Saturday, 27 April 2013

Satan's Baby Doll (4 Stars)

Maybe my readers don't like films about Satan. I'll let you into a secret: neither do I. And furthermore, this film has absolutely nothing to do with Satan. Nothing at all. There seems to have been a trend for Italian films in the 1980's to be given misleading names. This trend has been continued today by releasing them on DVD with totally misleading covers. The picture above may have some value as a work of fantasy art, but nobody with red wings appears at any point in the film.

So what is the film really about? Antonio Aguilar is a wealthy man who lives in a castle with his wife Maria, his daughter Miria and his younger brother Ignazio. There is a castle servant called Isidro. Ignazio is a paraplegic, unable to use his legs or talk, though he's obviously mentally aware of what's going on around him. For this reason a nun called Sol has been hired to take care of him. These six people live in the castle, and there are frequent visits by the family doctor, Juan Suarez.

That's the cast, and now the drama. Antonio is unable to satisfy his wife, so she is sleeping with Dr. Suarez and Isidro. She also performs oral sex with Ignazio, and she is having a lesbian relationship with the nun. Sol is proud of her virginity, but she masturbates in front of Ignazio and gives him hand jobs. Antonio desires Sol, but she resists his advances. There is only one solution for his jealousy and his frustration: he murders his wife.

Maria is powerful enough to take revenge from beyond death. She takes possession of Miria's body and kills all the men in the castle one by one. At first I didn't understand why she was killing her lovers as well as her husband, but finally it was explained. She considers Sol to be her only true love and wants to live alone with her in the castle.

This is a fascinating story, so don't let the film's title put you off. The slow suspense and the ominous musical background strengthen the film. As it continues we don't know who will die next. The bright colours remind me more of Jesse Franco than any Italian film I've ever seen.

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