In 19th century Holland, a professor of fine arts and an unlicensed surgeon run a secret lab where the professor's ill daughter receives blood-transfusions from kidnapped female victims who posthumously become macabre art.
In a 15th-century feudal village, a woman is accused of witchcraft and put to death. Her beautiful older daughter knows the real reason for the execution lies in the lord's sexual desire ... See full summary »
At the end of the 19th century, in a little Italian village by a lake an old statue is recovered. Soon a series of crimes start and the superstitious people of the village believe that the ... See full summary »
A journalist takes a bet that he can spend the night in a haunted castle on All Hallow's Eve. During his stay, he bears witness to the castle's gruesome past coming to life before him, and falls in with a beautiful female ghost.
Count Karnstein sends for a doctor to help his sick daughter Laura. Her nurse believes she is possessed by the spirit of a dead ancestor, Carmilla. A young woman becomes intrigued by the ... See full summary »
A lonely and bitter young heiress - jealous of her cousin's engagement to another woman - becomes dangerously obsessed with legends surrounding a vampire ancestor, who supposedly murdered the young brides of the man she loved.
Five beautiful showgirls are trapped by a storm and find refuge in a creepy old castle. The owner of the castle, a strange nobleman, has a secret laboratory in the basement and has his own plans for the girls.
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 <email@example.com>
Without question an inappropriate, inane, or pulpy comic book style title has waylaid many a significant and otherwise worthy terror film. "Curse of the Cat People," remains affixed to a story of child psychology, "Kill Baby Kill," remains affixed to a wondrous 19th century European ghost story, and here, perhaps worst of all, "Mill of the Stone Women," is the awkward moniker stuck to this artistically accomplished film.
With a clunky title like "Mill of the Stone Women," it is scarcely any wonder that the film has remained largely unknown,unremarked upon, and unavailable for nearly 50 years ! What a pity, for here is a story produced with such an aesthetically accomplished loving care that each frame breathes a compositional beauty of the highest standard.
The felicitous combination of Arrigo Equini's art direction and Pier Ludovico Pavoni's photography in this picture, recalls the best of Jack Asher, Floyd Crosby, Mario Bava, Bernard Robinson, and Daniel Haller and has, in not a few of the tableaux rendered here, even surpassed these masters. Even Mario Praz would probably approve!
From the opening shot of the windmill on the lake under a leaden sky, to its shadowy, beautifully appointed interior parlors, complete with the anti-heroine, Scilla Gabel, peaking mournfully through the portières--while the soundtrack gives forth with a disquieting numinous wail--the film rarely fails to sound the genuine Gothic note.
Add to that one of the most disturbing, (far more so than "House of Wax") use of a waxworks yet seen on the screen. For here we have, not merely figures of unsettling visage, but figures that mechanically encircle a stage--Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Mary Queen of Scots, sallying threateningly towards the camera in a nightmarish parade--all to the accompaniment of a tune that might have been composed by Truman Capote! There are many exquisite scenes to savor: Miss Scabra's blood red boudoir, a scene of her beneath the lid of a dusty glass coffin holding yellow roses against her very dead, old ivory like complexion, a laboratory sequence that pulls out all the stops, a charming stop at a beer garden type pub, complete with accordions and pretzel stands, a climactic fire with the dummies melting in grotesque close-ups, not to mention a beautifully costumed, very accomplished, and handsome cast of players.
Miss Gabel seems very much in the Gina Lollobrigida mold, but manages facial expressions of such uncanny yearning that is easy to imagine Mr. Brice falling under her spell. In this sense, she joins company with Barbara Steele, as one of the very few women able to combine beauty and eeriness in equal measure.
Pierre Brice approaches his assignment with convincing earnestness and looks very much like a cross between Stephen Boyd and Horst Buchold.
A special compliment should be paid to the Technicolor here, which never shrieks, but delivers cold blues and unearthly reds in a fashion that favorably recalls Pressburger's "Tales of Hoffmann." And take a good look at the hutch in the ante-room of Mr. Brice's bedroom; it is the same one featured in Jacqueline Pierreux's parlor in Bava's "Black Sabbath"--the one she keeps her liquor in. Perhaps Mr. Brice had a yard sale! In any case, to fans of the genre, this film is highly recommended.
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