Aurora Bautista and Esperanza Roy play two sisters running an inn in Spain. Young, foreign girls come to visit but end up staying permanently. British actress Judy Geeson plays the sister of one of the girls who begins to put the pieces together of the horrors that have been going on at the inn. Director Eugenio Martin does quite an effective job with this film. It seems that the oldest sister Bautista was jilted on her wedding day by a young, pretty girl of a loose nature. Now, she is out to do God's work and rid the world of girls with loose morals and inappropriate attire. Both actresses playing the crazy sisters do stellar jobs playing off-key, psychotic women of very different natures. Bautista in particular gives a very commanding performance and is indeed very menacing. She also adds some pathos to her role. Martin builds suspense nicely and does several things very well. The use of religion as a tool of sexual repression was a thematic thread throughout. One scene has a girl die by accidentally falling in a pane of stained glass - a religious subject. When the body is removed a piece sticking in her has a bloody sword from the window stand in tact as to say this is the work of God. There are many other religious scenes and references used as well. The film is not particularly gory but there are some scenes that I found quite chilling. One with a baby as witness and then another of Geeson getting to know wine vats. The performers all do fine jobs, the direction is taut, and the script is convincing given the aforementioned two credits toward its credibility. The film does indeed have that European film from the 60's or 70's quality, but I truly am surprised that I had not heard much about this film beforehand. It is one of those minor gems you sometime are lucky enough to come across every now and then.
Reviewed by ma-cortes6 / 10
Entertaining shocker about vicious sisters terrorizing a guesthouse
This is a grisly, superbly amusing Gothic horror story with vivid performances from the mature ladies, they are admirably enigmatic and mysterious . It's a Spanish classic of the chilly grotesque with awesome duo, a convincingly gruesome twosome as spinsters, Aurora Bautista and Esperanza Roy as the weird house keepers. The sisters living together in a gloomy boarding house hire rooms to tourists and develop an awful habit only murder them. They portray fanatic aging sisters , when the demented Aurora learns of sexpot boarders she kill them. Meanwhile Judy Geeson takes a room in hopes of solving the mystery of disappearing her sister, Loreta Tovar as the murder victim at the start. Bautista plays her part to the hilt, unafraid of Eugenio Martin's unsympathetic camera and the viciousness of her character .
The picture packs atmospheric blending of eerie thrills and creepy chills combined with a terrific finale. It displays lots of guts and blood but it seems pretty mild compared to today's gore feasts. It's an unrelenting shock-feast laced with nice acting by the two Spanish stars that deserves its cult status. Watch for Aurora Bautista who makes an indelible mark on the movie as the deranged and religious keeper. Judy Geeson, too, is excellent as tourist investigating the strange events in the gloomy mansion. Lively secondary cast is frankly cool, formed by Spanish support casting, as Fernando Hilbeck, Vic Winner , Lone Fleming and Blanca Estrada , both taking early film roles. Bone-chilling musical score by Antonio Perez Olea. Passable photography with juicy atmosphere by Jose Aguayo, but unfortunately turns too much murky in some video print . The picture belongs to sub-genre about killings committed by aging spinsters women such as the classic ¨What ever happened to Baby Jane ? (1962) ¨by Robert Aldrich with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, ¨Huss, Huss, sweet Charlotte (1965)¨ by Aldrich with Bette Davis and Olivia De Havilland and ¨Whatever happened to aunt Alice ? (1969)¨by Lee H Katzin with Geraldine Page and Ruth Gordon, among others.
The motion picture is professionally directed by Eugenio Martin or Gene Martin. He's a horror movies expert(Hypnosis, A candle for the devil, The fourth Mrs Anderson) and Spaghetti Western(Pancho Villa, Bounty hunter, Bad man's river). Rating : Acceptable horror movie, well worth watching. This macabre movie thriller that commits viewers to sit chewing their fingernails for more than ninety minutes will appeal to Euro-horror fans.
Reviewed by christopher-underwood8 / 10
shots of locals seemingly truly amazed at the scantily dressed invaders
I have no idea where the English title comes in and the movie is a little heavy handed and obvious but so very enjoyable. Moves at a good pace and if Geeson is a bit weak, the same could not be said of the killers or the kills. Set in a small Spanish village two sisters run modest hotel and take exception to the influx of mini skirted and hot panted 'dollies' from England. Murder seems a bit of a harsh reaction but with God on your side and the Catholic church much can be justified. Excellent performances by the mature sisters who seem harmless enough initially but then we learn one has secret liaisons with a youngish boy and the other takes to spying on boys bathing in the nude. So carried away does the most villainous sister get watching the kids splashing about that when she finally begins her return to the hotel there is an amazing scene where she is caught running through rough vegetation and she becomes almost ecstatic under the self imposed flagellation. Excellent stuff with time for shots of locals seemingly truly amazed at the scantily dressed invaders.