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LiamCasey

"Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll" (aka "Los ojos azules de la muñeca rota") (1974)

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Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (aka Los ojos azules de la muñeca rota) (1974)

w/ Paul Naschy, Diana Lorys, Eduardo Calvo, Eva León, Inés Morales, Antonio Pica, Luis Ciges, Pilar Bardem and Maria Perschy. Directed by Carlos Aured. And written by Paul Naschy and Carlos Aured.

In this one we have Paul Naschy portraying a drifter in contemporary 1970s France (at least that is where we are supposed to believe this is set) who has visions of strangling a young and attractive woman and who gets a job as a handyman on an estate inhabited by three young and attractive women (natch!) all with physical and/or mental handicaps; one with a mutilated right arm and hand and with self-esteem issues (Diana Lorys), one a wheelchair-bound paraplegic which may or may not be psychosomatic (Maria Pershcy), and one who is **** incarnate (Eva León). And, of course, we have young and attractive women in the vicinity of that estate who are being murdered in fairly gruesome fashions. And, of course, we have many people who have secrets, including the paraplegic's resident nurse (Inés Morales) who is also a young and attractive woman and the nearby town's doctor (Eduardo Calvo). And, of course, we have many people who are suspects, including the estate's former handyman and the nearby town's resident ogler of young and attractive women girls (Luis Ciges). And, of course, we eventually find out whodunit.

I would attempt to go into more detail but that would be at the risk of airing spoilers. But I suspect that we all know the basic path that these types of movies follow. And although there is nothing really new in this movie and there are some things that strike me as odd, the pieces are put together well and the plot holds together from start to finish. And the ending is a bit more surprising than usual. As a matter of fact even the movie's title makes sense once all is said and done. In many ways this movie is an ideal counterargument against anyone who believes giallo films can only be Italian. And, although I am partial to horror movies with monsters in them, I would rate this one above both the previously watched Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) and Vengeance of the Zombies (1973).

Bottom line: This one needs to show up on TCM Underground if it hasn't already. I think many of our fellow board members would enjoy it.

Random comments:

1.) This is the third of five movies in The Paul Naschy Collection Blu-Ray set. And the first in that set to include an audio commentary track; this one by Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn from NaschyCast. All of which means nothing to me but it was interesting to listen to.

2.) This movie has also gone by the titles of House of Psychotic Women and House of Doom albeit in edited versions.

3.) The director of this one, Carlos Aured, was also the director of Horror Rises from the Tomb. He also directed Paul Naschy in The Return of Walpurgis (1973) and The Mummy's Revenge (1975). In light of my enjoyment of two of their collaborations, I hope to get to those two other ones one of these days (assuming that they are even available) but, at this rate (8 months since my previous Paul Naschy movie! Where does the time go!), I wouldn't hold my breath!

4.) And it appears that Luis Ciges may be the Spanish equivalent of Michael Ripper as he is the only person other than Paul Naschy to have appeared in this one plus Horror Rises from the Tomb and Vengeance of the Zombies.

5.) Antonio Pica also appeared in Vengeance of the Zombies. And was, again, playing a police officer.

6.) We also have the same composer (Juan Carlos Calderón) from Vengeance of the Zombies. And, for the most part, the soundtrack, again, left much to be desired. My subconscious kept expecting James Coburn to appear as Derek Flint. However the composer did make excellent use of Frère Jacques as a motif for the killer. Although that may have been driven more by the director and/or the screenwriter.

7.) And, cast/crew-wise, I must make reference to Pilar Bardem who not only portrayed the owner of the local bar/diner in this movie but, in real life, is the mother of Javier Bardem who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for No Country for Old Men (2007).

8.) Surprisingly, Paul Naschy only portrayed one role in this movie. So it appeared he was cutting back in that particular area. But he still bedded two women (and attempted to criminally force himself upon a third). So he was not cutting back in that other area.

9.) In a throwback to the older Universal horror movies (especially The Wolf Man (1941)) we have the "villagers" (albeit without wooden torches) in pursuit. And the pursued even gets a foot caught in an animal trap.

10.) As with Vengeance of the Zombies, this movie also includes a scene where a live animal is killed; in this case a pig. Now I'll admit I like bacon. But I'll also admit that I don't wish to see this particular step in the making of that bacon. Consider me a hypocrite if you wish. But it is what it is.

Edited by LiamCasey
It appears that the system doesn't like a term for a female with an excessive sex drive.
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On 1/12/2019 at 7:21 PM, LiamCasey said:

Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (aka Los ojos azules de la muñeca rota) (1974)

I'm very much enjoying these Paul Naschy box sets, and the picture quality is truly extraordinary. It makes a huge difference in these kinds of movies that have only been available in the US in the worst condition for so many years. I've also liked the information in the booklets, although the author must not be a native English speaker, as his grammar is terrible. I'm surprised they didn't address that in the editing process.

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