In 1962 Arne Mattsson made this film, his masterpiece, with a disturbing,
a tragic and an unforgettable performance from the Great Per
Oscarsson as the lonely night-watchman Mr. Lundgren. Per Oscarsson,
our Swedish actor Genius with his own quirky nervous style
of acting. He's a joy to behold and i don't think i've ever seen him
being anything less than interesting in any of his roles.
Arne Mattsson had a long directing career and was a fine craftsman even
though his films became sleazier, trashier and more violent
during his last 20 years or so. The nastiest of his films i've seen
was Mannen i skuggan (Black Sun) and the best ones were his famous
proto-Giallo Mannequin in Red (1958) and this one, Vaxdockan (The Doll,
A psychological drama bordering to Horror with an absolutely
fascinating Bravura performance from unique actor Per Oscarsson as the
desperately lonely night-watchman Mr. Lundgren. He lives in Stockholm
in a scruffy attic room in an old villa turned boarding-house and
works at night as a watchman in the City area. He keeps to himself and
in narration we can hear him lament his loneliness.
BEWARE - SPOILERS BELOW
BEWARE - SPOILERS BELOW
Mr. Lundgren and the doll
One night doing his round on his work shift he steals
a mannequin doll from a shop and carries it home.
He courts her, dresses her and makes wishes for her to turn alive -
"if you only were alive. Please, give me your hand, who says you
can't do it?"
And, guess what .... the doll turns alive. The neighbours, some of them
mocking Mr. Lundgren for his odd persona, notices that he seems to
be more happy than usual. But no one likes him with the exception of
his landlord (Elsa Prawitz, then wife of Arne Mattsson) and she likes
only because he always pays his rent in time in an orderly way.
When the doll turns into her/it's live self, she's played
by the fine actress Gio Petré and she doesn't want him to leave
her alone in the room, and
he starts to neglect his job, stays home on sick-leave. Things start
to go sour when the doll taunts him for him being a worthless human
for his loneliness, is that what he has to offer her ? One of the neighbours
(played by Tor Isedal) is especially cruel and mocks Mr. Lundgren.
Vaxdockan is claustrophobically unpleasant but hypnotically
fascinating due to the performance of Per Oscarsson and a Must See.
The film is presented in 4:3 ratio, black & white,
with a swedish audio mono
Extras: picture gallery, trailers and a Short Film from the 13 Demon
Street TV series: A Gift of Murder (24 minutes 4:3 b&w) directed