THE CORRUPTION OF CHRIS MILLER (1972) Reviews and worth watching

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‘When it rains it pours… blood!’

The Corruption of Chris Miller is a 1972 Spanish giallo horror thriller feature film directed by Juan Antonio Bardem from a screenplay by Santiago Moncada (Rest in Pieces; The Bell from Hell; All the Colours of the Dark; A Hatchet for the Honeymoon).

The Xavier Armet produced movie stars Jean Seberg, Marisol and Barry Stokes. The original Spanish title is La corrupción de Chris Miller and it has also been released as Behind the Shutters.

Vinegar Syndrome released The Corruption of Chris Miller as a Blu-ray + DVD combo on April 30, 2019.

“Lushly photographed by Juan Gelpí (Crypt of the Living Dead) and scored by Waldo de los Ríos (The House That Screamed), Vinegar Syndrome is proud to present this under-seen masterpiece of early 70s Euro horror in a brand new 4K restoration and in its original scope framing, for the first time on home video.” Special features:

Region Free Blu-ray + DVD combo
Newly scanned and restored in 4K from its 35mm original negative
Archival career retrospective interview with director Juan Antonio Bardem
“Jean Seberg: Movie Star” – a short film exploring the tragic life of Jean Seberg
English and Spanish sound mixes
Alternate Spanish ending
Alternate Spanish insert shot and partial title sequence
Original theatrical trailer
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles


Chris Miller (Marisol) lives with her fashion designer stepmother Ruth (Jean Seberg) in a large secluded mansion in the Spanish countryside. Both women have been traumatised by the mysterious disappearance of Chris’ father.

However, the pair’s isolation is soon interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious young British drifter, anthropology student Barney (Barry Stokes), whom they take on as a handyman.

All the while, an unknown scythe-wielding killer has been stalking the area, leaving an ever-growing body count, and it’s not long before the women grow increasingly suspicious of Barney…


“Clocking in at 113 minutes, the melodramatic first half is far too plodding for its own good. The pot finally boils with a scene in which a killer in a rain slicker slices up a family with a scythe, wherein The Corruption of Chris Miller virtually becomes a different movie. It’s a significant improvement, not merely for the gore and excitement, but also the much-needed atmosphere.” Broke Horror Fan

” …when the violence hits – as it does for the family massacred in the farmhouse late in the film – the result feels seismic; the soap-operatic displays give way to visceral, slow-motion terror as our killer leaves a mark that feels palpable, given all the more credence by Juan Gelpi’s (Crypt of the Living Dead) vivid and gorgeous cinematography. The Corruption of Chris Miller shows that the poisons of the mind can be slow to harm, or quick to kill.” Daily Dead

“Seething with off-colour sexual politics, Chris Miller is masterfully handled by Bardem and exceptionally acted by the glacial Seberg and feline Marisol. As Barney, Stokes arguably lacks the dangerous edge that might have made the film’s middle section more compelling…” Jonathan Rigby, Euro Gothic

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Whilst the film has a stately – almost staid – air for much of its running time, this makes the violent set pieces all the more startling. The slo-mo, sustained attack on one naked male victim with multiple knives is certainly one of the most brutal I’ve seen in any 70s giallo. It might not be too much of stretch to wonder if it influenced the similarly artful bloodshed of fellow Spanish director José Ramón Larraz’s better known Vampyres (1974).” Hysteria Lives!

“Always interesting and well shot, this is a curious and somewhat meandering tale that just about holds the interest through the strong performances. There are a couple of prolonged dark sequences which my copy didn’t seem to manage very well but the film holds together and ends very well indeed.” Chris Underwood, Chris Underwood

” …very interesting and watchable due to the performances, the atmospheric direction, and the dramatic score, but if it wasn’t for the exciting prologue in which a woman is killed by someone wearing a Charlie Chaplin mask (!), you might forget that this is supposed to be a murder mystery. That is, until an entire family is slaughtered by a scythe-wielding madman.” Ryan C.

” …robs a slasher-with-an-extra-chromosome from The Cat o’ Nine Tails and moves at the molasses speed of Sergio Martino’s weaker efforts. Seberg is dull as an icy, over-the-hill femme fatale in peroxide blonde hairdo (Carroll Baker was apparently unavailable), yet the moments of violence are intense and bizarre.” Temple of Schlock

Choice dialogue:

Ruth Miller: “Men don’t love, they possess. They injure. They invade. It’s always cruelty and violence with them.”

Cast and characters:

Jean Seberg … Ruth Miller
Marisol … Chris Miller
Barry Stokes … Barney Webster – Prey
Perla Cristal … Perla
Rudy Gaebel … Lewis
Gérard Tichy … Commissioner – Pieces; Horror aka The Blancheville Monster
Alicia Altabella … Adela
Mariano Vidal Molina … Ernesto (as Vidal Molina)
María Bardem … Maria
Juan Antonio Bardem … Pedro (as Juan Bardem)
Miguel Bardem … Tin
Gustavo Re … Shopkeeper
Carl Rapp … TV Reporter
Goyo Lebrero … Peasant
Antonio Parra … Postman

Filming locations:

Shot from August to early November 1972 at:

Comillas, Cantabria, Spain
Isasi Studios, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Santander, Spain

Technical credits:

113 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 Panavision


The film was released in Spain on 17th May 1973.

Film Facts:

The original title was YY

Image credits: Vinegar Syndrome

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