Director Bigas luna is more commonly known for sexy spanish art house movies such as tit and the moon and jamon jamon, films not dissimalar to the work of fellow spanish auteur pedro almodovar. SO it was a surprise to find that like almodovar senoir luna had dipped his toes into the horror genre.Unlike almodovar's matador, which was an erotic tale of sex and death, luna's film plays more like a contemporary horror movie, abeit one with some great twists, and also pays homage to legendary horror showmen like william castle. The film centres around a twisted mother and son played supurbly by zelda rubenstein and michael lerner. Hypnotised by his mother lerner goes on a killing spree, taking the eyes of his victims. Just as you think you have a handle on the film it shifts gears and becomes something else entirely. (i'm not giving you the plot twist suffice to say it has been used in other movies but is deployed here supurbly) This is a highly entertaining euro-horror made by someone who seems to have deep affection for classic era horror, so while it is gory in places is not overly so and is more suspense mixed with black humour throughout. There are no extras but the print is great and in 2:35:1/16:9 widescreen. The only real downer I had on the film is there was no copy of the origional english vhs sleeve that offerred a warning to the audience about the hypnosis effects in true william castle style!
I came to this film unfamiliar with the director Bigas Luna's films. It was recommended to me on a website dedicated to horror films, and being a seasoned watcher of films in that genre, of course I had to buy it. Well, I'm so glad that I did as it's a superb film with Luna pulling off a masterstroke around twenty minutes into the film by basically telling the audience that it's now time to sit up and take notice as the 'real' film has now started. Or has it? There is a real sense of a distortion of reality, especially in the scenes where the audience in the 'new' film are watching the audience in the 'old' film who are in turn watching Willis O'Brien's 'The Lost World'. It does make this film quite disconcerting at times. The hypnotism scenes in the 'old' film also pack quite a punch. A not completely unexpected killer of an ending rounds things off nicely by adding another little 'world within a world' into the mix. Remember, keeep telling yourself it's a film within a film...a film within a film..a film within a film..well, you get the picture. Terrific fun, with great performances from Michael Lerner, who seems to be eating some kind of food in every scene that he's in, and Zelda Rubenstein as 'Mommy'. 5 out of 5.