Written by: Pieter Boven on September 18th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Spain 1973
Director: Eloy de la Iglesia
Writers: Antonio Artero, Antonio Fos, José Luis Garci, Eloy de la Iglesia, George Lebourg
Cast: Sue Lyon, Christopher Mitchum, Jean Sorel, Ramón Pons, Charly Bravo
DVD released: July 19th, 2004
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 non-anamorphic widescreen
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Pagan / Hanzibar Films
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL
Retail Price: £12,99 (UK)
Often described as ‘the Spanish Clockwork Orange’, this controversial shocker is set in a violent near-future world. Honest citizens live in terror as gangs of leather clad, whip-wielding sadists roam the night time streets. Meanwhile, in a top secret laboratory, strange mind control experiments are being conducted. Against this background a beautiful nurse tries to ease the pain of those condemned to die. But who really is this angel of mercy and what is the purpose of her mission?
That was the rather meaningless summary on the cover. My more down-to-earth description is as follows. Sometime in the future, when people are being brainwashed by ridiculous commercials and patronizing infomercials, a dedicated nurse is murdering young men for no apparent reason. When some hoodlum sees her disposing of a body, he decides to track her down and engage in profitable blackmail. Meanwhile, an ambitious doctor is conducting mind altering experiments turning criminals into model citizens. When the blackmailer is beaten up by his former gang and taken to the hospital, he becomes a real threat to the nurse as the experiments might make him reveal her secret.
The movie is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 but it’s not anamorphically enhanced. The company logos at the beginning are however full-frame. A lot of blemishes are present but the most annoying thing about the transfer is the serious brightness fluctuation all throughout the movie. The colors and sharpness also leave a lot of room for improvement but it’s watchable.
All we get is an English dub in Dolby Digital mono. It sounds quite dull and is also plagued by crackling and background noise. Unfortunately there are no subtitles.
A static menu with a scene selection consisting of 6 chapters, amazing… And let’s not forget the beautiful cover art.
There’s probably a deeper meaning to this film I didn’t get and lots of references to movies I haven’t seen, but I found this an overlong and rather boring experience. However, the movie is well shot, has good acting and even some memorable scenes. In any case, this technically average DVD is way overpriced for what is offered. If you want to see a movie directed by Eloy de la Iglesia, I suggest you get Cannibal Man.