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Through the Looking Glass (1976)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 282 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 12 critic

A rich socialite escapes her boring lifestyle when a ghost takes her to a sexual hell where anything goes.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Through the Looking Glass (1976)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catharine Burgess ...
Catherine
...
Demon / Father
Laura Nicholson ...
Jennifer
Kristen Steen ...
Young Catherine (as Marie Taylor)
Douglas Wood ...
Richard
Kim Pope ...
Ann
Eve Every ...
Lilly
Ultramax ...
Mrs. Manchester
Roger Caine ...
Abel (as Mike Jefferson)
Nancy Dare ...
Karen (as Suzan Swanson)
Terri Hall ...
Lisa
Jeffrey Hurst ...
Mr. Manchester
Rocky Millstone ...
Eugene (as Jacob Pomerantz)
Grover Griffith ...
Fat Man
Victoria Karl ...
Beauty Queen
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Storyline

A rich socialite escapes her boring lifestyle when a ghost takes her to a sexual hell where anything goes.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Adult | Horror

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 October 1977 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Alicja po drugiej stronie lustra  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Screw magazine, the film was shot a year before its September 1976 release. See more »

Connections

Version of Great Performances: Alice in Wonderland (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Screeches from the Inferno
5 May 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

You know, 70s porn films are sometimes the most interesting things. This was an era when the film world was just on an edge, when it nearly happened that explicit sex almost became a folded, natural part of mainstream movies. Almost happened, and the residue is that some porn movies have very clever, very cinematic and intelligent ideas compared to ordinary filmdom.

I don't understand exactly what happened to prevent this; what societal forces were at work. Its too easy to blame the usual suspects. But in any case, what we have now is an odd mix of conventions: unduly exaggerated importance given to exposed breasts (mostly stage props, artificially "enhanced"), a larger emphasis on watching women as the core of sex, very strange accidents of strategically placed sheets that remind us that there is a camera in the room and that what we see is carefully staged.

And because the simulated sex is implied, it gets exaggerated so the actors are forced into extreme, dramatic postures and motions that in non-sex acting would even embarrass Booth.

Oh well, back to this. It is unavailable by mainstream means so I will have to describe it, which means the spoiler indicator.

A lovely, young woman is extremely wealthy, having inherited her father's fortune. She is married to a stern architect. We learn early that she was repeatedly molested by her father and now is obsessed with his attentions, so much so she is deranged. What we see could be her own hallucinations, but they are presented as a horrible reality.

The key to this "other world" is a large mirror that was in her bedroom during the episodes with her father. A witness of sorts. Now it is in the attic, where she repairs to masturbate. She does so one day and the mirror comes alive. The man in the mirror is half demon and half her father. The same actor plays the aggressive demon-rapist and the father in flashbacks.

Our first encounter is him coming out of the mirror in a point of view shot that approaches our heroine's crotch and literally enters her a half a foot or so. Must have been a medical camera. The reaching hands in this scene were reminiscent of "Repulsion," with much the same tone.

She then enters the mirrorworld three times. The first is for a lesbian encounter with a childhood friend. This part was confusing. This "friend" might have been the woman who is now her maid. Hard to tell. At the end, that partner is pulled away.

The second visit is to an Alice in Wonderland tableau where among a teaparty orgy is a woman literally on her hands and knees on a platter on the table, ready to be consumed from behind. Many stupid porn motions here, ending with our visiting heroine looking into the face of this sacrificial lamb and seeing her own face. She returns to reality.

Somewhere in here, about now I think is the only segment that follows the normal porn convention: sex between the maid and the chauffeur, inserted for no story-driven reason. We discover they are siblings and both lust after the beleaguered girl.

Now, finally, she enters the mirror for the last time, drawn by her father-demon's seductions. Each time she goes unwillingly. This time, she discovers that she is trapped in a purgatory with sexual tortures.

I watched this with the 1911 "L'Inferno," from which images are clearly drawn. Its similarly amateurish, the effects and the intended horrific effect — in both films. Another influence is "Flaming Creatures."

The thing ends with our woman going mad realizing she never will return to the real world and must endure an eternity of sexual torture. Meanwhile, we see her own daughter in front of the mirror beginning the same cycle.

The odd thing is that it is a truly effective horror film. It gives me the willies just thinking about it. Odd how such poor production values don't get in the way if other ones in important locations are good enough. Though Catherine Breillat's film's are similarly motivated, and can be equally — what we call "explicit" — and of course are better produced, this seemed more terrifying, as if it were a screeching street poem from a bag lady on her way down for the final count.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


12 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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