Uniquely weird Spanish horror with elements of Psycho Killer movies
and the Gialli directed by the obscure Miguel Madrid
AKA Michael Skaife and an oddity in Spanish horror says a film historian
in the extras.
At the time when the film were made the strict film censors in Spain
didn't allow a horror movie to have it's story taking place
in Spain. Yes, gruesome things didn't take place in Spain according
to the Franco propaganda. I didn't know this until now and
that explains all strange scenes when Spanish 1970's horror films supposedly
taking place in e.g. Germany or eastern Europe
obviously were shot in Spain.
Maybe the director Madrid/Skaife made fun of this here as the sign says
Montpellier, France but the killings take place in one
of the most world famous and most recognizeable places in Spain - The
Gaudi Park, The Park Güell in Barcelona.
The Film starts with a groovy theme playing and with
pictures of people making mannequin dummies. And then we get to see
a young man cycling home from school. He has just been expelled from
Medical school and he's Paul (David Rocha), the son
of the Gardener in a huge park. He's very quirky and strange, hysterical
almost and besides of being raised by his mother
(Elisenda Ribas) as a girl and being obsessed with dolls, he also has
a dream of being a surgeon .... uh oh, not a good sign
in any horror movie.
When Paul's parents are away on holiday the nearby living
Countess (played by the genre icon the luscious red-headed
beauty Helga Line) perhaps supposed to be the owner of the park (?)
tries to invite him to her castle and seduce him, but
he falls in love with her daughter Audrey (Inma De Santy) instead.
Murders, hallucinations when Paul sees dolls instead of people, a strange
music number and weirdness a plenty makes this
a film for the lovers of the Psychotronic. (OK, i would've preferred
seeing Line in a shower scene than Rocha).
One question though, how could they've been permitted to shoot the burning
of dolls scene in the Gaudi Park, a small fire
upon the park mosaic ?? This was way before CGI effects so surely that
fire was for real. The Güell Park was a Spanish
Monument of Cultural interest and in 1984 UNESCO declared it a World
Mondo Macabro presents the film in a widescreen 1.85:1
ratio with a spanish DTS-HD MA mono audio with english subtitles,
region ALL blu-ray. Extras:
Two audio commentaries, one by Kat Ellinger and one by Robert Monell
and Rod Barnett (from the Paul Naschy podcast)
Interview with actor David Rocha in spanish with english subs (24 minutes,
2019) : The Doll Killer Speaks
Interview with Film Historian Dr. Antonio Lázaro in english Part
1 (27 minutes) and 2 (21 minutes, 2019)