Mill of the Stone Women

il Mulino della donna pietra AKA MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN (1960) 
Starring Pierre Brice, Wolfgang Preiss, and Scilla Gabel 
Directed by Giorgio Ferroni

Mill of the Stone Women starts with a narrator saying "Trouble began with a woman. Here is a young man he is a writer. He loves and respects women. He is about to change his mind."

A Professor of sculpture encounters a young journalist who has come to the mill to write about it for a journal. The professor lives in the 100 year old Amsterdam windmill/house with his daughter, Elsie, who has a strange blood disease, and an ex-con doctor, who helps the professor to keep Elsie alive. This film is set in the nineteenth century and the actresses are quite pretty. Professor has created a fantastic huge music box that is populated with his statues. The music box is attached to the windmill such that it can power the parade of statues. But the statues are posed in grim tortured poses causing women to faint when they view it. Medium-heavy on the atmosphere and while fairly light on the gore, Mill of the Stone Women possesses that charm of subtle terror that makes older horror movies classics. With a second watching the this subtlety becomes even more haunting. A motif of psychological madness informs part of the film and brings the viewer to question what has been depicted - that is, just before the real horrors are revealed. Mill of the Stone Women is based on a short story of the same name by Pieter Van Wiegen and was originally included in a work entitled "Flemish Tales."

Anyone enjoying classic atmospheric horror films ought to find Mill of the Stone Women quite entertaining. The soundtrack is exceptional.

Roger (aka tarantula)



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