This movie has more bush than the arboretum. It reminds me of a John Waters film, except without the irony. The locations/sets are definitely reminiscent of Mortville. The story takes place in the most frightening hellhole in all of Denmark. And, that’s saying a lot. Referred to in the movie as a rooming house, it more closely resembles the entrance to hell. The exterior looks like an STD clinic in Newark. As far as the art department goes, there was obviously a budget big enough to buy a couple of gallons of garish paint. The props were most likely stolen from a thrift store. The “rooming house” has the vibe of a hotel I once spent the night in near the train station in Brussels. When Honeypot and I entered, the night manager was sitting behind a desk with a 357 Magnum prominently displayed on the desktop. It was positioned so that he could grab the gun and shoot unwanted guests within four seconds. The elevator had no enclosure. So, you could watch the elevator shaft passing by as you traveled up and down. It would have been unwise to ride this elevator drunk.
Lila Lash owns the dumpy rooming house, which according to her was a popular nightclub until “the bad year.” No one ever reveals exactly what happened in that bad year but we do know that there was a fire. Lila has a scar on her cheek to prove it. The scar is so realistic that it looks like it could be wiped off with a piece of toilet paper. Something bad also happened to her dwarf son, Olaf. He entertains himself by constantly playing with toys that would be tossed out with the garbage by the average two-year-old. Olaf has no scars but he could use an orthodontist.
Mary and Peter are a sweet young married couple. They can’t find a place to stay because they have no money. Mary is not the smartest bunny in the forest but she loves her husband and insists that he not take a job until he spends a couple of decades pursuing his writing career. Peter loves Mary because she enjoys having hot, naked sex, which is graphically displayed for the enjoyment of the audience. Also, Mary knows how to throw together a salad with a little lettuce and a small can of fish excrement. Peter puts on his trench coat every morning and leaves his wife in their crappy closet of a room. This allows him to spend the day being thrown out of the offices of every writer’s agent in the Copenhagen metropolitan area. We can assume that since he always wears a trench coat that he spends part of his days flashing women in the park, which is not illegal in Denmark as long as you have a permit.
There are many interesting scenes of Lila and her only friend, Winnie. Lila performs a few horrible cabaret scenes for Winnie, while Winnie secretly winces. She only hangs around Lila for the free liquor. Lila also spends much of her time looking for just the right costume to compliment each musical number. In one scene, she actually flashes her breasts for the camera, which is a welcome display considering that her hooters are her best feature.
The central focus or hub of the film is the rape room. Through his charming retardedness, Olaf is able to lure young women to the rooming house. He uses his walking, barking mechanical poodle. It is most assuredly a wind-up toy because it’s doubtful that batteries were available in Denmark in 1973. Any person in their right mind would not even walk alone in this neighborhood but Shorty is able to get these chicks into the house, drug them, strip them naked and lock them up in the rape room, which is lit with a dozen flood lights. The girls get hooked on dope and hang around on the floor of the cell showing off all their private parts. Lila subsidizes her income by making the girls whores for local John’s. We always see the shady, overweight sickos in overcoats from behind so we don’t know what they really look like. But when the scumbags get into the rape room, it’s always the same guy. This skinny dude with greasy hair undresses to complete nakedness, even showing his giblets a couple of times. He rapes a girl in a harsh way, gets dressed and leaves. These sex scenes do not appear to be simulated and with the room being so over lit, there is no way to fake that action. This footage makes “Cinemax After Dark” look like “General Hospital.”
There is also a character named Santa Claus. He’s a chubby white man with pasty skin, a tight Afro, and a weird beard. He owns the shittiest toy store ever. Santa runs a business on the side, which is much more lucrative than the toy business. Olaf is banned from the toy store because he pulls the top down on a cheap plastic doll and leers. Finally, a cop in a bad suit shows up at the “boarding house.” He pulls out a pellet gun that would surely poke someone’s eye out. There is also a hilarious scene where Olaf runs around in the upstairs corridor of the creepy house. Unfortunately, this Keystone Cops send up is the Dwarf actor’s only opportunity to show off his comedic talent.
This Danish film, released in 1973 was director Vidal Raki’s debut and swan song all in one. He directed only one film, which is unfortunate because he knew how to cover a scene and the film cuts together pretty well. Torben Bille, who played the sinful Dwarf went on to appear on children’s shows. This film is one of a kind. If you are a sick, voyeuristic pervert who loves to wallow in depravity, this movie’s for you.
Directed by Vidal Raski
Produced by Nicolas Poole
Written by Harlan Asquith
Starring Toben Bille