Five young women escape prison and hole up in an inn to evade detection
I watched a widescreen version in German with English subtitles that ran 85 minutes, shorn of 11 minutes. Still, 85 minutes is enough to get the idea. The German title was "Der rasthaus der grausamen puppen" or "Inn of the Gruesome Dolls". It's a krimi, done in black and white. The film is set in Scotland, with filming in Trieste being more than adequate for that purpose. Indeed, the locations as well as noir look of the film are big plusses for it. Cinematography and acting are good as well.
The plot has five young women breaking out of jail, leaving the warden dead behind them. The plan has been devised by their "leader", Essy Persson. They are a rather volatile crew who improvise a great deal and have a number of conflicts. One of them is taken along against her will. Their plan, such as it is, takes them to a remote inn where the boy friend (Erik Schumann) of Persson has assumed a new identity because he himself committed murder in a robbery gone bad with Persson. Along the way, they slay a coffin maker or funeral director, who then goes missing. Once lodged in this inn, they attempt to evade detection by its owner, those who stop at the inn and the local policeman. This provides one challenge after another.
The main interest of the movie is the constant problems that they face and overcome while being a divided and irascible crew with marked differences. This plot mixes the serious nature of their escape and crimes with the comic nature of some of the people they encounter.
The movie presents a mixed tone. On the one hand, it is a serious crime story. On the other hand, it has a great deal of comic relief that becomes almost parody. At times it treats matters with emotional depth and impact, but then the almost hectic and crowded nature of the plot prevents taking time to feel the story. Perhaps the cuts have amplified this uneven character. Overall, the serious side of it tends to win out.
The story and how it is presented actually are outrageous. That is to say, the characters are frequently very energetic or even hyperactive and doing outrageous things. There comes a point where an old lady with a dog is discovering two widely-separated corpses, and a drunk stumbles across one in a cooler and thinks it is someone on the toilet. The husband of an unbalanced woman, who has been kidnapped and is being held at the inn for ransom, takes the opportunity to break in and murder her. The boy friend (Erik Schumann) of one of the escapees instantaneously falls in bed with one of the other escapees. The central character (Essy Persson) becomes a hardened killer who leaves a trail of bodies. The jail warden is lesbian and attempts to seduce her, which leads to her first murder. The entire escape and flight, while entertaining to watch, raise many unanswered plot questions.
This is not a Wallace or Rialto krimi. It has a wild character of its own that makes it stand out and creates its own style of entertainment.
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