Cinematic Void January Giallo 2023: The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cinematic Void will be playing this on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7:30 PM at the Sie Film Center in Denver, CO (tickets here) with Four Flies On Grey VelvetFor more information, visit Cinematic Void

Chris Miller (former Spanish child star Marisol; when she married dancer Antonio Gades, Fidel Castro acted as their godfather) lives with her stepmother Ruth (Jean Seberg, the haunted and doomed beauty who was also in Breathless and Saint Joan). The loss of Chris’ father has damaged both of them, so when a drifter named Barney (Barry Stokes, Prey) shows up, it changes their lives. Maybe not for the better, what with a killer slicing his way through the village…

This Spanish giallo was directed by Juan Antonio Bardem (yes, the uncle of Javier) who also made Death of a Cyclist and wrote A Bell From Hell. It was written by Santiago Moncada, who was also the pen behind Hatchet for the HoneymoonRicco and The Fourth Victim.

Ruth blames Chris for her husband leaving, so she uses Barney to seduce her stepdaughter, who is recovering from the dual loss of her father and being assaulted at school. Her plan? When daddy comes home, he won’t love his daughter much any longer because she’s no longer a virgin. Meanwhile, the killer keeps on killing, including a scene where he dresses like Charlie Chaplin.

Also released as Behind the Shutters Sisters of Corruption and , this movie is also a proto-slasher, rife with bloody murders, including a moment when the rain slicker-covered villain kills an entire family in slow motion.

This is a film that deals as much with trauma as murder, that has the sound of running water causing horrifying flashbacks and has no easy ending for anyone in the film, as the guilt of the killings won’t disappear with the death of any suspect.

Vinegar Syndrome recently released this on blu ray, complete with a newly scanned 4K capture from the original 35mm negative.

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