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Mill of the Stone Women (1960)

Il mulino delle donne di pietra (original title)
Hans arrives in a town near Amsterdam to write a story on the reclusive sculptor, Professor Val, who lives on an island in the old mill house the locals call the Mill of the Stone Women. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Pierre Brice ...
Hans von Arnim
Scilla Gabel ...
Elfie Wahl
...
Dr. Loren Bohlem
Dany Carrel ...
Liselotte Kornheim (as Danny Carrell)
Herbert A.E. Böhme ...
Prof. Gregorius Wahl (as Herbert Boehme)
Liana Orfei ...
Annelore
Marco Guglielmi ...
Ralf
Olga Solbelli ...
Selma
Alberto Archetti ...
Konrad
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Storyline

Hans arrives in a town near Amsterdam to write a story on the reclusive sculptor, Professor Val, who lives on an island in the old mill house the locals call the Mill of the Stone Women. Hans meets the professor's beautiful and seductive daughter, and begins feeling passion for her despite his true love for Lisa Lotta. Slowly he becomes aware of the nefarious experiments being conducted by Val and his furtive assistant Dr. Boles, and local women continue to disappear. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why do warm-blooded beauties suddenly turn to stone?!

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

30 August 1960 (Italy)  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Referenced in Eye Candy: HBTU (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful Gothic horror film on par with any of the works of Bava
1 August 2006 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

Man this is one underrated film. I wonder why devotees of drive-in horror from the 60s aren't more familiar with this one? Maybe its the slow pacing. However, like many other cinema classics ("Breathless", "The Seventh Seal") it is certainly never boring despite the slow pace. What makes this film work so much for me isn't the shocks (which there are plenty of) but the characters. These are well-developed and likable characters you can't help but feel sorry for. There aren't any overt bad guys or monsters in the film, all are just victims of circumstance.

The plot is about a reporter named Hans who is assigned to do a story on the reclusive Professor Val. He lives in The Mill of Stone Women, a creation of his own that has wax caricatures of infamous females throughout history. Despite the fact he loves his fiancé Lisa, he slowly becomes sexually attracted to Val's daughter Elfi. Despite his better judgment, her draw is inescapable. Meanwhile, women from the local village have been disappearing. Through further investigation, Hans discovers Val and his assistant to be at the bottom of this.

There are several reasons why this film works so well. First off is the atmosphere - the film is just breathtakingly beautiful to look at. Giorgio Ferroni proves to be a very competent director. Just as breathtakingly beautiful to look at is Scilla Gabel, who plays Elfi. Instead of her character being an evil siren, she is a very desperate woman whose strange disease causes her to die after any kind of heartbreak. She is a very sympathetic character, which is rare in films like this. Also the "Trip" sequence is surreal and creepy. Kudos to Mondo Macabro for giving this film the proper attention it deserves (after years of neglect to mail-order catalogs). As good as anything by Bava, this film is a must-see.

By the way, the infamous "nude shots" Mondo Macabro talks about on the DVD release back cover are nothing more than an incredibly brief nipple slip. I didn't even notice it until my second viewing of the film. (9/10)


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