dir. Vidal Raski
"We gotta find some new girls. Betty's using too much heroin. Not much profit in Betty anymore."
As is evident by now, I am notoriously easy to please when it comes to movies. I'll give good ratings to almost anything. My relationship with movies is the equivalent of the used and abused, emotionally fragile, low self-esteem having gal who becomes involved in loveless, hate-filled, emotionally abusive relationships but stays in them because the man will occasionally make her laugh or make the most half-heartedly lazy romantic gesture affirming his love for her. I can forgive any kind of movie so long as it makes me giggle or gives me even fleeting moments of enjoyment.
Friends have frequently questioned my tendency to give good ratings to movies that I eviscerated in the review, and then, in the closing paragraph, mentioned a few aspects that I found enjoyable. These folks have asked what it would take for me to dole out a bad rating. A whole fucking lot. The movie would have to be so devoid of entertainment, so repulsive, so bankrupt on an intellectual, moral, social, and filmic level that it left me questioning the purpose and viability of movies as a whole. The movie would have to turn me against movies. With the Danish produced The Sinful Dwarf, I have met my match. I have discovered an abyss that I have not been able to enter.
Danish children TV star Torben Bille stars as the titular dwarf, Olaf. Using mechanical toys to lure young women to his mother's English flat, he then knocks them unconscious, gets them addicted to heroin and keeps them locked in an attic where he and his mother use their captives as unwilling prostitutes, so that they can pull in some extra money. Not much more needs to be said about the plot.
[This is the least creepy screenshot I could cull from this movie]
Nauseating on a multitude of levels, much of The Sinful Dwarf's just plain wrongness, is due to Torben's creepily effective performance. He brings such a believable, demented sense of glee to his evil actions that one wonders whether the fact that he also starred in a children's show speaks to his range as an actor, or to the sick, twisted, demented nature of the Danish psyche. Seeing as I know next to nothing about Denmark, I'll have to go with the latter.
The decision to use apparently non-simulated sex scenes (much as in the following year's Swedish rape revenge picture, Thriller) also ratchets up the creepiness. [Side note: Chrisity fuck christ, what the fuck is wrong with Scandinavia? Sure, they've got us beat when it comes to systems of government, health care, education and just about everything else, but fucking christ.] Compounding it all is the heroic action movie music playing on the soundtrack whenever a john rapes one of the drugged girls. Of course, I also find A Clockwork Orange morally questionable for similar reasons, but at least that movie is semi-redeemed by expert filmmaking. [Despite what some people may say, as far as I'm concerned, A Clockwork Orange is nothing more than an expertly filmed exploitation movie.] Although the dwarf and his mother eventually get their comeuppances, it seems too often that the filmmakers took glee in the degradation of the female victims in the movie.
As with many of the films I review here, I decided to watch The Sinful Dwarf based on the title alone. I knew next to nothing about this flick before going in. What I assumed would be a delightfully low budget, shoddily made, politically incorrect picture about a mischievous dwarf and his crazy shenanigans ended up being a movie that shook me to my core. Naively, I assumed that watching Amelie right after, would wash away the putrid taste of the dwarf movie. Such was not the case. Few movies have made me feel as icky as this one did. The only other ones that come to mind are: Bloodsucking Freaks; Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS; and The Baby. Speaking of which, while watching The Sinful Dwarf I was reminded of something Lloyd Kaufman said in regards to Bloodsucking Freaks (I'm paraphrasing here), "I've reserved my place in hell just by watching this movie."