Archive for luis ciges

BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL (1974) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, Spain with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2012 by goregirl

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

WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? (1976) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, Spain with tags , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by goregirl

While searching for Spanish horror the one film that seemed to consistently pop up was Who Can Kill A Child? The title instantly intrigued me as I do love a good killer kid flick. Even more fun than a killer kid is a whole swarm of killer kids! How about a whole damn island of killer kids?!

Tom and Evelyn are a happily married couple vacationing in Spain and are expecting their first child. In hopes of finding some peace and quiet in the midst of a local celebration, they decide to seek out a resort town Tom visited 10 years previous called Almanzora. Despite some unsettling news about dead bodies washing up on the shore the two decide to rent a boat and seek out what they hope will be a more serene destination. As they drift towards the Island they see a small group of children playing. Once on the island however, they are surprised to find all the businesses empty and not an adult in sight. They think nothing of it initially, but as they search the island for signs of life they discover more children. But the reality of the situation becomes sickeningly clear when they run into a group of rugrats playing piñata with an adult body.

Who doesn’t love bashing a piñata?! It is pretty clear something is afoot on the island well before we see the kids bashing papa piñata but this visual revelation sure does make an impact! The discovery is fairly early in the couple’s journey and of course things get uglier from here. The film has a great intensity and atmosphere which is extra impressive considering the films action takes place in broad daylight. The violence is bathed in sunshine and is complimented by a great score featuring children’s “la,la,la’s”. The film pulls no punches and doesn’t back down from its violence on account of the kiddies. Although the violence isn’t particularly graphic there are scenes that will shock and surprise and the ending is absolutely brilliant!

During the films opening credit sequence we are shown actual footage of the holocaust and various other wars driving home the point that it is children who suffer the most during these adult made atrocities. The clips end with a starving African baby and then segue into the story by showing a shot of a chubby little white kid playing on the beach. It’s an interesting social statement although it did feel a little heavy handed. This is really the closest thing you get to any kind of explanation as to why the children have become little killers. Is there something in the makeup of the children that makes them exact revenge on behalf of those that came before them? Is it something in the water or air? Did they watch a history channel marathon? You really just don’t know. There are more than a few great horror films that offer vague or little explanation to its onscreen action but are nonetheless effective. Who Can Kill A Child? definitely falls into this category. The lack of information actually adds an additional chilliness to the proceedings. If this could happen on this island couldn’t it happen anywhere? Could a loving parent ever consider killing their own child to defend themselves? Clearly the parents on this island could not bring themselves to hurt the little ones.

Lewis Fiander and Prunella Ransome are perfect in their role as British tourists Tom and Evelyn. The couple is quite likeable and the dialog and chemistry between the two felt easy and realistic. The film focuses on their discoveries and the actions they take in response. Making Evelyn six months pregnant added an interesting depth. Soon to be parents themselves will they be able to hurt a child to defend themselves? There is one particularly creepy scene where Evelyn’s pregnancy is used to great effect. Evelyn is waiting for Tom in an empty bar and a little girl approaches her and touches her pregnant belly doing nothing more than smile slyly. A simple scene that chilled my shit! By the time the final credits role you get the answer to the titular question of Who Can Kill A Child?

Who Can Kill A Child? is a well-filmed, fascinating, atmospheric and intense mystery that warns to heed the little voices or one day they might just combine resources and finish us all. A great lesser known horror film that is definitely worth seeking out. Highly recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4.5/5

Directed By: Narciso Ibáñez Serrador

Starring: Lewis Fiander, Prunella Ransome, Antonio Iranzo, Miguel Narros, María Luisa Arias, Marisa Porcel, Juan Cazalilla, Luis Ciges