It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Italian thrillers or "Giallo" movies as they are known. That's why when I realized that Deimos was releasing a Paul Naschy movie that just so happened to be a Spanish version of the Giallo with Naschy in the lead role I was very intrigued by the idea. Although this one isn't 100 percent true to the Gialli that came before it, it manages to follow through some of the conventions with that Paul Naschy twist to it that actually makes it a lot more fun than I was expecting.
The story of "Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll" follows Gilles (Naschy) who is a troubled ex-convict that has visions and dreams that he murders women by strangulation. He gets hired by three sisters to be the caretaker of their estate and not long afterwards a serial killer is on the loose in the area. He preys on blond haired blue eyed women taking their eyes and placing them into a bowl of water. Is Gilles the evil man that he thinks he is or is there really a murderer seeking out everyone that stays at the estate?
The reason why I mentioned earlier that this was basically the Giallo with the Naschy twist I was basically talking about something I've noticed in watching his films. See most of the time Naschy plays a character (usually the hero or antihero of the movie) which is generally being run down by a group of several extremely good looking women. Now it honestly doesn't matter what kind of role Naschy is in, this is just the norm. Hell, I've seen one movie in particular (Night of the Werewolf) where he plays a werewolf and still manages to be the love interest of a pretty good looking woman! This is no exception because the estate that his character Gilles works on happens to have three crazy (and good looking at that) sisters that live on it, all of whom who pretty much have an interest in him.
Naschy does as well as you normally would expect him to but I was actually a bit surprised by his character. See in this movie Naschy is actually a pretty shitty person, which is much different from a lot of the "good guy" type roles that he plays. Basically he's portrayed as a womanizing asshole that has done nothing but stirred up the environment that he's been working in. From there we see some of the goofiest stuff that you could imagine. One sister is an invalid that is in a wheelchair, another is a total skank (although a hot one) that throws herself at just about every man she can, and the other is the motherly one which actually happens to have an artificial hand! Seriously, you only get shit like this in a Naschy film folks and it should also be mentioned that she actually ends up in a few love scenes in the movie that are equally as hilarious.
One shortcoming to this one however is the lack of style that these types of film usually possess. It has solid atmosphere throughout the picture, but just lacks that style that you really want to see in one of these. There are a few attempts at style but in my opinion they just didn't work that well. One of the ones in question is during a love scene in the movie the camera is wildly spun around the couple basically making you dizzy instead of impressing you with it's movement.
Something else that I thought was worth mentioning was the ending of the movie. Now don't worry I won't be giving away the ending for everyone, but I do have to say that's where this one really redeemed itself to me. I was pretty bored throughout the movie and I thought that pacing was a bit off at times as well. But that all changed in the last fifteen minutes or so of this one as it really was a roller coaster ride until the film was finished and was quite the pleasant surprise.
Overall I would have to say that if you are fan of Gialli or Paul Naschy then you might want to check this one out. It'll probably manage to surprise you in a few ways or at least have you chuckling at it's absurdity at times. It's not a major film that all genre fans need to see, but it does have some goodness there behind it all. This one also comes with audio commentary by Paul Naschy, Carlos Aured, and Gomez Rivero, an introduction from Naschy himself, the original Spanish title sequence, a still gallery, Mark Lipinski liner notes inside the DVD, as well as trailers too.
Rating - **1/2