Klaus (Gunter Meisner) experimented on children during WWII, and he continues his terriblesexual crimes in Spain for years after the war. Consumed by self-loathing, he throws himself offthe roof of a tower. His suicide attempt fails, but he is confined to an iron lung. A mysteriousyoung man named Angelo (David Sust) arrives at his home, and insinuates himself into thehousehold as Klaus’ nurse. Klaus’ wife Griselda (Marisa Paredes) is distrustful, but his youngdaughter Rena …Gisela Echevarria) is enchanted. Angelo’s intentions are far from innocent. ToKlaus’ horror, Angelo begins to adopt Klaus’ old identity, and to recreate his crimes… If youridea of horror begins and ends with Jason Voorhees, stay the hell away from this. In a GlassCage, though not particularly gory, ranks among the most disturbing films ever. The deathsin something like Final Destination 2 are hilarious and entertaining. The ones here areappalling. And yet, the film is also beautifully shot, at times recalling the aesthetic cruelty ofDario Argento. Issues of voyeurism, innocence, revenge and the cycle of violence are rigorouslyexplored. This is the lethal cutting-edge of horror, a provocative, confrontationalmasterpiece.
The sound appears to be 2-channel mono. There is certainly nothing coming out of the rearspeakers. The recording is still quite sensitive, and the music sounds fine, though I can’t help butwish for real surround, which would have made the experience all the more upsetting.
The good news is that the aspect ratio is the original 1.85:1. The bad news is that the transferis not anamorphic. Viewers with 16×9 televisions will experience some frustration finding thebest way to view the film. A simple zoom, which normally does the job (though with the effectof making the grain even more noticeable) won’t work here, because the subtitles wind up beinglopped off at the bottom of the screen. So you might well wind up having to watch the film in afairly reduced image. The print has some dirt on it too. The colours and contrasts are muted, butthis is deliberate: director Agustin Villaronga reveals in the interview that he and his DP weredeliberately bleaching the film of all colour with the exception of a few notable instances ofred.
Not much here for a so-called “Special Edition.” The liner notes are a reprint of a good essayon the film, and there is a 10-minute interview with the director. Short though the interview is, itis also quite illuminating (particularly interesting is how the child actors were directed). Themenu’s main page is fully animated and scored.
Though the transfer leaves something to be desired, and more extras would be nice (thoughwhat is present is good), this is an overdue and welcome DVD release. Be warned: the audienceis spared absolutely nothing.
Special Features List
- Interview with Agustin Villaronga
- Liner Notes