Friday, October 21, 2022

little big planet.

As part of the whole 31 days of horror thing I thought it'd be a good opportunity to rewatch/review  probably the greatest British slasher flick of all time.

But I thought fuck it and decided to watch this again instead...

The Sinful Dwarf (1973)
Dir: Vidal Raski.
Cast: Torben Bille, Tony Eades, Anne Sparrow, Clara Keller, Werner Hedman and a load of other folk that frankly it's not worth listing. I mean they don't have this on their CVs so why should I make the effort?

Hvad var den mystiske dværgs perverse hemmelighed?

It's a hot summers day (by the fashions on show the temperature must be in the 70s) and a pig-tailed - and let's be honest slightly pig-nosed - young girl is happily playing hopscotch in a quiet street, not a care in the world and a warm smile on her freckled face.

Rounding a corner she comes across a strange little man (the late great Bille who at the time was Denmark's only profession dwarf actor) leading a yapping toy dog, Intrigued she bends down to pet it.

The toy dog that is not the dwarf.

"Hello pretty lady, I'm Olaf!" grins the dwarf in a friendly manner "Do you like my toy? I have many more upstairs in my house!" and with that he takes her by the hand and leads her to the run down boarding house he manages with his mother.

The girl is amazed at the amount of wonderful (re: creepy) toys spread out before her and turns to congratulate Olaf on his collection but as she does the evil little fella bonks her on the head with his walking stick.

We've all been there.

"Grine nu!"

Cue frighteningly 70s titles and compulsory inappropriate theme tune (more on these later) and we're on with the plot good and proper, being quickly introduced to a pair of down on their luck lovebirds; the flasher-macked 'writer' Peter (Eades, bizarrely enough last seen in the Danish/Indian musical drama The Melody of Love alongside Pavel Kadochnikov's granddaughter Nina Bergman - beat that Kermode) and posh tottie Mary (Sparrow, mother of Jack the famous pirate) who arrive at the boarding house looking for a place to stay.

Greeted at the door - as opposed to in the mooth - by Olaf's even freakier (if that were possible, which it is obviously or that last sentence wouldn't make sense) mother, the show tune singing, gin soaked, piss smelling lush that is Ms. Lila Lash (the genius that is Keller in her only film role outside your dad's home movies) the couple are quickly shown to their room - which is a bargain at 6 quid a week by the way.

Excited at the thought of finally getting to sleep in a real bed - rather than under a bush - neither of them notice Ms. Lash licking her (hair) lip and eying up Mary's ample arse (with her none milky eye) as the enter the room.

You see it turns out that behind the Fawlty Towers-esque facade, Olaf and his mentalist mum are kidnapping nubile young girls and running a white slavery sex ring out the attic.

And a secret lemonade mine in the cellar.

But to be honest judging by the reactions of those poor half dressed (and half cut) girls they have chained up this may all be normal in Denmark.

Answers to the normal email address.

"Er det en blyant i lommen eller har du en massiv erektion?"

Olaf's main job (apart from luring the girls to the house and using a Curly Wurly bar as a ladder when he's cleaning the TV obviously) appears to be injecting pure heroin into the victims buttocks whilst screaming “I’m coming girls! I’m coming” with a huge dribbling grin on his face.

Whilst all this drugging and shagging is going on, Olaf's mother amuses herself by staggering about with a bowl of plastic fruit on her head pretending to be Carmen Miranda.

To be honest this is one of the few films that has ever made me miss living with my parents.

"Shite i måneden fæstet!"


Obviously the director reckoned that all this just wasn't scary enough and in a masterstroke introduces us to a fish-lipped piss stained drugs dealer named Santa Claus (former cinematographer and production manager Hedman) who delivers the drugs inside stuffed animals.

And this, dear readers, is why folk voted Brexit.

Peter and Mary tho' are oblivious to all this, being too busy thrusting and wriggling on top of each other in a very energetic manner to notice the sounds of sobbing and smell of vinegar and shame emanating from the attic.

And when Peter gets himself a job leaving Mary home alone with Olaf and Lila
little does she suspect that she is next on their list of tanked up tottie to be sold into slavery....

As far as short arsed cinema classics go, The Sinful Dwarf is up there (but not too high obviously) with the best.

One of the strangest (and undoubtedly one of the sleaziest) of a small sub-genre of deadly dwarf movies this UK/Danish (with possible US backing too I've heard) co-production feels like a weird hybrid of slasher movie, exploitation cheapie, European arthouse and dodgy porn film that's been forced into a rusty old sausage maker, minced and squeezed out onto a filthy, chipped plate before being served up by a club-footed hook-handed harlot with bad breath and knees like cheese filled condoms.

From it's shocking, head bashing opening thru it's unsettling titles (consisting, as they do of close-ups of wind up toys tottering around gaudy lettering as Danish avant garde composer Ole Ørsted mixes the sound of a troupe of clockwork monkeys banging drums and smashing cymbals with a bass guitar *), The Sinful Dwarf delivers shocks and sleaze by the (scuzzy) bucketful, leaving the audience in need of a good bath and a gallon of mouthwash.

Honestly, it's THAT good a movie.

"Is it in yet?"

And what of the ‘sinful' dwarf himself?

Sporting a greasy moptop, a huge tombstone grin and (very) kissy lips, Torben Bille is truly magnificent.

Hobbling around and lusting over anything with breasts, his 'unique' lisping delivering of his English dialogue is a masterclass in villainy, coming across like the bastard son of Don Estelle and Jimmy Krankie on crack, trapped in an endless summer season review in Torquay.

Plus when you realize that he and Anne Sparrow were actually a couple during filming the whole scummy, spanked arseness of the proceedings take on an even more sleazy - and slightly more erotic if I'm honest - turn.

Full of 'wah wah' guitars and close-ups of sagging, old men arses thrusting up and down on drugged up, dirt covered girls this is one of those rare films that genuinely does have something for everyone and not even hatchet man Vidal Raski’s lacklustre direction can ruin it.

Essential viewing for the whole family.

But especially your Uncle Peter.

*And you can hear it here:


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