Giancarlo Del Duca
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Satan's Baby Doll (1980)
25th Jul 09
The soul of a horny lesbian posseses her daughter in a remote castle.
During the interview director Mario Bianchi gives on the bonus feature on this Severin R1 release of Satan's Baby Doll, he states that he was often hired specifically to bring in a movie on time and more importantly, within a mediocre budget. This might help explain why this particular exercise of early 80's Eurosleaze 'horror' is such a tedious affair with only the odd moment of unintentional humour and some undeniable sexiness to recommend it.
The plot revolves around some characters in an old castle atop a mountain. We have a father figure, Antonio Agular (Aldo Sambrell) who following the death of Maria, with whom he was sexually involved, behaves like a complete and utter shit towards the rest of the cast. This include his son Ignazio - a peeping paraplegic, a naughty nun called Sol, and Isidro, who appears to be a general dogsbody dressed in a red jumper not unlike the ones John Saxon was once fond of. The function of this set-up is unclear; these people are simply there. Sol the nun is caring for Miria, who is fast becoming possessed by the spirit of Maria, her recently dead mum. Local Doctor Juan Serez also wants to help Miria, but is syringed by his own needle by Maria's restless corpse, so Antonio dumps his body in the basement well instead of reporting it (”Tell the police? Don’t panic! Let’s use our heads.”).
Next to go is writhing specialist and red jumper man Isidro, who is strangled by a decayed corpse that may or may not be Maria, before paraplegic son Ignazio gets the most thorough cock-washing I've ever seen courtesy of Sol the naughty nun. With a clean cock and newly restored energy, Ignazio then leaves his wheelchair in the hope of hygienic cock action with the ever-switching Miria/Maria figure, but instead he opts to stumble down the well where the dead bodies traditionally go in this very strange castle. Joining in the death queue is nasty, drug-fuelled Antonio, who we learn was responsible for Maria's death via vaseline lens-style flashback. Then, Maria/Miria attempts to seduce him, but being understandably vexed at the notion of shagging a ghost, he runs around the castle, bath robe apart and displaying his hairy crown jewels, before going "Nooooo!" and falling over the bannister to his death. At the end, Miria/Maria discloses her undying lesbo love for Sol ("I'm back to have you at last!"), and the pair live happily ever after.
Phew, thank God all that plot stuff is out of the way, because Satan's Baby Doll doesn't make very much sense. It appears to be about Maria killing everyone off so that she can be with Sol the nun, and that is basically it. Along the way, there is much possession, drug taking, chicken crushing, and a strong dose of smut thrown for good measure. In fact, it’s more than good measure, because this is one hell of a fleshy blood show from the same producer who gave us the filth of Giallo in Venice and the cult favourite Burial Ground, which Bianchi also directed.
A mere fifteen minutes in, and we are treated to the sight of naughty lady of the cloth Sol (veteran Mariangela Giordano), removing said cloth to reveal large white knickers as part of some private striptease, but little does she know that pervy-plegic Ignazio is lurking at the door, getting himself an eyeful of the sultry wench as she lies on the bed and gives herself a good seeing to. The sleaze factor of this scene pretty much prepares you for the remainder of Satan's Baby Doll, which isn't always a bad thing, especially when the incredibly hot Miria (Jacqueline Dupré) starts getting in on the breast rubbing action.
In terms of the violence and gore quota, you may feel a little short-changed with this pervy slice of sleaze cake. Maria is merely strangled in that flashback I told you about earlier, and the doctor's demise the result of an "accident" with his own syringe, though it's hard to tell what is going on that particular scene. At least when Isidro is strangled, it's at the hands of a crusty corpse, whereas Ignazio's stumbling-into-the-well death and Antonio's pathetic bannister leap really don’t cut it. Points must however be rewarded for the sheer outrageousness of the chicken squeezing scene – not the type of thing you see every day, even if you are a rabid collector of oddball moves.
To make matters worse, this is one of those really slow moving films - almost hypnotically slow - where some scenes are protracted unnecessarily. For example, when Miria is beckoned by her mother's spirit, she gets out of bed (where she has probably just given herself some handy pleasure) and walks very slowly towards another part of the castle where mum's corpse lies, and needless to say, because she's in 'trance mode', these journeys take much longer than necessary. By which point, you may grab that DVD box to discover that Satan's Baby Doll is a mere 73 minutes long. Relief.
Maria Bianchi states in the accompanying interview that he watched this film again recently and felt compelled to say "well done" to himself, though it's hard to work out exactly why. Serious fans of Eurosleaze may not mind spending their hard earned dollar on this soft-core smut, but the rest of you are best advised to steer well clear. If you want to see a cool Mario Bianchi movie then seek out the wonderfully entitled Strip Nude for Your Killer instead.
Severin’s R1 release is lacking a dubbed English soundtrack – only the subtitled version worked in my DVD player. The print quality is superb though, and bonus material comprises an illuminating Mario Bianchi interview.