This French / Italian co-production details the exploits of a madman keeping his ill daughter alive with the blood of freshly murdered women. These women are transformed into statues resembling famous killers and their victims, then exhibited for the public in an ancient historical windmill. (Fans of the genre will most surely note an obvious similarity or nod to “House of Wax” and/or Georges Franju’s “Eyes Without A Face”).
The exterior shots of the landmark windmill backed by a dark blue sky aid in creating a grim atmosphere for the evil doings within, especially when compared to the almost carnival-like museum in “House of Wax.” Even creepier still are the sequences depicting the statues as they are in motion, whizzing about the stage like a Tilt-O-Whirl gone awry. These scenes are far more emphatic than the purely static sculptures created by Vincent Price’s “Professor Henry Jarrod.”
“Mill of the Stone Women” comes away as an effective lush and lavish period piece in the vein of the classic Hammer horror days or the Roger Corman / Vincent Price / Edgar Allen Poe vehicles. Director Ferroni melds heavy gothic overtones with turn-of-the-century science and surgery to make for a dark and abstracted cinematic experience. Still, with all of its appropriations, “Mill of the Stone Women” stands soundly on its own as a wonderful horror film that capably balances art with exploitation.
This brand-spanking new DVD version comes from Mondo Macabro and is packed with some fantastic extra features including: Deleted and alternate scenes, 3 different audio tracks, theatrical trailer, poster/still gallery and production notes by Pete Tombs.