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Amando de Ossorio
It could have been a lot better if only it were made a few years later.
The Spanish board of censorship certainly ruined the infinite possibilities of this film. Just think of what it would have looked like if it had been made in Italy, France or Germany, or even in Spain once democracy was restored and censorship abolished: the lesbian pseudo-relationship between Ruth and Chris, the wild eroticism exuded by Barney, the hot scenes with the guy seducing both women by turns, and the gore of the serial killings in the background. Director J.A.Bardem had no choice but to keep the sex and gory elements within the limits imposed by the censors, and that is the reason why this film looks so tame and decaffeinated. Still, it manages to look interesting and keeps a decent degree of suspense. I first saw it when I was 12 or 13, and the multiple murder sequence scared the s*** out of me: the thunderstorm night, the lonely farmhouse, the killer in a black hooded raincoat, the ominous music... Seeing it now in my 40s it looks anything but scary, but when you are a kid... I now was able to watch the English-speaking version, which has a different ending than the Spanish version, and the film sounds a lot better. In the Spanish version the dubbing of Jean Seberg and Barry Stokes is lame, while in the English version the Spanish actress Marisol speaks her lines in perfect English with her real voice, no dubbing involved. Great settings, locations, camera-work, music and an interesting story. Like I said before: if only Bardem had had complete freedom to exploit the story's full potential... A real shame. That is why I am giving it only 7 points.
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