An early example of ultra-realism, this movie contrasts the quiet, bucolic life in the outskirts of Paris with the harsh, gory conditions inside the nearby slaughterhouses. Describes the ... See full summary »
A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant. Only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor stand in her way.
After causing an accident that left his daughter Christiane severely disfigured, the brilliant surgeon Dr. Génessier works tirelessly to give the girl a new face. He does so however by kidnapping young women and attempting face transplants. He has been woefully unsuccessful to date. The doctor's world begins to collapse around him when his daughter realizes just what he has been doing. Written by
Although the film passed European censors upon its original release in 1960, the films disturbing facial surgery scene still caused controversy. See more »
There are actually two different Citroen DS cars used in the film as the Doctor's car. One, presumably a DS21, has two spotlights built into the bodywork by the headlights and chrome trim, including a driver's wing-mirror (see 10:00 as he arrives with no lights and 12:50 as he leaves a few minutes later using headlights and spotlights, another continuity gaff in itself). At 12 :50 and 14:16 the DS with spotlights is seen but at 17:19 it has changed to one with no spotlights and no wing-mirror, presumably a DS19. Though its front plate is "7769-GR75", when the Doctor puts it into the garage, the rear plate reads "2923-GR75" and the assistant's Citroen Diane has the plate "7769-GR75" on the front. At 32:18 the Diane has "2923-GY75" on the rear and at 32:55 the same on the front, which was its registration when first seen near the start of the film. Finally, at 54:49 it's back to the DS with spotlights. See more »
Along with THE SHINING, THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and PSYCHO, the best horror film ever made. Franju forsakes the usual signifiers of the genre - hurtling pace, quick editing, signalling music, hysterically scary scenes - in favour of a pace as funereal and petrified as its heroine's face. A soul-chilling film, seeped of all emotion, its scientific subject matter belies a timeless, complicated, non-judgemental Gothic fable about the destruction of innocence, the carelessness of masculine authority and the exploitation of women (especially in art). The many paralells with VERTIGO (the source novel was written by the same writers), the startling tree and animal imagery, the suspended dream logic and the perverse comic sense ensure this film as a classic, and makes one yearn for more Franju.
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