THE KILLER OF DOLLS (1975) Reviews and overview

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The Killer of Dolls is a 1975 Spanish horror feature film written and directed by Miguel Madrid (Necrophagus) [as Michael Skaife]. The Huracán Films production stars David Rocha, Inma de Santis, Helga Liné (The Loreley’s Grasp; Horror Rises from the Tomb) and Elisenda Ribas. The original title is El asesino de muñecas.


A young man named Paul (David Rocha) is thrown out of medical school due to his inability to deal with the sight of blood. He returns home to Montpellier in France where his father is a gardener on a huge estate belonging to Countess Olivia (Helga Liné). It transpires that fear of blood is not Paul’s only quirk. He was raised as a girl after his sister died and likes to play with dolls, performing strange operations on them, attempting to extract their hearts.

Meanwhile, in the park surrounding the Countesses’ home, a number of young girls have been found murdered. The killer seems to be a mysterious individual wearing a black wig, a white doll mask and speaking with a woman’s voice. As the killings multiply around him, Paul sinks ever deeper into a world of hallucination and nightmare…



everything about it is just enough off model to create a uniquely unsettling and often amusing experience (I’m honestly unsure if it’s meant to be a funny movie, but I think it is). For example, it opens with a callback to the coda of Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), in which a man (Madrid himself) dismantles a doll and explains to camera the supposed psychosexual criminology of someone who “kills” dolls.” Genre Grinder 

“A real hidden gem of Spanish horror cinema […] it’s quite surprising that it doesn’t seem to have much more of a reputation in Eurocult circles. David Rocha’s performance as Paul ranges from the subtle to the hysterically unhinged, but it’s Miguel Madrid’s direction that offers such a colourfully warped peek into the killer’s doll obsessed mind.” Laurie Jed, Letterboxd

Killing of the Dolls is rife with harsh jump cuts and exaggerated dialogue, and the lead performance might be one of the most gender-aloof portrayals of a killer I’ve yet seen. The persistent tone-shifts make it difficult to settle into the plot, but if you like your slashers weird this is near the tip top.” Street, Letterboxd

“Madrid tends to linger far more on Rocha’s nudity here than the female cast members and provides some vivid depictions of his bathing habits. The grue is nicely handled here as well with plentiful splashes of blood where it counts including some jolting hallucination scenes, and the gorgeous countryside settings around Barcelona make for a nice counterpoint to the sordid nature of the story itself.” Mondo Digital

“The movie is nicely paced and quite suspenseful. The use of dolls throughout the film to conjure up eerie imagery is very effective and the murder set pieces are quite stylish and impactful. Alfonso Santisteban’s score is a good one, heightening tension and drama when called for…” Rock! Shock! Pop!


The Killer of Dolls is being released for the first time ever on Blu-ray by Mondo Macabro.

A limited ‘red case’ edition comes with a unique reversible cover and a booklet with brand new writing on the film by Spanish film expert Ismael Fernandez.

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original negative
  • Region free
  • Spanish audio track with newly created, optional English subtitles
  • Brand new interview with actor David Rocha
  • Brand new interview with Dr Antonio Lázaro-Reboll, author of the book Spanish Horror Film
  • Brand new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger
  • Brand new audio commentary by Robert Monell and Rodney Barnett

Technical details:

  • 98 minutes
  • Gevacolor
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85: 1

More Spanish horror

Some image credits: Genre Grinder

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