Skip to content

La Bambola di Satana (1969)

aka Satan’s Doll or The Doll of Satan if you prefer.

Released by Twilight Time on blu ray, this was a new to me title that mixes giallo thrills against a gothic castle setting in modern day 1969, the time of the film’s release. While it’s by no means the best film of either genre and though outdated for today’s fright enthusiasts, it’s a fun throwback to when these Euro imports were rapidly thrown into the marketplace to recoup their investments hoping to turn a profit at the local drive ins.

It’s a black and white montage over the opening credits from director Ferruccio Casapinta that gives us a glimpse of things to come over the next ninety minutes. Erna Shurer stars here as a young woman journeying back to her ancestral home/castle estate after the death of her Uncle. She’s the sole heir and it’s time for the reading of the will. Accompanying her is her fiancée, Roland Carey. True to form the family lawyer is a senior citizen and there’s a spooky housekeeper, Lucia Bomez who not only is trying to convince the young woman to carry out her Uncle’s wishes and sell the estate but she also has a secret lover who the camera conveniently photographs from behind. And so the mystery starts.

“I guess I need to get used to this atmosphere.”

As this is a castle, Lucia the lusty housekeeper lets the young heiress in on the ghost story that haunts the castle and sure enough, chains begin rattling and her name, Elizabeth is eerily spoken in the dead of night. Perhaps a tour of the antiquated torture chambers in the catacombs beneath the castle floors might be in order to convince the young woman to sell to the neighbor who has conveniently let her know that he’s more than interested in the property.

Where the hell did that lawyer disappear to? He was supposed to hand over some family documents in the morning but seems to have gone missing. Little does our terrified heroine know that the night before, a mysterious intruder murdered the old man in his chambers and did away with the body. Filmed from the back and judging by that hair line, I think it might have been the housekeepers secret lover. One and the same.

I think there might be a red herring or two moving about that includes a young woman painting landscapes in the countryside and another couple who have joined Erna and Roland within the castle walls. Did I mention there’s a handy dandy butler patrolling the castle as well? The stormy nights pick up steam and Miss Shurer is beginning to have the most erotic dreams meaning the producers need to flash a bit of skin to sell their product to the distributors.

The dreams are rather warped and maybe even real as someone might be drugging her nightcap. Is she dreaming or really being tied to a rack, stripped naked and feeling the whip at the hands of her hooded captors? According to the advertising campaign, it looks real enough for the drive in crowd.

Fortunately for our leading lady, she has a fiancé who is willing to step up and uncover the mysterious goings on about the castle. This includes a pretty good hillside fist fight with a dubious character from the local bar who seems to be watching things a little to closely. While the fist fight is well done, the sound effects of those hellacious punches are hilariously bad.

On the one hand there are some wonderful shots captured on camera of purple skies and clouds at dusk or dawn I suppose and then BANG! that zoom lens begins cranking and I think I’ve been exported to another dimension and am overdosing on Jess Franco films. Over all this is a fun title that takes some Giallo killings, stirred with a reading of the will and capped by some weird 60’s attempt at psychedelic dancing of the worst kind at the local pub. Did Roger Corman have anything to with this? No I guess not.

If you do pick up the Twilight Time blu ray, the film looks good and the subtitles read fine. An added bonus feature is a commentary that includes David Del Valle who I find knows the medium and is always worth listening in on.

2 Comments »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

CINESPIRIA

Shining a light on the deep recesses of film history

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"For me, cinema is a vice. I love it intimately." Fritz Lang

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

CINESPIRIA

Shining a light on the deep recesses of film history

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"For me, cinema is a vice. I love it intimately." Fritz Lang

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

%d bloggers like this: