short Eyes Bluray on 9.15, but will accept pre-orders as of 8.1.

The line “it ain’t Shawshank” was written seven years ago by efilmcritic’s Rob Gonsalves.