6.9/10
3,080
34 user 65 critic

Tras el cristal (1986)

Unrated | | Drama, Horror | 5 March 1986 (USA)
In Spain, the former Nazi doctor Klaus tries to commit suicide jumping off the roof of his manor. However, he survives with the entire body paralyzed and dependable of an iron lung with ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Agustín Villaronga)

Writer:

(as Agustín Villaronga)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

El mar (2000)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two boys (Ramallo and Manuel) and a girl in the Spanish Civil War are involved in the death of other two boys, one killed, the other suicided. This terrible secret will be with them for all... See full summary »

Director: Agustí Villaronga
Stars: Roger Casamajor, Bruno Bergonzini, Antònia Torrens
Angst I (1983)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A troubled man gets released from prison and starts taking out his sadistic fantasies on an unsuspecting family living in a secluded house.

Director: Gerald Kargl
Stars: Erwin Leder, Robert Hunger-Bühler, Silvia Rabenreither
Aftermath (1994)
Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A short film wherein a man working in a morgue mutilates and defiles one of the corpses. He takes the heart home to his dog.

Director: Nacho Cerdà
Stars: Pep Tosar, Jordi Tarrida, Ángel Tarris
Sweet Movie (1974)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The intercut story of two women: a nearly-mute beauty queen who descends into withdrawal and madness, and another who captains a ship laden with candy and sugar, luring men and boys aboard ... See full summary »

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Stars: Carole Laure, Pierre Clémenti, Anna Prucnal
Drama | History | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Japanese troops round up Chinese and Russian prisoners of war and take them to a place called Squadron 731, where they are grotesquely tortured and experimented on to test new biological weapons.

Director: Tun Fei Mou
Stars: Jianxin Chen, Hsu Gou, Linjie Hao
Nekromantik (1987)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A street sweeper who cleans up after grisly accidents brings home a full corpse for him and his wife to enjoy sexually, but is dismayed to see that his wife prefers the corpse over him.

Director: Jörg Buttgereit
Stars: Bernd Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski, Harald Lundt
Der Todesking (1990)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Seven episodes, each taking place on a different day of the week, on the theme of suicide and violent death.

Director: Jörg Buttgereit
Stars: Hermann Kopp, Heinrich Ebber, Michael Krause
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

"Subconscious Cruelty" is divided in four segments: Ovarian Eyeball - a naked woman is sliced by a sharp blade and an eyeball is removed from her belly. Human Larvae - a deranged man that ... See full summary »

Director: Karim Hussain
Stars: Sophie Lauzière, Anne-Marie Belley, Brea Asher
Philosophy of a Knife (Video 2008)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

The true history of Japanese Unit 731, from its beginnings in the 1930s to its demise in 1945, and the subsequent trials in Khabarovsk, USSR, of many of the Japanese doctors from Unit 731. ... See full summary »

Director: Andrey Iskanov
Stars: Tetsuro Sakagami, Tomoya Okamoto, Yukari Fujimoto
Dans ma peau (2002)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman grows increasingly fascinated with her body after suffering a disfiguring accident.

Director: Marina de Van
Stars: Marina de Van, Laurent Lucas, Léa Drucker
Man Bites Dog (1992)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A film crew follows a ruthless thief and heartless killer as he goes about his daily routine. But complications set in when the film crew lose their objectivity and begin lending a hand.

Directors: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Benoît Poelvoorde, Jacqueline Poelvoorde-Pappaert, Nelly Pappaert
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Klaus (as Gunter Meisner)
...
...
Gisèle Echevarría ...
Rena (as Gisela Echevarria)
Imma Colomer ...
Jornalera (as Inma Colomer)
Josuè Guasch ...
Niño Cantor (as Josue Guasch)
David Cuspinera ...
Ricardo Carcelero ...
Alberto Manzano ...
Edit

Storyline

In Spain, the former Nazi doctor Klaus tries to commit suicide jumping off the roof of his manor. However, he survives with the entire body paralyzed and dependable of an iron lung with glass sides. His wife Griselda decides to hire a nurse since she does not bear the situation. Klaus asks Griselda to hire Angelo, a mysterious teenager that appears in their house. Angelo befriends Klaus' daughter Rena and sooner it is shown that Klaus was a pedophile that loved to feel the fear of death in young boys before abusing and killing them. Further, Angelo is a disturbed and totally insane victim of his experiments that intends to follow the insanities described in Klaus' diary and incorporate his personality. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

iron lung | nurse | nazi | murder | death | See All (45) »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 March 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Glaskäfig  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director/writer Agustí Villaronga said that the origin of the story came when he read about Giles de Rais (1404-1440), a devoutly religious follower of Joan of Arc who fought valiantly on her side and was later trialed and executed by the Catholic Church for heresy and sexual crimes (sodomy) committed against children, mainly boys, estimates of which range as high as 800. See more »

Quotes

Klaus: [talking to a child] Want a cigarette? Want to make some money?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An unflinching gaze into the abyss of human corruption
12 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

IN A GLASS CAGE (Tras el Cristal)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Mono

Confined to an iron lung following an unsuccessful suicide attempt, a former Nazi doctor (Gunter Meisner) is visited in his isolated country home by a mysterious young man (David Sust) who professes knowledge of Meisner's 'work' with adolescent boys in the concentration camps, where the doctor had cultivated an appetite for sadistic sexual abuse. Harboring terrible secrets of his own, Sust begins to undermine Meisner's terrified family, culminating in a resumption of the doctor's hideous 'experiments'...

Agustín Villaronga's magnificent feature debut premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986, where it was alternately cheered and denounced for its unflinching gaze into the abyss of human corruption, and the movie's extreme subject matter prompted its subsequent lapse into obscurity. However, Villaronga's subsequent works - including MOON CHILD (1989) and EL MAR (1999) - have travelled the international festival circuit to great acclaim, leading to a belated reappraisal of IN A GLASS CAGE, his darkest, most harrowing movie to date. Ostensibly a slow-burning melodrama punctuated by a series of Hitchcockian/Argentoesque set-pieces (most notably a nerve-shredding sequence in which Almodóvar favorite Marisa Paredes - here playing Meisner's harried wife - is stalked through the house by Sust when she becomes surplus to his requirements), the film asks profound questions about the monsters which lurk inside each and every one of us, and illustrates with startling clarity the cyclical nature of sexual abuse. Some viewers, especially parents of young children, will undoubtedly be horrified by some of the confrontational material included here, as Villaronga refuses to soft-peddle the horrors conjured by his nightmare scenario (the movie's second murder is especially shocking, though there's very little on-screen gore). In a brief interview published in 2003, the director explained how some of the more unpleasant scenes involving children were created by having them play a series of innocent 'games' which were then edited into the finished product, and there's a disclaimer in the closing credits which offers an unequivocal reassurance that none of the young actors were exposed to anything inappropriate during filming, and that a child psychologist was present during the recording of those sequences.

Beautifully played by a fearless cast (veterans Meisner and Paredes are appropriately subdued, whilst newcomer Sust makes a startling transition from handsome, fresh-faced innocent to strident Nazi demi-god, rampaging through Meisner's increasingly devastated home with newfound sexual maturity) and filmed with genuine skill by a top-notch production team, Villaronga's extraordinary film explores the wartime ghosts which continue to haunt the collective European consciousness. To his eternal credit, the director approaches his subject with deadly seriousness: Using numerous cutaways to photographs of children taken in concentration camps at the end of the Second World War, he deflects any suggestion of 'exploitation' by constantly reminding viewers of the historical truth which underpins his fictional drama. By turns haunting, horrific and deeply disturbing, IN A GLASS CAGE is an authentic masterpiece, arguably one of the finest - and most difficult

  • movies to emerge from Spain during the 20th century. However, be


warned: Not everyone will be swayed by the film's courage and audacity, and some viewers will be genuinely shocked by Villaronga's uncompromising approach to the material.

(Spanish dialogue)


53 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Similarly effective horror films? elephantsinamsterdam
Lame? alabamamudflap
interesting article about the film NewbridgeNJ
Having trouble with the ending americanme81
Released on DVD. NewbridgeNJ
Music femmefatale3000
Discuss Tras el cristal (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?