Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll

May 7, 2013 at 12:09 am (8 Heads, Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll) (, , , , )

Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll – 1974 – Spain

Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll is a Spanish flick also known by the more evocative title House of Psychotic Women. It was directed by Carlos Aured and stars the prolific Paul Naschy. Naschy performed in and helped write several of Aured’s films, including The Mummy’s Revenge (1973), Curse of the Devil (1973), and Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973).

A drifter hitchhiking through a rustic French village is picked up by a stern-faced woman with a prosthetic hand. She offers him a caretaker job before squeezing a bird to death. The woman lives in a decadent manor with her two beautiful sisters. One is a skittish paraplegic and the other is a nymphomaniac. The drifter works at the manor and balls its inhabitants. Increasingly he is plagued by fantasies of strangling women, revealing him as a formerly convicted rapist and murderer. Meanwhile, a killer is stalking the village women and cutting their eyes out. Is it the drifter, the secretive nurse, or the compassionate psychiatrist? Of course, there is the requisite twist ending. I hate to spoil everything, but the paraplegic sister is hypnotized to walk…and kill!

Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll draws heavily from the Italian giallo tradition wherein elements of mystery are just as important as gruesome horror. The flick’s first half develops the detestable characters without a single murder, but eventually there’s gore aplenty. A man’s foot is mangled in a bear trap, a woman is clawed to death with a rake, maggots crawl out of a corpse’s rotting eye sockets, and a pig is slaughtered without any special effects.

While Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll lacks the careful plotting required of a successful mystery, its unusual atmosphere engrosses. The deranged characters’ erratic behavior both menaces and amuses. The scenic village and countryside are alternately bleak and airy. And the soundtrack is ominous yet also incredibly groovy. The result is a flick that is horrific and vivacious, sometimes simultaneously.

Rating: 8/10 Shrunken Heads. The 2007 Victory Films DVD release features a humorously eerie introduction by the charming 70 year old Paul Naschy.

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