6.8/10
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In a Glass Cage (1986)

Tras el cristal (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Horror | 6 August 1986 (Spain)
A former nazi child-killer is confined in an iron lung inside an old mansion after a suicide attempt. His wife hires him a full-time carer, a mysterious young man who is driven slowly mad by the old man's disturbing past.

Director:

Agustí Villaronga (as Agustín Villaronga)

Writer:

Agustí Villaronga (as Agustín Villaronga)
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Günter Meisner ... Klaus (as Gunter Meisner)
David Sust ... Angelo
Marisa Paredes ... Griselda
Gisèle Echevarría Gisèle Echevarría ... Rena (as Gisela Echevarria)
Imma Colomer ... Jornalera (as Inma Colomer)
Josuè Guasch Josuè Guasch ... Niño Cantor (as Josue Guasch)
David Cuspinera David Cuspinera ... Niño barracon
Ricardo Carcelero Ricardo Carcelero ... Angelo Niño
Alberto Manzano Alberto Manzano ... Niño Gitano
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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

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Günter Meisner originally turned down the role, horrified by the story. According to Villaronga, Meisner called him a few weeks later to accept the part, arguing he couldn't stop thinking about it. See more »

Quotes

Angelo: Horror, like sin... can be fascinating.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Strange and disturbing art-shocker film with original but slow direction by Agusti Villaronga
1 August 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Spanish ¨cult movie¨ with astonishing images and deliberately paced . This moving as well as strong story is an emotive recounting and an intense horror drama , including tragedy , deaths and bloody executions by hanging , stabbing and other means . After torturing and murdering his latest victim , a Nazi doctor named Klaus (Gunter Meisner) throws himself off a roof , all of it has been secretly witnessed by a little boy . Some years later, his suicide failed attempt , his wife Griselda (Marisa Paredes, Almodovar's ordinary) decides to contract a worker to care him . As Klaus is forced to be confined to an artifact contains an iron lung and to accept a mysterious boy called Angelo (David Sust) as his nurse under threat of blackmail . Meanwhile , Angelo befriends Klaus' daughter (Echevarria) , and the rare teenager possesses the Klaus's diary, which details his wartime experiments in concentration camps and his ulteriorly descent into pedophilia and killing .

The picture is full of suspense , mystery , screechy bursts of violence and lots of blood and gore . As this terror as well as claustrophobic flick shown to the audience gets more and more violent . This slick horror feast is a triumph of style over movie logic . It's packed with overwhelming as well as upsetting images , excessive violence and grotesque killings . Here is treated some disturbing issues such as fetish for young boys , pedophilia , sodomy , eerie tortures and grisly killings . Good acting by Gunter Meisner as former Nazi doctor-turned-pedophile , paralyzed from the neck down and who subsequently feels guilt . Günter Meisner originally turned down the role , horrified by the story . According to Villaronga , Meisner called him a few weeks later to accept the part, arguing he couldn't stop thinking about it . Gunter was a character actor who worked continuously in movies due to his aristocratic style , making him ideal for typecasting in British and later American films as Nazis and other vile , despicable roles , what was ironic about his typecasting as a Nazi is that he stayed in a Nazi death camp during World War II . Although well-known for playing Hitler and various others warlike movies , Meisner was a fine actor who played several support roles , being specially known for his secondaries in ¨The Boys from Brazil¨ , ¨Night crossing¨, ¨Ace of Aces¨ , ¨Avalanche Express¨ and his character as Mr Slugworth in ¨Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ¨ . Furthermore , disturbing acting by David Sust as a boy secretly witnessed the doctor's torture , displaying his ambition to follow in the older man's footsteps and finally unleashes his own criminal spree .

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 committed against children . As Rais served as a commander in the Royal Army, distinguishing himself by displaying reckless bravery on the battlefield during the renewal of the Hundred Years War . He killed, or ordered to be killed , a great but uncertain number of children after he committed sodomy upon them . In fact , forty bodies were discovered in Machecoul , France , in 1437 . Gilles' body-servant Étienne Corrillaut , known as Poitou, was an accomplice in many of the crimes and testified that his master hung his victims with ropes from a hook . The victims were killed by decapitation, cutting of their throats, dismemberment, or breaking of their necks with a stick . Rais's prosecution would be on charges which included murder , sodomy, and heresy. The precise number of Gilles' victims is not known, as most of the bodies were burned or buried. The number of murders is generally placed between 80 and 200; a few have conjectured numbers upwards of 600 . The victims ranged in age from six to eighteen and included both sexes.

Downbeat and frightening musical score by Javier Navarrete . Dark as well colorful cinematography by Jaume Peracaula . This motion picture titled ¨In a glass cage¨ or ¨Tras el Cristal¨ was compellingly directed by Agusti Villaronga . Agusti was born in 1953 in Majorca, Balearic Islands ; he uses to make films including genuine chills , suspense , mystery and dark atmospheres . His movies pack excellent creation of taut , thriller , emotions and rare atmospheres such as ¨Aro Tolbukhin¨ , ¨El mar¨ , ¨El Niño De la Luna¨ also starred by Gunter Meisner and especially ¨Black bread¨ or ¨Pan Negro¨ , or Pa Negre¨ , this was his greatest success , winning several Goyas .


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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

6 August 1986 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

In a Glass Cage See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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