16 September 2014

Mill of the Stone Women (1960)
96 min.
Directed by Giorgio Ferroni.
With Pierre Brice, Scilla Gabel, Wolfgang Preiss, Robert Boehme, Herbert A.E. Böhme, Dany Carrel, Marco Guglielmi.
Highly recommended Italian gothic horror.

Dashing artist Hans (Brice) journeys to a small village near Amsterdam to write a piece on a strange windmill and its interior carousel of stone statuary.

Once there, he discovers the mill owner's sickly daughter (Gabel), and begins a liasion with the poor girl.

When she dies, Hans is grief stricken with guilt and remorse.

But is she really dead? Has it all been a surreal nightmare? And what's the gruesome secret behind all those stone figures?

Excellent vehicle all around, its a Hammer-like period piece with a mad scientist vibe that beautifully transitions to a thoroughly modern mood in the last half hour.

Some cool stylistic touches with the women dummies effectively foreshadow later Mario Bava flicks as well as David Schmoeller's Tourist Trap (1979).

Villains Preiss and Boehme both deliver delightful performances. Great fiery & operatic climax is both powerful and touching.

Also known as Drops of Blood.

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