MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN (1960) Reviews – with new Arrow Blu-ray release trailer

 

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Mill of the Stone Women – the 1960 Italian/French Euro-horror classic – was released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video as a Limited Edition 2-disc set on December 14th 2021 with the following contents:

New 2K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films
1080p Blu-ray™ presentations of four different versions of the film: the original 96-minute Italian and English export versions, the 90-minute French version, containing exclusive footage, and the 95-minute US version, containing alternate dubbing, re-ordered scenes and added visual effects
Limited edition packaging with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais
Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Roberto Curti, an in-depth comparison of the different versions by Brad Stevens, and a selection of contemporary reviews
Fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais
Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction art cards

Disc One – The Italian and English export versions
Restored original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
New audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark
Mill of the Stone Women & The Gothic Body, a new visual essay on the trope of the wax/statue woman in Gothic horror by author and critic Kat Ellinger
Turned to Stone, a newly edited featurette containing archival interviews with actress Liana Orfei and film historian Fabio Melelli
A Little Chat with Dr Mabuse, an archival interview with actor Wolfgang Preiss
Rare opening titles from the UK release, re-titled “Drops of Blood”
German opening titles
US and German theatrical trailers
Image galleries

Disc Two – The French and US versions (limited edition exclusive)
Restored original lossless mono French soundtrack for the French version
Restored original lossless mono English soundtrack for the US version
Newly translated English subtitles for the French soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack

Here’s our previous coverage of the movie:

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‘A terrifying horror spectacular!’

Mill of the Stone Women is a 1960 horror film about a mad professor who kidnaps women to give transfusions to his ill daughter. The female victims posthumously become macabre artworks exhibited in a  windmill. Also released as Drops of Blood.

Directed by Giorgio Ferroni (Night of the Devils) from a screenplay co-written with Ugo Liberatore [uncredited] and Giorgio Stegani [uncredited], based on a short story by Pieter van Weigen. The French version includes dialogue by Remigio Del Grosso and Louis Sauvat [both uncredited].

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The Italian-French co-production stars Pierre Brice, Scilla Gabel and Wolfgang Preiss.

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Plot:

Hans (Pierre Brice) arrives in a town near Amsterdam to write a story on the reclusive sculptor, Professor Wahl (Herbert A.E. Böhme), who lives on an island in the old mill house the locals call the Mill of the Stone Women. Hans meets the professor’s beautiful and seductive daughter and begins feeling passion for her despite his true love for Lisa Lotta.

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Slowly, he becomes aware of the nefarious experiments being conducted by Wahl and his furtive assistant Doctor Bohlem (Wolfgang Preiss), and local women continue to disappear…

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Buy DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Review:

As with the Roger Corman/Vincent Price Poe adaptations, this is an “infernal puzzle” that gleefully uses classic old wax museum horror themes to explore obsession and death. There’s a simmering erotic undertone and an other-world atmosphere, plus an opening scene that recalls Carl Dreyer’s nightmare-like 1932 film Vampyr.

Creepy Wolfgang Preiss also played Dr Mabuse, which adds another appealing dimension for fans of European cinema. Of course, the scenario ends with a cataclysmic raging inferno and a tacky model but that’s in line with every Hammer film and the aforementioned Poe pics of the time.

Fans of Mario Bava are urged to check out this Giorgio Ferroni directed exercise in delirium, as the lurid use of colour, the stylish lighting, and morbid themes are on a par with his work. Indeed, the extended hallucination scene is worth the price of admission alone.

Veteran Ferroni later made the less impressive Night of the Devils in 1972 but, as with most Italian directors, turned his hand to any genre that seemed popular at the time whether it involved Robin Hood, war, western, spies, or his speciality, sword and sandal pics.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

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Other reviews:

“The film contains genuinely nightmarish scenes as Preiss goes about his macabre task in hideously beautiful surroundings, littered with severed limbs, mutilated corpses and the bodies of petrified women.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

” …this multinational yarn purportedly based on a Flemish horror tale comes off like a mad, poetically filmed fusion of House of Wax and Eyes without a Face (not unlike Jess Franco’s nearly contemporary The Awful Doctor Orlof). Less overt in its sex and violence than similar product streaming from Hammer Films and other Italian directors, Mill of the Stone Women is a deliberately paced, visually startling treat.” Mondo Digital

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“While the story itself isn’t exactly the most original (a lot of the ideas here are also seen in other movies of the same subgenre) it does have its share of creepy moments and proves to be quite entertaining regardless thanks for the skilled direction and wonderful sets.” Rock! Shock! Pop!

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“… director Giorgio Ferroni creates some striking images with little substance to reinforce them. However, the film’s images were borrowed by other filmmakers including Jack Hill’s Blood Bath (1966)…” Lawrence McCallum, Italian Horror Films of the 1960s

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Related: The Windmill (2016)

Cast and characters:

Pierre Brice … Hans von Arnim
Scilla Gabel … Elfie Wahl
Wolfgang Preiss … Doctor Loren Bohlem
Dany Carrel … Liselotte Kornheim (as Danny Carrell)
Herbert A.E. Böhme … Professor Gregorius Wahl (as Herbert Boehme)
Liana Orfei … Annelore
Marco Guglielmi … Ralf
Olga Solbelli … Selma
Alberto Archetti … Konrad

Technical details:

96 minutes
Technicolor
Aspect ratio: 1.66: 1
Audio: Mono

Original title:

Il mulino delle donne di pietra

Trailer:

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