21 July 2006 | lazarillo
Pretty decent movie, but try to get the European version
This is the most famous of the Spanish gialli, and not surprising the stout and hirsute one, Paul Naschy, was heavily involved in it. He plays a criminal who comes to a provincial Spanish town and finds work as a handyman for three sisters, one of whom is in a wheelchair and another of whom is a nymphomaniac. He begins to have dreams of murdering women. The three sisters also act suspiciously and seem to be harboring a dark secret about the tragic death of their parents. Then someone begins murdering blue-eyed girls (which there seems to be an abnormal amount of for rural Spain)and taking their eyes, thus the Spainish title which translates roughly to "Blue Eyes of a Broken Doll".
This movie drags a little frankly, but the ending is great. Naschy makes a very unusual choice regarding his character. The identity of the killer is pretty predictable--it's almost always the least likely character in these movies--but the movie has a great double-twist at the end. I don't want to say too much, but imagine the character who sums every thing up for the viewer at the end of movies like "Psycho" himself being a "Dr. Caligari" figure. And the motive of the killer is sublimely ridiculous. It was probably inspired by "Eyes Without a Face", but it more closely resembles the preposterous resolution of "The New York Ripper".
Unfortunately, I saw the American cut of this movie, "House of Psychotic Women" which strangely seems to have left in all of the very graphic violence, but cut out all the sex (I can't believe a Naschy movie directed by sleazemeister Carlos Aured and featuring a nymphomaniac would have NO gratuitous nudity and sex in it). Usually, unedited cuts of Naschy movies aren't any better, just longer, but "House" (the version I saw anyway) actually seems to be missing whole scenes. At one point, for instance, three female hitch-hikers in short-shorts show up at the town bar. One of them even bends way over the bar to give all the sleazebags in the bar (and all us sleazebags in the audience) a long look at her lower glutes. Delectable little involuntary eye donors, you would think. But then the three girls are never seen again in the movie. They were either meant to be brown-eyed, red-herring victims, or there's something missing in the American version. Who knows? This movie didn't leave enough of an impression on ME to look for the uncut European version, but if you have a choice in the matter you should probably go with that one.