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October 10, 2007

Mill of the Stone Women

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Il Mulino delle Donne di Pietra
Giorgio Ferroni - 1960
Mondo Macabro Region 0 DVD

I continue to seek out films mentioned in Cathal Tohill and Pete Tombs' Immoral Tales: European Sex & Horror Movies 1956-1984. Even if the artistic merits are debatable, most of the films I've seen are fun to watch. Tohill and Tombs devote a chapter to Mill of the Stone Women which I would re-read and refer to were it not currently in storage.

What makes Mill of the Stone Women striking to watch is the atmospheric color photography. Even if one can pick away at all the derivative elements of the screenplay, one can not deny the evocative lighting and use of shadows. For those who have spent too many hours watching too many horror films from this era, it comes as no surprise that the art professor specializes in the Walter Paisley school of sculpture.

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Mill of the Stone Women has developed a cult in part because of Dany Carrel's brief exposure of a nipple. It seems possible that no one realized that Carrel's top was slipping until it was too late to refilm. Ferroni seemed aware that one of the big selling points of the Hammer films was the casting of well endowed young women, and answers his English competition with a shot of Liana Orfei in an impressive silhouette. While most comments about Scilla Gabel compare her to Sophia Loren, Ferroni and cinematographer Pier Pavoni light her in a way that is suggestive of Barbara Steele. Mondo Macabro helpfully includes cheesecake shots of Carrel and Gabel as part of the DVD supplements.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at October 10, 2007 12:41 PM


I love this movie! It has so much beautiful imagery and a great spooky atmosphere. Nobody does gothic horror like the Italians... except maybe Hammer studios and Roger Corman.

Posted by: Kimberly at October 15, 2007 05:30 PM

I would watch this for the top still alone. Very beautiful.

Posted by: Campaspe at October 15, 2007 08:17 PM