Eyes Without a Face | Crooked Media
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October 31, 2023
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Eyes Without a Face

In This Episode

Halle and Alison talk trenches and tragedies to ruin Eyes Without A Face.

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[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Hello. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast. Where we ruin a horror movie just for you. 


Alison Leiby: Just for all of you. Halle, I would ask how you’re doing, but we’re recording this, you know? Don’t ask us about time. We’re two fucking idiots. But recently, after the attacks in Israel and we just want to say that we are too dumb to explain this to you. There’s just no way we’re just two [laughs] idiots. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Who do a horror movie podcast, but are obviously. It as a Jewish person. It is devastating to see that kind of tragedy to happen to anybody, especially other Jewish people. And we certainly feel. Awful for everybody on the ground and everybody whose life has immediately been thrust into even more danger than they were already in in Israel. And so Halle you get a good resource for people. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: To I mean, because we we’re we’re we’re just going to try and learn and follow along more and and and do all of the things that people who try and stay informed try and do. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I think obviously, you know, you don’t need to hear the two dumbest women alive try to talk to you about this. It’s just not for the best. [laughter] But I you know, Alison, I talk briefly and I think there’s two things that I sort of would say. One, obviously, we are part of Crooked Media. I think Pod Save America had a really good episode about it. This will come out a couple of weeks later. But it’s called Hamas Makes War Republicans Play Politics. And it’s sort of about both the the tragedy of the Hamas attack and then the tragedy of Israel’s response and then sort of the immediate rush to make the political point like it sort of like to use it to make the political points that people are already making and sort of like invest like it’s like a broader conversation about like we are as humans reacting to the horror, which is what we should react to. But then in those moments of reaction, people are able to then seize on that feeling and sort of and use us. And we, you know, we live in America. We had Donald Trump like, we know what that means. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: To have these horrible moments and these very human, normal reactions to horror be seized upon. And the other thing is that and this is not, you know, no, no surprise if anyone’s on social media right now, it’s like the it is so unfortunate that like Twitter under Elon Musk has like been reduced to what it is because I’ve seen I know I’ve seen so many so much misinformation. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Immediately from both sides, like people posting things from like Syria and claiming it’s in Gaza and like [both speaking] posting something from a video game. 


Alison Leiby: Video games. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Claiming it’s Hamas, like all this incredible like this level of misinformation. So I just want to talk about that. And then like, I think the broader thing is like I feel like as someone who’s not Jewish, I’ll be honest, I was like, not on I don’t I’m not even going to get into that. Like, I don’t even know about it. But I think we are then all called to both as like humans reacting to this horror and also Americans where it’s like this, you know, this is a global issue that we are also a part of. I think it is. It’s on us to learn about not simply like what is going on right now, though, of course, like we should strive to get the best information we can and that it does mean like staying engaged and not and sort of seeing as things come out and like finding out information as things emerge, but also like understanding like the history of Israel, understanding the history of the region, understanding like how how something like this could happen. And I you know, I think people have to compare this to 9/11, and I think that’s an absolute fair comparison because it is a horrific tragedy committed against innocent civilians. And also it the people who will be punished for it are the people who did not do it. Like there are people who have, you know, like people in Hamas or whatever who will be, I’m sure, be affected by this. But like both in Gaza and Israel, most people are just regular people who are trying to get through the day. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So, you know, and it’s not I think it’s just like as an American, like it it is our responsibility to know and to and to become more informed and. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I you know, obviously, you know, I don’t like it’s like, you know, we’re we’re not that we don’t know. Obviously like Free Palestine has been a movement and in our country as well for a long time it’s just like I know for me I’m not I don’t know as much as I need to know. And that’s something that I can fix on my end going forward and and become more knowledgeable of what’s going on. So I think I just want to say that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And, you know, I have no we have no idea what’s happening actually in the world when you’re listening to this. It’ll be a few weeks later and I want to say I hope it gets better. I don’t think that’s what happens—


Halle Kiefer: I know, I know. 


Alison Leiby: But I think I think Jewish people are scared. I think Arab people are scared and everybody’s on high. You know, it’s an incredibly personal and incredibly emotional political event to engage with. So just be gentle to yourself and to each other. And if you don’t want to look at horrific war zone footage, like you don’t have to watch it to be engaged, you don’t have to expose yourself to those horrors as awful as they are. And as much as it is important you can read about it like don’t sit and watch videos on Twitter that are depicting absolutely horrific atrocities. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, the other thing is like because I feel like, you know, we’ve talked about this sort of when it comes to like police brutality and police murder of Black people, is that I do feel like as a white person, I am obligated to watch those videos. And I do sort of feel the same way about this. Like, I in some ways feel an obligation. The problem now with social media is like, even if I watch those videos, I don’t have the context of the information. And the and the information coupled with them is often false. So it’s like even watch, even if you were to watch the videos. What you it’s it’s almost impossible to know what to take away from it. And I think that’s really scary. And again, I mean, what can we do other than talk about it? We all know this is now a part of our lives like AI, and then but even before that, like propaganda and misinformation used to, like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Inflame people’s sensibilities and then manipulate us against each other and obscure these larger geopolitical forces where people are always going to try to take advantage of this. And yeah, obviously, again, we don’t know. We don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: Nope. 


Halle Kiefer: Our ass from our elbow. 


Alison Leiby: Nope. 


Halle Kiefer: But we’re trying to in some ways engage with it in a positive way. So, yeah, I listen listen to Pod Save America. They had a good episode I’m sure there’s plenty of people were more erudite analyses. But. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. We’re just we’re thinking of everyone. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Affected by this obviously like an incredibly horrific I mean what can you would say, you know. So with that in mind, we’re gonna be covering a horror movie. [laughter] And this is like, I mean, this is why we evolved. I believe we evolved the art of horror movies to have a fictional release for real horror. I do believe that I don’t think—


Alison Leiby: Yes absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: Horror movies don’t exist for no reason. And so what could we give you but a little bit of fictional horror. And that that, of course, is part of our ongoing, let’s scare Alison to death month. 


Alison Leiby: Oy. 


Halle Kiefer: And we’re doing a film I had not seen and boy, you know, because we had just done a couple of different movies, I’ve been trying to see or waiting to see. Wait for the right moment. This is a movie. Like, I’m going to watch this, obviously, but I’m going to wait for the exact right moment. And that moment has come. And that is, of course, 1960s Eyes Without a Face. 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: A classic horror tale directed by oh, God, Georges Franju. 


Alison Leiby: No. Mm.


Halle Kiefer: A French. It is a French Italian co-production. Yeah. You know what? I got close enough, I’m going to say. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s based on a film is of course, also based on a what is this, a novel? 


Alison Leiby: Book? 


Halle Kiefer: Les yeux sans visage. By Jean— I don’t even know why I think I’m going to pronounce anyone’s name. And I would like to apologize. There’s a inspector in this movie called Inspector Parot, but it’s P, A, R, O, T.  I’m just gonna all him Inspector Parrot. Like, there’s just no. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Sense in me trying to humiliate myself— 


Alison Leiby: Do phonetically what you need to do. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, so I apologize to the French before we begin. A standing apology to the French. [laughter] We also like to have Alison watch the trailer. And, Alison, what are your thoughts about the Eyes Without a Face trailer? 


Alison Leiby: I didn’t enjoy this. 


Halle Kiefer: You don’t say, you don’t say. 


Alison Leiby: I that also like the mask it’s that she’s wearing—


Halle Kiefer: It’s incredible. It’s incredible. 


Alison Leiby: It’s so sc— And like, when you think that this is from 1960 like you didn’t need much in the means of technology like high tech anything to make like this mask is so scary. It looks like just like part of the head of a mannequin. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: But it’s so it’s so upsetting to see. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a beautifully shot film. It is incredibly like all the details. This again, not to rag about modern horror movies. Because there are obviously modern horror movies, horror movies with style and like attention to detail. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But like every scene, it’s like you see the sun through the fog, like you see like trees hanging over the road. Like it’s just like the attention to detail, a classic for a reason. Obviously.


Alison Leiby: Also. I mean, we don’t do movies from this era often. I feel like there weren’t a ton of horror movies then, but man, the fashion. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, we’re going to get into the fashion. 


Alison Leiby: The looks. 


Halle Kiefer: The looks. 


Alison Leiby: The fashion of 1950s 1960s American cinema is so good. 


Halle Kiefer: I literally wrote, I am so tired of athleisure like this is I think—


Alison Leiby: I mean I live in L.A. That’s all there is. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And like, yeah, I obviously went to New York. I went to New York couple weeks ago to go to Lizzie Borden house. As soon as you get in the airport, there’s at least people with different styles. Like, different. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, not that like they’re all great, but like, oh, a variety. In L.A., I feel like it’s athleisure if you’re sort of rich or sort of like this nineties, androgynous, queer look, which I love. I think it’s great. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But it’s very Gen-Z and it’s not really for me, like, it’s not really my style. 


Alison Leiby: No. We need like a tweed pencil skirt with a short sleeve cashmere sweater, like. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Girl a fucking high heel. There is a belt. We’re going to talk. I literally made notes. There’s a belted. I don’t know if it’s I’m assuming it’s either vinyl or patent leather. It must be vinyl. Like a shiny, black belted trench coat. Oh. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh. My God. Like this. I’m like, I want to get to a point where I’m dressing like that. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like I am done with a flat shoe. I am done with sweat pants. They’re they’re going to be there. They’re always going to be an option. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know what I mean?


Alison Leiby: They’re still my house clothes. 


Halle Kiefer: A little clos— Like there’s like a head scarves. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it’s incredible. So, yes, you’re absolutely right to immediately I mean, worth watching for that alone if you if you’re capable, watch this. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which you’ll be able to tell once we get to the end of this summary, whether or not this movie is for you, we always like to take a baseline scary. Alison, how scary do you find the concept of eyes without a face? 


Alison Leiby: Very. I don’t really know if I want to see any facial feature kind of hanging out on its own. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Nose? What about a nose?


Alison Leiby: I guess, nose is the least is the least upsetting because just like a mouth without a face. Come on. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, God. Yeah. Anything without a face. The face holds it all together. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. The face is what makes it human. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Otherwise, it’s just kind of like whatever. 


Halle Kiefer: The face is, the canvas, the the facial parts, of course, the paints. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: That God paints with to make your face. And would you like to guess the twist in Eyes Without a Face, Alison? 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: Would you say there’s a twist? 


Halle Kiefer: No. Look, I think you kind of get what we’re getting at here. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You’re getting eyes without a face.


Alison Leiby: The trailer had no words in it, so it was very like. I was like, I’m getting the style. I’m getting the no face. I don’t know if I’m getting plot. I’m going to guess that. At the end. The woman without a face, like the. Because there’s a woman with a face and then there’s a woman—


Halle Kiefer: There’s several women with faces, unfortunately, some of them lose their faces. And then there’s the main one with the mask who has eyes. But again, no face under the mask. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, she has eyes. I think that she’s going to take away other people’s faces. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Great, great. Absolutely excellent guess.


Alison Leiby: They’re going to work together as like just eyes, no face women. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. Love it. Hopeful. 


Alison Leiby: Like a crew. 


Halle Kiefer: I would say a hopeful feminist lesson. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: From Eyes Without a Face. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Again, not sure if that’s where we’re going with this. 


Alison Leiby: No. Don’t think so in 1960. But, you know. 


Halle Kiefer: Let us begin ruining Eyes Without a Face we open with terrifying French carnival music. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. [music plays]


Halle Kiefer: I was like, oh, getting me right off the bat and we see it like there’s a car driving. We’re in the car, we’re in the driver’s seat, we’re driving down this black and white. So the movie’s in black white. Obviously, we see in the trailer. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re driving down a lonely country road and we’re sort of shooting backwards out of the driver’s seat. So, like, you see the trees, the leafless trees hanging over this road, illuminated from below. And I was like, this is hitting immediately. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Thank you. Please. We see, of course, a woman driving the car. She’s got a headscarf on. She looks she’s distraught, but she also has a perfect cat eye. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, the makeup. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is what you want. Exactly. Her name is Louise. We’ll find out what she’s up to. But it’s nothing good, Alison. And we see her. She’s nervously driving, looking behind her, trying to see if anyone is following her. And finally, she readjusts her rearview mirror. And we see there’s a figure slumped in the back seat. 


Alison Leiby: Mm. 


Halle Kiefer: Bundled in a coat and hat, and we sort of see the bottom of her of this person’s jaw and cheek. And this person does not have a face. 


Alison Leiby: No. So it’s just skin. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. They’re removing the skin of the face. So the actual meat and the blood and the skull is there. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But the actual face has been removed, which is hard because what do you do then? 


Alison Leiby: What do you do then? 


Halle Kiefer: And I saw that figure. I’m like, oh, my God, it’s eyes without a face. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: Over here. Eyes without a face. 


Alison Leiby: Who else could it be? 


Halle Kiefer: And I would like I’m always I keep they’re kind of out of favor I guess maybe they’re not out of favor, just Twitter’s so fucked up I never see them. But you ever see like people make like K-Pop fan cams or like, it would be like Nicki Minaj or like Doja Cat, where it’s just like them on the red carpet with like a different song. I want someone to make—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: An Eyes Without a Face fan cam.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Cause like every look is so [laughter] even like having no face, like the fedora with the big coat. I’m like it’s still a look—


Alison Leiby: It’s still kind of chic. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s incredible. [laughter] Alison behind them on the road, we see the headlights of another car approaching. And Louise, of course, does what you’re supposed to do, which is panic and veer to the side of the road and slam on the brakes. Very very sly—


Alison Leiby: Obviously, not suspicious at all. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see, of course, the truck, which doesn’t care that there’s someone without a face in the car drives by. And Louise says, oh, she gets on, she finally drives down to the riverfront and nothing good’s going to happen at the riverfront Alison.


Alison Leiby: The riverfront isn’t like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: An above board space. 


Halle Kiefer: And especially in the middle of the night. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, at night, at night, during the day it has a bit of a different vibe. But riverfront at night, that’s just crime. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. She gets out of the driver’s seat again we already saw, like the, the scarf on her hair. She is, I believe it’s a shiny vinyl like, trench coat belted. Bitch she is in heels. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: She is on the riverbank. Muddy riverbank. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: In a in a belted trench in heels. She looks incredible [laughter] because you’re going to be serving time. You better be serving. 


Alison Leiby: You better be serving. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. So she goes into the back and drags this body out [laughter] which based on the hair and we see it’s little like shoeless feet. It’s a woman. She just fucking flops it into the river. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, do what you can. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: I will I did, this is like if you saw this happen, like, do would you intervene or would you be like, you know what? I’m going to call someone else to get in there? Because I was like, I just imagined watching this from a distance, like, uh oh, uh oh. 


Alison Leiby: Even if I was like a very chic woman, I’d still be like, I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I’m going to—


Halle Kiefer: She’s so chic.


Alison Leiby: Like this is somebody else’s job. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, next think you know you’re getting thrown into the river without a fucking face, according to this movie anyways. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: We then see the c-ntiest phone, and this is the kind of thing where, like, I feel like [laughter] have you seen? Are you familiar with Delta Work? This she’s a drag queen and she has a podcast called Very Delta. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: We need to be doing what she’s doing where like she has a desk, but then like she decorates it differently for every episode. 


Alison Leiby: Oh great. I love that.


Halle Kiefer: And for Halloween, it’s like a black and white. And she’s one of the monsters from that Twilight Zone episode where everyone, a woman’s getting plastic surgery and it turns out that she’s beautiful and everyone else looks like a pig. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But she, like, Delta Work, like, will put like a seminal book of, like, queer literature and then like, a Barbie doll. Like, it’s a whole tableau. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And it made me be like  I think I’m headed in that direction because I saw a rotary phone. I’m like, I want a rotary phone. They’re so good.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Obviously get one. 


Halle Kiefer: Big shiny black rotary phone. We see it ringing. Of course, a man answers it he’s like, Oh, the professor isn’t done yet. Oh, my God. Okay, well, I’ll tell him when he’s finished. Finishing what? Giving some kind of important, like speech at a conference. It looks, it looks like it’s in Versailles. Like they’re in this like beautiful room. But it’s everyone listening intently to the professor who. His name is Dr. Génessier. Again, I know that that’s not right, and I apologize to everyone in both France and Italy for what I have done. So Dr. Génessier, he gets up and he’s talking about a new surgery that he’s developing. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, Is it not the greatest of man’s new hopes that of physical rejuvenation? This hope comes with the hetero graft, which is what I feel like I had before I came out, like I had it. [laughter] I was graft. It was grafted on. I had a hetero graft. 


Alison Leiby: Just a straight face. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Yeah. I know you don’t want to do a straight face. You hope the face—


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: —you come out with is gayer than the one you had before.


Alison Leiby: I would think that that’s the point. 


Halle Kiefer: But I like this in a movie. It’s not text on a screen, but it is a thesis. We’re giving the thesis of like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Here’s what we’re setting this up. 


Alison Leiby: I do like that. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says the hetero graft. In other words, the transplanting of living tissue from one human being to another has only been possible until now when both subjects are perfectly identical from a biological standpoint. This means biologically modifying the nature of the host organism. One method involves using heavy X-ray irradiation to destroy the antibodies to create resistance to the hetero graft. Unfortunately, this irradiation requires such a high level intensity that no human can withstand it. I’m like well, wait a minute, then. 


Alison Leiby: What the hell are we talking about? 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know if this is such a good idea. The hetero graft. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t think it is. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, So we reset to sanguination. We drain every drop of blood from the subject, exposed to radiation. Alison, the audience burst into applause. 


Alison Leiby: And I think that you can’t just take away somebody’s blood and have them still be alive. 


Halle Kiefer: And the audience applauds. Okay, so you say we have to kill people. He’s like, Oh, we don’t want them to be irradiated. So we have to drain them of their blood. It’s like, well, that doesn’t seem like much of a solution. The audience doesn’t care. 


Alison Leiby: So are they putting other blood in? 


Halle Kiefer: Based on what I’ve seen. No. 


Alison Leiby: Also. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re just taking faces.


Alison Leiby: If you’re if you are exposed to radiation, it’s not like it goes just to your blood. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely right. That’s a great point. 


Alison Leiby: Lot of holes in this scientific proposal. 


Halle Kiefer: What I love is they’re like, we’re just going to say it and people can believe or not. 


Alison Leiby: We’re saying it, we’re gonna keep moving. 


Halle Kiefer: And also, it’s funny because now we do have face transplants. Obviously. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re incredibly difficult and I’m sure a lot of them don’t take. And it’s you know, I’m sure it’s an extremely arduous experience. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But we have done it so well hearing it now. It’s like we have to radiate them and take their blood. It’s like, okay. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s for the cinema. But I said, This is what science was. And I guess still sometimes is. Dr. Génessier slips out the door and the man who answered the phone rushes over to tell them the terrible news the morgue called. Right. [laughter] You hate to hear it, Alison. Even when you’re expecting it. You don’t like to get a call from the morgue.


Alison Leiby: Still it’s like, ugh, the morgue is on the line. 


Halle Kiefer: And the audience, of course, he barely has time to react his raving audience streams out? They’re like, oh, my God, what an incredible speech about something that we all totally understood. And this woman goes, think of the ramifications of the future, and he tells her, The future, madam, is something that should have started a long time ago. Now, does that make any sense? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, time befuddles both of us. So I don’t think that we’re exactly here to weigh in on if that makes sense. For linear time. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I was like, okay, I guess that’s—


Alison Leiby: I guess.


Halle Kiefer: Hey. I’ll take your word for it bro. So he storms our unfortunately, he is, of course, storming to the morgue. And as he leaves, we hear a woman say to her friend, he’s changed so much since his daughter disappeared. Yes, I imagine you would. Yes. It’s a life changing event. 


Alison Leiby: That’s a pretty change, changing moment. 


Halle Kiefer: At the morgue. Inspector Parot, And I’m still gonna call Inspector Parrot. I’m so sorry. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: But also, please imagine a parrot with little trench coat and a hat, because that’s fun. 


Alison Leiby: Well, obviously, that’s a movie I would watch. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: So Inspector Parrot says, please, he’s talking to the coroner and he’s saying basically, you know, when Dr. Génessier’s daughter, vanished from the clinic, her face was an open wound. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So I’m assuming this corpse of a woman we found without a without a face. That’s going to be her. And the coroner says, listen, it all adds up. The car accident, the facial burns the long immersion in the river, and the inspector goes. And the rats don’t forget the rats. 


Alison Leiby: What about the rats? What are the rats up to?


Halle Kiefer: I think they ate her body in the river or at least nibbled on it. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, I thought maybe they ate her face. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, her face was already gone. [both speaking] They would have loved to, but it was already gone. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Probably ate her eyes, though. Ostensibly, they were still there. 


Alison Leiby: Yum yum yum yum yum.


Halle Kiefer: The coroner says. [laughter] Well, it could be her based on everything we know. Or could be this because there’s another missing local woman, Simone Tessot. Who disappeared? And I wrote bitch, what kind of crazy French town is this? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, what’s going on that they’re like, we got all these missing women. We don’t know which one it is.


Halle Kiefer: Which is like, based on the movies of the fifties and sixties. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly what was going on in France, Italy and America. But the coroner said, they called Dr. Génessier, and they also called Simone’s father to see if one of them can I.D. the body, which will be hard because, again, it doesn’t have a face, right? 


Alison Leiby: Right. Yeah, that’s tough. Do you think that you would recognize me if I didn’t have a face? 


Halle Kiefer: Well, will you still have your hair? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I guess so. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Is hair face?


Halle Kiefer: Is hair part of the face?


Alison Leiby: No. Yeah, that’s part of your head, but not your face. 


Halle Kiefer: I would say this. The body they found had hair, so I would think, yes, I could identify you by your— 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I think I could identify you without a face. 


Halle Kiefer: I think so, too. Right?


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: I’ve got other. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. We know each other. 


Halle Kiefer: And especially if it’s like your parent. I feel like it’s like they. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Have been looking at you for years. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. If it was just like an old coworker. I don’t know that like, literally—


Halle Kiefer: Why are you calling me? Yeah. [laughter] but. So basically, both fathers are going to come down, see if one of them can identify the body. The coroner says something just doesn’t quite make sense. You found a faceless woman’s corpse in the river. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You think? 


Alison Leiby: Not a lot of sense is getting made. 


Halle Kiefer: And so the inspector says, well, what’s odd is the body was naked under a man’s coat, and the coroner says exactly, Génessier. So what they’re saying, like, what we’re laying out is Doctor Génessier’s daughter was in a car accident. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And then she disappeared. So.


Alison Leiby: Okay


Halle Kiefer: So the wound is from the car accident. So they’re saying if she ran off and voluntarily went into the river because she was so distraught over the accident, over her face, why she wouldn’t be nude. You mean like that would like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. That’s not like what was what happened to that accident. [laughter] 


Halle Kiefer: Right. Well, the accident I think we’re supposed to think it was like before, like weeks before. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, so it wasn’t like that night. It was basically like she was in a car accident. She had a facial wound, and then she disappeared. People, I think, maybe presume that she had died by suicide. 


Alison Leiby: I see. 


Halle Kiefer: And so now they’re like, if it is her, the why would she be? She wouldn’t have undressed under a man’s coat. But it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, there’s a lot of stuff there to put together. The answer, of course to that is no, she wouldn’t have. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: That isn’t her. So the coroner continues, You know, the facial wound on the corpse. Well, it’s not like a car accident at all. It’s like someone took a scalpel and removed her face. That should have at the end of this movie, the coroner says it looks like someone removed her face with a scalpel. You gotta do a little more research, okay? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t. And also, like, outside the. So you see the elevated train go by in Paris, I’m like, oh, I miss an elevated city train. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And you see, like the sun through this fog. It’s all foggy and dark. It’s so beautiful. Then Dr. Génessier gets there and of course he’s horrified and silent. The coroner introduces him to the inspector and Dr. Génessier walks with them down to the morgue. And the coroner says with her facial damage, it’s only the eyes that are left to identify her by. And he pulls a sheet away from the body. And Dr. Génessier says, says, it’s Christiane. It’s my daughter. Just then the assistant pops in—


Alison Leiby: That’s who was getting dumped in the river?


Halle Kiefer: Well, he is identifying this body as his daughter. 


Alison Leiby: This body. Okay, got it? Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So then the assistant pops in, says the father of Simone is here, but the coroner says no need, Dr. Génessier just identified the body as his daughter. This is why murders don’t get solved. Let the other father come in and see if that’s his daughter. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Why are you trusting Dr. Génessier. 


Alison Leiby: Right? We don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, if he’s the family member of someone who disappeared, why would, like. Wouldn’t you be a little suspicious of him just to be like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Let’s get somebody else in here? 


Alison Leiby: Why? Yeah, why are you the only. Yeah. No. Get all the dads in. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Dr. Génessier leaves the morgue and Simone’s dad Henri Tessot, stops him sobbing. It’s like, Are you sure it’s your daughter? You sure it’s her? Our Simone has been missing for ten days. Something must have happened to her and Dr. Génessier sort of like storms past him and throws his valise in his pussy little French car. These little French cars. I could. I was. Every time I saw a car, I just collapsed to the ground. Like they’re so good. 


Alison Leiby: They’re so good. 


Halle Kiefer: And he turns, he says. 


[clip of Pierre Brasseur]: [speaks French]


Halle Kiefer: How odd that I should have to comfort you. You have hope left and then he drives away in his tiny car. It’s like, that’s a huge red flag. You’d think if you just found your—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —deceased daughter, you would have nothing but empathy. Not that you maybe be bros who you want to talk to the guy. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But it’s like you understand you’re going through the same thing. I am? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. [both speaking] Don’t you have some emotions? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: That aren’t just, like. Like kind of like turning on a heel. Like, I just feel like. Yeah, it’s strange. It’s. It’s an odd vibe. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison next day, we see Louise stalking another young woman through town. Another beautiful white brunette with blue eyes. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Watching her every move. She’s hanging out with a friend of a friend, meet some, the boyfriend. And then she’s just following this young woman behind her. At Christiane’s funeral, we see two of Dr. Génessier’s colleagues gossiping about him, like, oh, my God, his wife dies four years ago and now his daughter. One of them goes Paris, fame, fortune. What does it all add up to? So apparently Dr. Génessier is like the toast of the town, like the most highly acclaimed hetero graft surgeon. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: But they’re like, well, what’s that going to get you? All your family’s dead bitch, you know, like, they’re just being incredibly mean behind his back. [laughter] 


Alison Leiby: That’s like the French. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. We see. Christiane also had a fiancé, Jacques, who we see say goodbye to Dr. Génessier and Louise before leaving the cemetery. And when he does, we see a bundled up woman kind of following behind him. Meanwhile, Dr. Génessier and Louise, they move all the flowers into the family crypt, crypt, and Louise starts to freak out and be like, this is too much. That we’ve done too much, you know? Like, what have we done? She’s also. So she’s wearing the same glossy trench again. She has a closed black closed hat. She’s incredible. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: And Génessier, he basically said, get a hold of yourself woman. You know [laughter] this is the most [?] on my daughter. And so they drive back to Génessier’s estate, which is huge. So huge mansion, mansion surrounded by no trespassing signs. And when he goes to open the garage, we hear what sounds like at least 12 gigantic dogs all barking at once. So we find out he is a pack of dogs, essentially, like protecting the house, like intimidating people and also to do experiments on Alison. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: I know. 


Alison Leiby: No. We don’t need to do that. 


Halle Kiefer: This is like The Fly where he kept getting monkeys. It’s like no one should just be handing out. But of course, he’s just. These are stray dogs. So we find out he just kind of collects. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And but also, it’s very intimidating. If you were to approach the house, you hear all these dogs barking, at you. You know, I think you wouldn’t enter. You’d enter cautiously Alison. He goes into the house, and walks up the stairs and finds his daughter Christiane alive? 


Alison Leiby: Oh, she got a face?


Halle Kiefer: No, she doesn’t. But we don’t see it. She’s, like, face down. Kind of like. Like a teenager. Like, I think she’s in her twenties for, like, sort of like she’s in this morose, like her face is down on her bed, and he shuts off her music. We also see she has a big bird cage full of doves. So like a beautiful room. 


Alison Leiby: All right. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, she found the notice of her own obituary in the paper. So of course, she’s very upset. 


Alison Leiby: A tough day. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, Oh, I can only imagine what you’re. I can only I can only, you know, try to empathize of what you’re imagining right now. And she’s like, I don’t imagine that I live. Horrible things. What have you done? And he says, I did what I had to be done. Since that girl died after the operation, I took an additional risk. I made everyone think it was you. Everyone thinks you’re dead, so they won’t come around asking what is the long term plan? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: What if you’re actually able to give your daughter a face? She can’t return to society now.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. She can’t ever leave the house. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, what are you doing? This is not a guy who thinks he’s more—


Alison Leiby: No. He’s in the short term, not the long term. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 


Alison Leiby: Like he’s just not thinking. 


Halle Kiefer: Well. 


Alison Leiby: You know, two or three steps ahead. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s the whole that’s the whole tech industry. I guess that’s sort of as a scientist. [both speaking] You get obsessed with certain things. And now the future. She lifts her head. Before we see it, he grabs her head in horror. He’s like your mask, you have to get the habit of wearing it just until the operation works. And it will. And she says, I don’t believe in that anymore. And Louise stops by with Christiane’s lunch. Alison, it is a bottle of milk with a rubber tube coming out of it. 


Alison Leiby: Wait why can’t she have food? 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t maybe she doesn’t have teeth? 


Alison Leiby: But teeth are on the inside of your face. 


Halle Kiefer: I think her mouth is just a hole. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. I don’t know. I’m just describing what I saw.


Alison Leiby:  She would be able to chew. This poor woman She doesn’t even have like, she’s, like, been pronounced dead and has to, like, live at home with her dad and a bunch of stray dogs while he does experiments. Like give this woman a fucking club sandwich. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, she couldn’t just drink milk. It’s fluid. Like, just put it in the mouth. You don’t even need a tube. 


Alison Leiby: Right. What’s the tube for? Because, like, she can talk. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, she sure can. Well, Alison, once you sort of pick apart this movie? Well, listen [laughter]  but let’s just say the whole the whole. The whole business is a mess. Her face is a mess. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Louise brings Christiane her mask, which, of course, if you watch the trailer, you see it is incredible. Like a rubber motionless human face. 


Alison Leiby: It’s so scary. 


Halle Kiefer: A beautiful woman’s face. But it’s all one color. So we don’t even have a lip or like a little bit of a blush or like. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Like eyebrows. It’s just a dead white woman’s face. 


Alison Leiby: She needs to, like, contour it. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. That’s what I would be up to every day, like, putting on a different look. 


Alison Leiby: Doing different makeup. 


Halle Kiefer: On my mask.


Alison Leiby: But, God, how easy, how amazing would it be to be doing makeup and be able to just, like, wipe it off with a paper towel? 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I see. I feel like I’d really get into that just for something to do, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Now that I’m dead and have no face. 


Alison Leiby: She’s so bored. 


Halle Kiefer: And her father says, I promise you, you will have a real face. And he leaves. We slowly, again, Christiane her face is still in her pillows, and she says he took all the mirrors. But I could still see my reflection in the glass of the windows. And Louise says he will fix you. Look at my face. My face was horribly disfigured in an accident. Look at me and I look fabulous. And Christiane says, Yes, but you had a face. It was damaged, but it was still a face attached to your fucking head. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: He says, I have nothing and it’s his fault. He drove like a maniac that day. So basically saying her father was responsible, she says, I wish I was blind. I wish I was dead. And Louise is like, oh, that sucks. Anyways, you’re, put on your terrifying blank mask. [laughs] And she does. And it’s basically like, held on by, like, what looks like a headband but sideways, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And it is, of course, motionless facsimile of a beautiful woman’s face. And she stares at Louise as Louise styles her pageboy haircut, which is where you have to be the hottest person alive to have that haircut. 


Alison Leiby: You really do. That’s a tough haircut. 


Halle Kiefer: If I wa—


Alison Leiby: If you have a face. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, absolutely. If I walked in with that haircut, you’d be like, okay, so let’s talk to Halle. We have to have some sort of intervention. 


Alison Leiby: Intervention.


Halle Kiefer: Things aren’t going well. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. But also what I want to do, this is a Halloween costume. Incredible. 


Alison Leiby: Well, yes, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison Louise leaves and Christiane looks at a framed photo of her fiancé, Jacques, who again now believes that she is dead. 


Alison Leiby: That she’s dead. 


Halle Kiefer: Before sneaking down to the stairs and into the study where she tries to look at the mirror. But it’s covered and she turns and she sees a rotary phone. Alison, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I’m calling him. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think you got to. 


Alison Leiby: And be like I’m alive. Just like FYI. Still no face. But my dad kind of made a call here, and now I have to pretend that I’m dead. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, I think if I. If I was in love with someone and they lost their face, I think I’d be okay with it. It’d be an adjustment. But.


Alison Leiby: It certainly would. 


Halle Kiefer: I think love can survive a face. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Changing and perhaps leaving entirely. I think we’re all hoping for that kind of love anyways. I know I am. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I would. I certainly wouldn’t want to wait around for my psycho dad. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. [laughs]


Alison Leiby: To solve this problem after he’s really the cause of all of like, he’s the one who got caused the accident. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: He’s like, hell bent on making me a new face. He said that I was dead to the world. Like, I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I’d get out of there. I don’t think, like, the best care giver. 


Halle Kiefer: I think you’re right. 




Halle Kiefer: Alison. She, of course, dials Jacques, but when he answers, she just doesn’t speak. And I could tell eventually she does speak with the mask. But I was like, the mask doesn’t have a fucking mouth hole. Like, how could you can’t even talk with that? 


Alison Leiby: It doesn’t? 


Halle Kiefer: No, it does. Eventually. I just thought at the time she doesn’t say anything. So I’m like, oh, could she not speak? Oh, we do see it move yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But she doesn’t. She doesn’t speak, and so she hangs up. Meanwhile, we see Louise basically stalking this woman who again, we find out her name is Edna, this beautiful young woman, and gets in line with her. Behind her. I don’t know if it’s the ballet or the theater and says, Oh, you know what? My friend just just bailed on me. I have a ticket to see the show. Would you want to sit next to me? And the girl’s like, oh, I was. But I was going to get one of the, like the cheap seats. Louise’s like, oh, you don’t have to pay for it. That’s my treat. And like, I think because Louise is like a little bit older, like it’s like, oh, like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, like a not maternal, but like an, aunt or like an older woman. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Who’s like, oh that’s so nice. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So like, she. Yeah. So she strikes up a friendship with this poor girl who’s Swiss. So she also doesn’t know what she looks like. She has like one friend from school and we see them meet for coffee like a little later. Some point she said, oh, I know you’re looking for a room like she has a roommate, but she’s looking for a room to let alone. And she’s like, I have a perfect room. I want you to see it. Of course, before you confirm, I’ll drive you there. My friends own it. It’s gorgeous. And the rent? It’ll only cost you your face. No, she didn’t say that. But we know that’s where we’re headed, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. The price is face. 


Halle Kiefer: The price is face. So drive out of town. And of course, poor Edna’s like, oh, God, we’re going really far out of the city. So that live in Paris they’re going to the suburbs, which there are a lot of suburbs there, but it’s like, oh God, okay, how long we driving?


Alison Leiby: Alright. Yeah, 45 minutes. Come on. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s probably about that. She’s like, you know this is pretty far out, so I don’t know if it’s probably too far, you know, to the school or whatever. And Louise is like, No, I’m taking the long route because of all the horrible traffic. But there’s a train station you can get on the train there be in Paris in 20 minutes so that when the mouth is watering, I’m like, I would love that. Like, that’s perfect. You know. 


Alison Leiby: That’s the dream. 


Halle Kiefer: Of course, they pull up to Dr. Génessier’s mansion and he’s literally just ominously watching through the curtains, you know, like letting them go. 


Alison Leiby: I wish this guy didn’t have a face.


Halle Kiefer: Well, Alison you might get your wish by the end of the movie. 


Alison Leiby: As soon as I said it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Chekhov’s disappearing face. 


Alison Leiby: Face? [laughs]. 


Halle Kiefer: Edna is freaked out both by the fact it’s the middle of the night. The fact that the not the middle of the night. But it’s like, dark out and the she looks around. There’s nothing but woods surrounding the mansion. So they’re not even like rural area with other visible houses. Like there’s no one around and boy, are there a lot of dogs barking. And she says, I’m so are all those dogs I’m hearing, are those trained? Louise says oh—


Alison Leiby: Oh, no.


Halle Kiefer: —of course they’re trained. Trained to steal your face. No, but she’s like, Don’t worry, you’ll meet all of them, I’m sure, inside Edna is introduced to Dr. Génessier and he offers her a glass of port, and I’m sure Edna is in someway like are these weirdos going to try to fuck me? Like God—


Alison Leiby: Yeah it definitely seems like that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: That would be my first. Like, I think in this scenario, if I saw everything that was going on, I’d be like, they’re just trying to fuck like that before I thought about the danger. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. She’s like, you know what? Actually, I’m not. I’m not. I’m not gonna have a drink. And this is pretty far out so I just don’t know. I don’t want to get back to Paris too late. And, you know, I’m actually seeing another room tomorrow, so I’ll just let you know tomorrow for sure. But I just seems like maybe. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Louise is like. But you really must see that room first. Alison. Dr. Génessier comes up behind Edna with a rag and chloroforms her. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Great. 


Halle Kiefer: Before—


Alison Leiby: 1960, baby. 


Halle Kiefer: You got it. Before throwing the rag. At least we’ve gotten away from that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I haven’t heard the last time someone was chloroformed, and I’m glad.


Alison Leiby: Yeah I don’t think that that’s happening much, I hope. 


Halle Kiefer: And he throws the rag in the fire and he and Louise pick up Edna’s body and carry her into what we are going to find out of his his underground laboratory. 


Alison Leiby: Of course he’s got like a. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Illegal shop set up at home.


Halle Kiefer: 100%. And when before, when he grabbed her and her in a scream. So Christiane now like hears this and starts to sneak down the stairs after them. We see Louise and Génessier take Edna’s body into her unconscious Edna into a secret door in the wall of the garage. And Christiane sort of hides behind the car and as they haul Edna down to basically the face transplant lab. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. That’s what it is. 


Halle Kiefer: Which he has built underneath his home. And she sees him come back up and he says, I’ll start on her after dinner. 


Alison Leiby: So she’s just like down there. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And he goes. 


Alison Leiby: I wouldn’t leave that up to chance. What if she wakes up? 


Halle Kiefer: 100%. And I guess we do find out that she is strapped down. But I agree. I was like, what are you doing? If I’ve learned anything from a horror movie you don’t leave people alone. And he says, this time I’m going to take a bigger piece. One section instead of several smaller ones. It’s like, well, I could have told you that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. What? 


Halle Kiefer: What are you talking about? You are bad at this. 


Alison Leiby: This idiot. 


Halle Kiefer: So they go to make dinner. 


Alison Leiby: How did he even become a face doctor? 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know. Bluster, I suppose. They go to dinner and Christiane goes into the lab and sort of looks down at Edna. And then we see her go into the dog run where it’s just like a big room full of 12 ominous, gothic looking steel cages. It looks like a dog prison. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But because she is kind and she obviously wants, like, some sort of connection, she goes and she’s like petting all of them through the bars. And there’s like a big one a Great Dane that stands up and she could pet him over the cage. And this is what I would do if I didn’t have a face. I would just get every kind of dog. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And just like. Be petting all the time. 


Alison Leiby: Just cats and dogs all over the place. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see like the dogs are obviously starved for affection and like, the dogs love her, like calm down when she’s there and she shuts the light off and leaves the dogs howling after her. And finally she goes over to look down at Edna’s face and Christiane takes off her mask and stands over and she starts to caress Edna’s face. Of course, to your point, Alison, Edna wakes up. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s just like it’s chloroform, but, like, it’s been a minute and you’re touching her. 


Halle Kiefer: And she sees Christiane’s face, which has eyes, but not a face. It is honestly not as bad as I thought. It looks like a burnt crypt keeper face. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So, no nose. So eyebrows. But she does have lips, so it honestly could have been worse because I thought we were going to see just teeth. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, just teeth would be a tough look. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Still having some lips or tissue that covers your teeth? 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Pretty important. 


Halle Kiefer: But that being said, it’s not good. It is it’s a tough look.


Alison Leiby: No, no, no, no, no. No one’s like going in. And they’re like, give me the that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, give me that. [laughter] Later that night, we see Dr. Génessier and Louise. They have Edna on one gurney and Christiane is on the other. And they then in a very long scene, we see Dr. Génessier pick up a scalpel and cut off Edna’s face. [breathing] You hate to see it. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And then there’s a very long sequence. Where he has to reach out of the face and sort of separate it, like cut the tissues—


Alison Leiby: From the muscle. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like. And it’s quite a scene. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he finally goes, Here we go and pulls the face. So basically it’s been cut around the eyes and the mouth because. Because she has eyes, and lips. So they pull it off and it’s just like looks like it’s like a piece of baloney with holes cut in it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: In the morning, a local man drops off another dog. So I guess, like Dr. Génessier is, like, known for like, oh the man loves dogs. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. So you see a dog just, like, bring it here. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s a very cute German shepherd. It’s like, oh, like someone dumped him in the woods. People always do this. I’m so glad you take them. Thank you for taking him. And Dr. Génessier says, Don’t worry, I won’t do horrible experiments on him, you know? And he takes the dog inside. Louise comes, comes down, and this is like this the next day or the day after, Louise says, okay, she’s eating. The face looks good. I think it’s going to work this time again. 


Alison Leiby: Again. What is the plan for her and society? 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know, and Dr. Génessier says, I’ve done so much wrong for this miracle. And Louise says, Don’t say that. Remember, you gave me my face and all I have to show for it is a scar. And she lifts these, she wears this like thick these multiple thick strands of pearls like as a choker. And she lifts them up to show him a healed scar. And even that’s too much for him to see. Like he grabs her hands, like, don’t show me this. And she says, Well, what do you want to do with Edna who’s still alive and doesn’t have a face. And he says, feed her, look after her, and then I’ll decide. Bitch we knew you’re going to put her in the river. 


Alison Leiby: What we know you’re just going to dump her in the river. That’s like your whole thing. 


Halle Kiefer: Louise brings lunch up to Edna’s room, which is basically like a cell they have somewhere in the house. And when she turns around Edna hits Louise in the back of the head with a bottle and runs down to try to escape, and she runs down to the basement but just as she’s about to get through the door. The garage door starts to open and Dr. Génessier is coming back inside. So she runs back upstairs and Louise runs down screaming at Dr. Génessier. Edna, she’s escaped and we’re hearing the dogs howling. And finally we see Edna run back upstairs and then a scream. And Dr. Génessier runs, and there’s an open window, I think, at the bathroom. And when Dr. Génessier looks down Edna’s dead on the ground, she leapt from the second story. 


Alison Leiby: She jumped. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she is bleeding from the head. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. Yeah. That’s all you can do. 


Halle Kiefer: Kind of takes care of that. You know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I mean, decision made. 


Halle Kiefer: So they bring Edna’s body, to. And I literally was so out of it when I was writing this. I wrote, gravestone place, the cemetery. God woman [laughter] pull it together. 


Alison Leiby: Gravestone place. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah great stuff. But.


Alison Leiby: It. It sounds like like the street you should live on, right? I live at 235 Gravestone Place. 


Halle Kiefer: 6969 Gravestone Place. Alison Dr. Génessier uses a pickax to bust up the floor of his family crypt where his daughter is allegedly buried. Though of course is the body of Simone. He busts it open and this is great shot of Louise like hearing the thumps as she looks up as a plane flies over and the plane noise sort of muffles the pickax sound. And then finally he gets through, he opens the door and he just picks up Edna’s corpse and just fucking throws it down the hole. And I’m like, I guess I don’t know what a crypt is like. There’s a big hole you just dump a bunch of bodies in?


Alison Leiby: Is that what a crypt is? 


Halle Kiefer: We’ll never know. 


Alison Leiby: We’ll never know. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m going to the body farm at the police station. Edna’s friend who we saw briefly, like her school friend or whatever, reports her missing to Inspect Parrot. And she says, you know, last time I saw Louise she was hanging out with a slightly older woman who wore these thick strands of pearls like a choker. And the inspector is like, yeah, there’s no way this is enough information. I’m sorry. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Just go away. And it’s like, that’s why we don’t tell the victim’s friend that. Like, just ask her more questions. Don’t be like, oh, my God—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: —well, bitch, we’re never going to find her. 


Alison Leiby: Try and get to, like, any other identifying factors besides the necklace. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So the woman leaves and another inspector comes over to talk to Inspector Parrot, who says, you know, Edna, who apparently is Swiss is like. So now that she’s this has happened, she disappeared then like now we basically have a string of missing blue eyed. They don’t say white, but of course they’re white women. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Who look sort of similar. And it’s like, so what is happening? And they’re like a serial killer, you know, like what who is doing this yeah. And the other day she was like—


Alison Leiby: Face thieves? 


Halle Kiefer: That’s really interesting because I actually have a blue eyed woman right here. And we see her. She was just arrested for shoplifting and Inspector Parrot goes, let her go, but get her address. I have an idea. Alison, tell me at this point in the film, who will survive? 


[voice over]: Who will survive. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. I think Dr. Génessier. 


Halle Kiefer:  Dr. Génessier. 


Alison Leiby: Is going to die. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: I think everybody else will survive. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 




Halle Kiefer: We catch back up with them. And as Dr. Génessier and Louise and Christiane eating lunch and Dr. Génessier cannot believe how good the face looks. And the. Christiane is played by Edith Scob. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: And let me just say, she is incredible in this movie, because now that she has a face, she basically like her face looks stunning, but she can’t really move it. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So a lot of her acting from now until the end of the movie is her being very expressionless in like this very particular way. That’s so creepy and so effective. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah. Well it’s just kind of like the mask, but yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Because, like, just because she has a face doesn’t mean like, it’s necessarily reconnected everything. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. 


Halle Kiefer: And Christiane’s like, okay, great. It does look good. I’m glad I have a face, but how do I come back to life? And he says, Well, here’s what we’ll do. You’ll take a long trip. Get your new paper’s new name to go with your new face. You’ll be a whole new person. It’ll be fun. We like plan your new person you’re going to be. 


Alison Leiby: Like, no. 


Halle Kiefer: Christiane’s like, but I got a boyfriend. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I had a life. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And Louise says, you’re even more beautiful than before. You look angelic. And Christiane says, I don’t feel angelic. I look in the mirror and it gives you the feeling that I’m looking at something from beyond. And so she’s having this, like, existential, like I have another woman’s face on my face. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then she finally asked like, well, what about Jacques, my fiancée? And Dr. Génessier is like I’m oh yeah, that guy. Oh, yeah, we’ll have to explain it to him. Obviously, he has no plans on doing this. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: He tells his daughter to smile, but when she tries to smile, it’s too big. He’s like not too much. I don’t want to hurt the face. Just then. The phone rings. It’s a call by Dr. Génessier’s patient. It turns out that he runs a clinic, and it seems like it’s all because I was like, oh, it’s going to be like all facial repair. It’s all over the place. Like, it’s like a mental health clinic. [laughter] Like people are like migraines. There’s like a kid there. I don’t know. It’s some kind of clinic that he runs. 


Alison Leiby: All over the place. 


Halle Kiefer: So he has to rush out. Yeah. So he kisses Christiane goodbye. But when he does, he looks sort of like at distress at like the seam near her forehead. There’s like, a visible seam. And he says you haven’t been wearing makeup, have you? She says, no. She’s like, oh, no, just you look so good, you rosy cheeks. Obviously that’s not what he was saying. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Like, oh, where I put this face on your no face is showing. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Outside Dr. Génessier like smokes and Louise follows him and says like why do you look so nervous when you were looking at her and he’s like I no, no reason, of course he’s lying. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: He says, I failed. Alison. We then see Dr. Génessier in a voiceover and a series of photos, and over the course of the next three weeks, we see Christiane’s face in photos rot off her head. The hetero graft did not take Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Second time was not the charm. 


Alison Leiby: Nope. 


Halle Kiefer: Now, of course, now we see Christiane. 


Alison Leiby: I’d rather not have a face, than have a face rot off of my head. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, yeah what is it first face shame. Shame on you. Second face. Shame on me. I’m not doing a third one. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Of course, we see Christiane back in her room, petulant, down on the rug. And Louise brings her the masks to put on again. In the lab, we see Dr. Génessier experimenting on the dogs. We see him experimenting on the new German shepherd. Basically it looks like he’s, like, taking, like, pieces of the skin and transplanting it around. Oh, just horrible shit. You know what I mean, just like, disfiguring dogs to try to like, even if that it’s like that’s still a dog. It’s not even the same thing—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Right. Like, it’s not their faces have fur. 


Halle Kiefer: Finally, Christiane gets the nerve up to sneak out of a room and down to the drawing room to call Jacques, which she clearly calls him all the time. Doesn’t say anything because he picks up. He’s like, oh my God, why are you calling? You don’t say anything. She finally says his name and he knows immediately it’s her. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: And then Louise rushes in and hangs up the phone. She’s like, but she didn’t realize. She just assumed Christiane had just picked up the phone. She didn’t realize that she had spoken to Jacques. And Christiane has finally breaks down. I was like, I am dead to the world. Then let me just be dead. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, just let me die. I can’t touch my face. I don’t know how to do this. Louise says you have to faith. Faith in your father. And Christiane says, no, he has injections. He gives the dogs. When something goes wrong. You have to get one. You have to kill me. I can’t stand it. Of course, Louise is not going to do that. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And so she’s like, no, you’re just going to live in this terrible purgatory at your father’s house. So Jacques smartly immediately goes to Inspector Parrot. But of course, the inspectors, like, I don’t know, he came down and identified the body and Jacques says I hear you, but something is wrong. And I recognized her voice. I think I recognized it and Inspector Parrot’s like, oh, my God, that’s the problem. Everyone thinks they recognize something. Like, oh, and he starts picking up his police reports. Like, oh, I think I saw a man in a red truck. I think I saw a woman in a pearl choker and Jacques stops him and says, a pearl choker? I know that bitch. Meanwhile, we now see Louise is stalking another new young woman with a beautiful face. 


Alison Leiby: She is that bitch. So. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And eventually you’re gonna get a reputation of hanging out with these beautiful young women who then show up with their faces missing. 


Alison Leiby: Disappear. 


Halle Kiefer: So the inspectors bring in the shoplifter we saw earlier. Her name was Paulette and basically lie to her and say, like, you have to go undercover for us or you will have to go to trial and go to prison for shoplifting and this is her first offense. So she’s like, oh, no, my parents can’t find out. So it just seems like something the cops do is just lie to you. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yep, absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: So they say you have to go blonde and we’ll admit you to a clinic and complain of migraines. I don’t understand why she had to go blonde. 


Alison Leiby: What did the blonde have to deal with it? 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know, but she looks fabulous. She looks fabulous.


Alison Leiby: I mean, of course.


Halle Kiefer: I was like, okay, fun. I guess to disguise what she looks like. I don’t know. Alison, whose clinic is she being checked into? That’s right. It’s Dr. Génessier. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: And of course, she’s be like, what a beautiful face on this lady, you know, immediately sees that face. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we also find out, like, Jacques works for Dr. Génessier. Like, that’s how they know each other and that’s how he met Christiane. So Jacques still works at the clinic. And, you know, Paulette’s like talking about her migraines. And I guess at the time they would have treated you with it electroencephalogram. I’m like, sure. I guess that’s what we do. 


Alison Leiby: I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: In the sixties. And then we have, oh, he goes to see a little boy. And unfortunately, a little boy cannot answer how many fingers Génessier is holding up. And mother asks, can you save him? It’s like, from what? From being a dumb ass? Like he’s just a kid. [laughter] Like, leave him alone. This is like a little kid. 


Alison Leiby: You need to teach him to count, this is a you problem lady. [laughter] 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, of course we could fix him out in the hallway. Jacques’s like, What’s your diagnosis? Do you think we could fix him? The doctor says, What’s yours? And they stare at each other and Dr. Génessier says, so we agree. So what? Are we going to euthanize this kid? 


Alison Leiby: Like what? Because he can’t count? 


Yeah, like what are you talking about? Meanwhile we see Paulette get her encephalogram. Great scene where we see, like, the nurse put, like, electro electrodes on her head and then, like, flashes a light to sort of, I guess, induce a migraine. And Dr. Génessier, comes in behind the nurse and it’s just watching Paulette’s beautiful face and her eyes, reacting to the light. So of course, you know he’s got to try to take that face. 


Alison Leiby: He wants that face. 


Halle Kiefer: Back at the office. He tells Jacques, there’s nothing wrong with that Paulette woman. You know, she must have had migraines, but it seems fine here are her test results. And they tell Paulette, like, Hey, you seem like you’re good. Which, like, if you actually had migraines, I’m sure you’re like, but I still have migraines. 


Alison Leiby: Help. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, help me. So they release her and she’s fine. She get also is in a belted trench with like a suitcase. Oh, it’s so good. I want a suitcase. Like like a little like a valise. 


Alison Leiby: It’s such an impractical item. But boy is it chic with a trench and heels? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so she from the nurse’s station calls her mother saying, I’m going to be home, you know, in a half an hour. And she says, Where is the bus back to Paris. She says, oh, you just take the bus is like a 15 minute walk straight down and you won’t miss it. And then you can take it right to Paris. It’s the middle of dead in the fucking night. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s like there are no streetlights, there’s no houses around. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: This woman is walking on cobblestones. 


Alison Leiby: In heels?


Halle Kiefer: We see— In heels. We see the c-ntiest little French car pull up. It is Louise who offers a lift to a fellow woman in need, and they drive off into the night. Jacques, meanwhile, says okay, they checked out Paulette. You know, nothing weird happened. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just being crazy. But Paulette has been checked out and the inspector says, okay, well make sure she’ll get home okay. Cut to Paulette, already in the face transplant lab about to get—


Alison Leiby: Okay so we’re just—


Halle Kiefer: —her fucking face cut off like they’re just getting into it, right? 


Alison Leiby: They’re like, we don’t need to tell you how she got back here. You know. 


Halle Kiefer: You know. You get it. And then Louise, busts in and says there are two men at the clinic, and he’s like, I’ll tell him. I’ll talk to them tomorrow. She’s. She whispers in his ear, I’m assuming it’s the police and he undresses to go to work. And we see that Christiane is sitting in the lab in a fabulous dressing gown watching her, was about to watch her father take the face off, which I’m like, oh, that’s also insane. Like on a chaise lounge, like in underground lab. 


Alison Leiby: That’s crazy.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Alison we see Dr. Génessier walk outside in his scrubs. I’m like, what is he doing? The clinic is like, 500 feet from his house. I did not understand that the whole time. Oh, I assumed it was the same town but I was like, so he’s just walking there? 


Alison Leiby: But like, not on his property. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but that’s on me. So we. It’s Inspector Parrot and his little friend, the other inspector. They tells him, Paulette, was one of your patients, was released earlier this evening. She never arrived home and her mother is panicking. So he says, let me. Let me pull up her files. Pulls the files like, you know, I’ll be honest. Like she checked out, everything seemed fine. So once they leave my door is the patients are no longer my responsibility. And the inspector’s like, that’s fine. She’s kind of mixed up in a case we’re involved in. We just want to talk to her. I’m sure she’s fine. You know, I’m sure she isn’t about to have her face removed. And so they as they walk out, Jacques also walks out and Génessier says, Oh, Jacques since you’re here. Please see these men out and out there. Jacques kind of like is apologizing like, I’m sorry. Like, I don’t I guess I thought something was going on, but, like, that woman left and everything was fine, so I don’t know. I feel like this all these coincidences in the call. So I’m sorry. And the inspector was like, oh, don’t feel bad about it. You know what I mean? This is your fiancé disappeared and you’ve gone insane, too. So no hard feelings, I’m sure. Paulette is fine. Meanwhile, we see Paulette, wake up on the gurney. 


Alison Leiby: Hey. 


Halle Kiefer: To see Christiane approaching with a scalpel. 


Alison Leiby: Is like she gonna do it? 


Halle Kiefer: We see, of course, Paulette assuming her face is about to be removed. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Christiane reaches down and cuts her bindings that are strapping her down.


Alison Leiby: Oh, that’s nice. 


Halle Kiefer: And Louise rushes in and tries to stop Christiane and Christiane stabs her in the neck right in her scar. And—


Alison Leiby: I didn’t see that happening to Louise. I thought she was going to kind of make it out because, like, she technically is a victim from long ago and. 


Halle Kiefer: But she’s done too much. She. 


Alison Leiby: She’s done too. But no, of course, I mean, she’s dumping bodies in rivers and crypts and tricking young women. We don’t need her. 


Halle Kiefer: And Louise says why? [?] You know why. What are you talking about why?


Alison Leiby: Why? 


Halle Kiefer: So then Paulette runs out of the house and Christiane goes into the dog run and just starts releasing all the dogs. And they all run to the there’s an exterior door. And that Dr. Génessier opens right as he arrives home. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And as soon as he opens the door of the German shepherd, the one he was experimenting on, attacks him. 


Alison Leiby: Good. 


Halle Kiefer: And then all the other dogs run out in a pack. And they—


Alison Leiby: Justice for the dogs.


Halle Kiefer: And they tear him apart. Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: And then in the best shot, like, probably this is one of my top ten favorite shots of all in all. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: In all of cinema. We see Christiane also open the bird cage they had and release release all the doves. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: In case we didn’t get, release all the doves. Then finally she too walks out of the exterior door, a dove perched on her arm, and she’s wearing this like fabulous dressing gown. And she’s wearing the mask. And that’s the Halloween costume. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s a Halloween costume. 


Halle Kiefer: And she sort of has to hold her arm in front of her. So the dove is comfortable and she finds her father’s body. Alison, his face has been ripped off by the dogs. 


Alison Leiby: Way to go dogs. 


Halle Kiefer: And as the white doves fly around her, she walks and she is free. The Eyes Without a Face. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, wow. What a movie. 


Halle Kiefer: What a film. It’s so good. Please watch it. I believe it’s on Max right now. Yeah, that’s where I watched it. I mean, absolute ten out of ten. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: No, notes. What are some fatal mistakes you think people have made in the movie Eyes Without a Face?


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: The hubris of thinking you could do this as a medical doctor. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, yes that’s the mistake.


Alison Leiby: Like he, like, and also to be doing it privately and not like with the assistance of other medical professionals. Like, I feel like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: If this was like a group run clinic that wasn’t, you know, next door to his house. And this is what people were trying to do. Also lying and telling the world that your daughter is dead when she’s not just so you can keep stealing the faces of other young women. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Bad. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. You know, I think you really summed it up here. It’s just hubris. Overweening pride, I think, is sort of the ultimate fatal mistake. And then finally, where would you place Eyes Without a Face on the spooky scale, Alison? 


[voice over]: A spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: I think that. A lot of this I could have watched, but the mask is so scary. So six. Six for mask.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think it is more of a thriller, but the the face— [both speaking] The face stuff really does take it to another level. 


Alison Leiby: That mask is really upsetting. So yeah I’m saying six. What are you saying? 


Halle Kiefer: I’m going to go. I’m gonna go seven. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: This is I think just everything about it just hit me just right. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And yeah, I like a a captive. Anything with a face removal is horrifying to me. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Seven feels right. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This got me good. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I also want to say before we leave another just to cycle back to our conversation at the top of the podcast another there’s a great episode of What a Day, which is also another Crooked podcast. That’s like our daily podcast. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s really excellent, does a lot of great coverage, and they have an episode that again will have already come out. Called, Not Some Distant Tragedy about everything. 


Alison Leiby: Oh great. Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So again, another an excellent piece of work. So I just want to shout out that episode, but also What a Day, in general. If you’re looking for a daily podcast that it’s like covering things as they happen. It’s a really excellent one. Well, thank you everyone for listening. I hope this was. 


Alison Leiby: This was a great one. 


Halle Kiefer: This was this just this is why this is why art exists. That’s why the movies exist is why we have to have these movies like it is just it’s so perfect. It just made me so happy. Yeah. And until next time, everyone, please keep it spooky. 


Alison Leiby: Keep it face.


Halle Kiefer: Keep it face, keep it. Keep it face.


Alison Leiby: Keep it face. Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media for show updates. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. The show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.