The Sinful Dwarf

1973

Action / Crime / Horror

2
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 36%
IMDb Rating 4.6 10 1120

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English
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1hr 35 min
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English
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23.976 fps
1hr 35 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by crystallogic 6 / 10

Ugh, I need a shower

If you're of a certain mindset, every so often, a film comes along that reminds you that you are really weird and not normal in the way that you seek entertainment. Well, i found one of these in "The Sinful Dwarf". Sleazy, nasty, mean and sordid are words I would use to describe this unbelievable piece of cinematic excess. It's not as fun as "Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS", but it's in the same ball park.

Likely the reason it's not as fun is that it isn't as "campy". But it does get that way from time to time. I don't know, maybe it's just that the idea of enslaving young girls, getting them hooked on smack and forcing them to service men just makes me a bit uncomfortable. I mean, it's cool that a film has the power to do this, and it's unrepentently exploitative and not a work of art, so in a way, maybe you should feel kind of bad for watching, and then somehow that pushes you in the other direction and you end up kind of admiring the balls of the thing anyway and marveling that people thought that making something like this was a good idea at one point.

Speaking of balls, an interesting thing about this concupiscent gem is taht it isn't afraid to skimp on the male nudity either. Lots of these 70s baddies contain loads of women in various states of exposure, but the makers usually figure most of their audience are heterosexual males who don't want to see much in the way of cocks flopping around. Although it's the women who are really being exploited in the story, the movie does somewhat play fair, physically, in what it chooses to put on display.

Oh, you want to talk about the story? It was ok, but not all taht convincing. A bit perfunctory, but what do you expect? The dwarf gave me the creeps and his mother was sickly fascinating (and her singing made shivers of unwellness shoot up my spine). Actually, mummy dearest almost reminded me, in an odd way, of Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane". Not so much the performance, but you know, the same sort of delusional dangerousness and so on. The attic room where the girls are kept is a genuinely filthy den and you can't help but feel really bad for them. Then, maybe you think of real life crimes of imprisonment and torture and wonder what the hell you're doing watching this shit.

But look, it's ok. If you are into these grotty old exploitation movies, you know sometimes what you are in for. It's cool that oddities this weird and depraved exist, and that if you ever watch it with friends, its' got to be very special kind of friends indeed. The movie -- wasn't good, but I'm glad it exists. Does that make sense?

Reviewed by augustian 7 / 10

A sinful pleasure

Danish girls, it would seem, are suckers for mechanical poodles. How else to explain the success of the Dwarf (Torben Bille) as he lures young girls to his attic where they are drugged up and sold for sex to clients wanting to satisfy their own perversions. As the old adage goes, behind every successful man there is a woman, and the woman in this case is the Dwarf's mother, Lila Lash, (Clara Keller) a woman who likes a tipple or two, or more. They run a down-beat boarding house which a young married couple book into once the mother realises that the wife is young and attractive.

While the husband is at a meeting, the wife becomes the Dwarf's next victim and is soon drugged up in the attic with the husband trying to find out what happened to her. The sex scenes in the attic are quite graphic depending on which version you see. The uncut version from AWE strays into hard porn territory although the extra footage is only a couple of minutes more than the Rated Export Version, also from AWE. Torben Bille gives a brilliant performance as the insane perverted Dwarf and Clara Keller goes all-out as the drunken faded theatre star.

Whether watching the uncut or the cut version of this film, this film is a bit of a guilty pleasure with a good story line and superb acting from the two leading cast members. The ending was a bit brief but at least it did not drag on for too long.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 4 / 10

Nasty little exploitation film

Here's an ultra-sleazy obscurity, the result of an unusual union between the British Isles and Denmark which has produced a no-budget story of depravity with epic proportions. Although the distinct lack of talent on the part of all involved makes things feel grubby rather than disturbing, this is certainly still strong stuff and light years away from the kind of home grown horror yarns that Hammer were weaving at the time. The sex-fuelled plot is basically an excuse for lots of shots of naked girls either coupling or lying around on beds in a drug-crazed stupor. Flashes of sadism comes to light in scenes showing the girls being repeatedly raped and/or groped by a series of perverted sex customers come to fulfil their darkest fantasies. If a girl demands too much from the drug supply then she'll no doubt be whipped in graphic detail whilst the camera watches leeringly.

The rest of the film involves loosely-connected series of weirdness. There's Auntie Lash (!), a scarred ageing madame who enjoys dressing up in old-time clothes and singing, much to the delight of her elderly friend who watches whilst sipping tea; a kindly toy shop owner who stuffs teddy bears full of heroin and runs a successful drug smuggling operation until the police close in; a sappy writer who spends the film neglecting his beautiful wife, looking for a job, and who eventually ends up working for said toy shop proprietor; and then, finally, the dwarf of the title. Played by Danish celebrity Torben Bille, 'Olaf' is a really nasty little character you'll hate no end, especially when he collects cash in his grubby mittens after selling some of his sex slaves to willing customers. Olaf's other filthy habits include Peeping Tom-ism and generally abusing the naked girls in captivity. Bille plays him as an over-the-top caricature complete with German accent and the result is startling effective; sometimes unintentionally funny but more often than not completely disturbing.

The rest of the cast's acting skills range from the below average to the downright abominable. Yep, it's a film in which stilted unconvincing dialogue reigns supreme, especially on the parts of leads Anne Sparrow and Tony Eades, playing the pivotal married couple. Eades is just wooden and unconvincing whilst Sparrow overacts for all her worth - check out her laughably hysterical reaction to finding a cute mouse in her cupboard! Despite being an European co-production the movie is evidently cheap, with static camera-work and poor editing. Yet somehow the lack of budget adds to the realism of the movie; the genuinely grubby sets and locations look authentic and somehow the events portrayed seem believable. Obviously (and unfortunately) these kind of drug-fuelled slave rings do happen around the world, both past and present, so the plot is slightly disturbing as a result of this - in a way it glamorises the humiliation of women, reducing them to the mere level of sex objects.

The finale is abrupt and very amusing. After the boarding house-cum-brothel is raided by a gang of hard-assed coppers, Lash finds herself shot twice through the heart in revenge for her cruel actions, whilst Olaf climbs out of a window and falls to his death via a rather unconvincing dummy. Although the film is gore-free there are plenty of nasty moments like Olaf injecting the girls with heroin and the makers compensate for the lack of grue with plenty of sex and nudity to move things along. One thing I did like about this film was the use of children's toys as a creepy method of luring unsuspecting girls into becoming prostitutes and selling drugs; a nice original touch to what is otherwise a sorely lacking production. Watch out for the excruciating teddy bear torture sequence in which a fluffy toy is sliced up whilst making pitiful squeaking noises - it's unbearable! One of the weirdest movies that you'll ever see.

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