BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL (1974) – The Dungeon Review!
I know most of you will never ever enjoy Paul Naschy films like I do. Paul Naschy is a perfect fit in the world of low-budget Euro-trash. Whether he is playing good or evil Naschy always gets the ladies! Even when he is a wolf-man he gets laid! Some of Naschy’s films feel like a porn flick without the pornography. Naschy exudes macho confidence; it is not uncommon to see him strike a Captain Morgan-like pose, sometimes with his shirt off. It is a bonus when he does the cocked eyebrow thing. Boom-chicka-chicka-boom! Sure, he can pour it on thick at times but that is all part of his charm. Naschy is not just an actor, he is also a director. One of my favourite Naschy films, The Night of the Werewolf stars and was directed by Mr. Naschy. I won’t deny that some Naschy films are plagued by poor continuity, awful dubbing and logy pacing but there are definitely some seriously entertaining gems in the mix. Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll is extra special because it is a Spanish Giallo! Not only do we get a shirtless Naschy who is seducing a household of psychotic women (the film’s alternative title is House of Psychotic Women!); we get death dramatic jam-packed with red herrings! Boom-chicka-chicka-boom!
Gilles is an escaped convict hitchhiking his way across Spain in search of work. After enjoying a cheese sandwich and a glass of wine he is picked up by a local woman named Claude who offers him work at her home where she lives with her two sisters; Nicole and Yvette. Gilles arrival coincides with the grisly murders of women who have had their eyes plucked out, making him the most obvious suspect. But Gilles is not the only one with secrets in this sordid story including the trio of lovely ladies, the doctor, the suspicious new nurse, the bitter barmaid and even the police captain.
All three sisters have their eye on Gilles but it is the youngest sister Nicole who aggressively pursues him. She even has her own plucky-porny music when she is on the prowl! In one scene she just plants herself a few feet away from Gilles as he is doing some yard work. Naughty Nicole apparently doesn’t get out much and complains she is being kept at home like a prisoner by her sister Claude. Claude has a badly disfigured arm and wears an ugly prosthetic hand. She is a severe looking woman with her hair tightly pulled back and conservative clothing. She is painfully self-conscience and stand-offish but Naschy breaks down her tough facade (it is all about how you caress the prosthetic!). Before you can say boom-chicka-chicka-boom Claude is letting her hair down and donning a mini-skirt and go-go boots! Finally we have the beautiful wheelchair-bound sister Yvette. Dr. Phillipe believes her paralysis is psychological. Poor Yvette doesn’t really get to have much fun at all! Enter foxy lady number four; Michelle the replacement nurse. Michelle shows up with a letter for Dr. Phillipe allegedly explaining why she has come in place of another nurse. It’s all fun and games until someone has both of their blue eyes plucked out!
I could not help but notice Gilles only took one sip of wine from his glass before leaving the roadside cafe. Who does that? Yeesh! Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll actually has a fairly jaunty pace for a film of its ilk. Granted, it takes a little while before the first corpse shows up but there are plenty of curiosities to keep you occupied in the meantime. We are treated to Gilles spontaneous dreamy flashbacks where he strangles a woman in an empty room. I assume this was the woman he killed to land himself in prison. The interaction between Gilles and the ladies is quite entertaining, even if some of it was unintentionally funny.
I rather enjoyed the cast of Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll. The trio of sisters played by Diana Lorys, Eva León and Maria Perschy were perfectly chosen. Do I need to say anymore on Mr. Naschy? I love him! There is sex, nudity and violence, although it is relatively tamed, even for 1974. The film looked quite decent and at times is actually quite stylish. There are some well-executed moments of suspense and a particularly kooky and fabulous finale. I especially enjoyed the shots of two black gloved hands dumping two freshly-plucked eyeballs into a bowl of water! It keeps you guessing right up to the end. Some of that might be due to the ideas that are introduced and simply abandoned or the key plot points that never receive a substantial explanation; but hey! I never said the film was perfect.
I really really dug Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll! It had everything I have come to expect from Euro-trash of the 70s; sex and nudity, lovely ladies, a convoluted plot, a black-gloved killer, red herrings and a mucho macho performance from one of my favourite men of the era Paul Naschy! Despite some flaws Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll comes highly recommended. Boom-chicka-chicka-boom!
Dungeon Review: 4/5
Directed By: Carlos Aured
Starring: Paul Naschy, Diana Lorys, Eduardo Calvo, Eva Leon, Inés Morales, Antonio Pica, Luis Ciges, Pilar Bardem, Maria Perschy