Late 1960's and 1970's Gialli movies are probably my favourite film
genre, a Mediterranean business mostly these stylish and
sometimes macabre Crime Mysteries, an Italo - Spanish affair, even though
a "Giallo" could've been made during this time in
other countries too, but mostly in Euro land. They were made in the
1960's - 1980's and with the 1970's as the Golden years of
The Gialli. In the US they did not make gialli, and in Germany they
would call their crime-mysteries for "Krimi".
Even in my country, Sweden a giallo could be made, as Arne Mattsson's
famous 1958 proto-giallo "Mannekäng i rött/Mannequin
in Red" a film that probably inspired Mario Bava's 1964 "Sei
donne per l'assassino".
Sometimes, here on my film pages, i define a Méxican or a Japanese
film as being a "giallo", and why do i do that? I don't know
why really, but it's something you recognize when you see it, a certain
style. If made after the 1980's called a neo-giallo i guess
OK, the greatest producer of and the Mother of The Gialli
were Italy and the best films of the genre were undisputedly made
there by directors as Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Umberto Lenzi , Aldo
Lado, Mario Bava, Sergio Martino, Damiano Damiani et al.
But some were made in Spain too, and there's something Special about
that Iberian 1970's atmosphere that gave the genre films
made there during The Spanish Golden Film Era a special lustre.
Hard to define, but "The Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll" is
favourite Spanish giallo and one of the best genre films made in Spain,
and definitely on my Top Ten List, along with films as:
"La Campana del infierno (A Bell from Hell)",
"The Corruption of Chris Miller" and "La
Residencia (The House that screamed)".
Paul Naschy AKA Jacinto Molina with one of the sisters,
Nicole (Eva León)
In the intro of the film we see how a burly man is walking
along a road somewhere out in the countryside and finally get a lift
from a farmer, to the next village at the foot of some snowy mountains.
He's an ex-convict just out of prison and he's looking
for work in the village of "Perrouze" in France, so the film
supposedly takes place in France, but in 1970's Generalissimo Franco
Spain you couldn't have a horror film taking place in Spain (no such
evil things took place in glorious Spain) it wasn't allowed.
He's Gilles, later known as Alain Duprey (Paul Naschy)
and the snowy muntains seen are not the Pyrenees or the Alps, but
some mountains near Madrid. at Navacerrada, a ski-resort 50 kilometers
from Madrid. The film was shot in the Madrid region.
But the roadsigns and magazines seen are in french, and he pays in francs
when visiting a café.
After asking the barmaid (Pilar Bardem, the sister of
famous director Juan Antonio Bardem and the mother of the great actor
Javier Bardem, yes, the very scary guy in The Cohen Brothers 2007 "No
Country for old Men") for some work in the village
he gets a lift from a woman named Claude
(Diana Lorys, the beautiful
unsung heroine of Spanish Golden Era trash movies
and of two of Jesús Franco movies, 1961 "The Awful Dr. Orloff
/ Gritos en la Noche" and the 1970 "Les cauchemars naissent
la nuit / Nightmares come at Night" and she tells him that she
lives in grand old house a couple of kilometers from Perrouze
with her two sisters Nicole (Eva León) and wheelchair
bound Yvette (Maria Perschy). and that they need a
- born in Madrid 1940 as Ana María Cazorla Vega, and when writing
this in December 2020 she apparently still
lives and it would've been great if someone interviewed her. This Spanish
Goddess of a B movie genre actress, i Love her.
Claude is the sister who run things regarding her family,
and she's a serious and pensive (and beautiful) and she carries a
prosthetic over her scarred by burns right hand, Nicole is a nymphomaniac
who's ogling Gilles when he's at work (as always
Naschy appears with his shirt taken off to show off his weight-lifting
strong body), and Yvette, receives medical treatment
from Doctor Laboud (Eduardo Calvo) and is watched over by the nurse,
Michelle (Ines Morales).
Gilles must be in heaven as the only man in a house with 4 women, and
he ends having sex with both Nicole and Claude,
and with the latter in a both tender and a sensual scene.
The US title of this film was "House of Psychotic Women" but
i don't know about that, more like "overstrung" maybe.
But, Bad Things are happening in the village were young
blonde women with blue eyes are attacked and killed and get their
eyes plucked out, and this to the accompaniment of a nursery rhyme "Frere
Jacques" being played on a tape recorder.
Also, Gilles is suffering from frightening visions where he strangles
and murders a woman laughing and taunting him
Could this film have been made before Deep Red by Argento, and if so,
Could Dario have been inspired by this tune ?
Is Gilles the serial killer, and what will happen when the villagers
get to know that Gilles really is condemned murderer Alain
Duprey ? The local policeman Pierre (Antonio Pica) unsuccessfully investigates
the killings, in usual gialli manner.
This could be the best role Paul Naschy/Jacinto Molina
had and the best film he acted in, but the one who dominates the
film, both physically and with her fine pensive performance is Diana
Lorys. A sort of B movie Jeanne Moreau of Spain and
i'm sure a director as Luis Buñuel would've liked her.
Above pics: The old US BCI Deimos unrated
edition released in 2005 or thereabout, and when writing this text in
2020 this old but super great DVD edition has long since went out of
So, as i wanted to watch this superb Spanish Giallo once again, and
the only available Blu-ray with english subtitles were
the hard to get US edition one, and if even still in print, costing
a fortune, and with added custom duties to that, as being
an european, i had to order the German 2020 Subkultur Entertainment
Blu-ray and DVD 2 disc edition, costly this one too.
This fine edition has a spanish audio with only german subtitles (but
better than none, german is fairly easy to read for a
Swede) and this 2 disc edition with one 89 minutes Bluray and one 85
minutes DVD also has a Booklet with texts in German.
The film has a groovy and a bit odd sounding soundtrack
by Juan Carlos Calderon, and beautiful colors and atmospheric
cinematography by Francisco Sanchez, a cameraman that worked with all
of the directors of the Spanish Golden Film Era.
Warning of a NASTY Pig slaughter scene, and of the film crew being seen
in a table mirror at the end.
The film are presented in 4:3 fullscreen original ratio,
with Spanish DTS-HD MA mono audio or a DD 1.0 and with only
german subtitles. The Bluray version 89 minutes and
the DVD version 85 minutes. Region ? ALL probably
Extras on the Bluray: English intro credits scene (5 minutes) and ending
scene. Spanish trailer, English trailer and a Gallery
The old US BCI Deimos DVD had a great audio commentary
with Paul Naschy and director Carlos Aured, and an introduction
by Paul Naschy, a US trailer, Spanish opening and ending scene, picture
stills gallery, a Booklet with text by Mirek Lipinsky.
I first saw this film in the early 1990's when i had a, i think, a US
VHS copy of it