American reporter Mark English William Sylvester becomes fascinated with Vorelli, and solicits his girlfriend Marianne Horn Yvonne Romain to go with him to another show. From the beginning, the film drops strong hints that Hugo is actually alive and mobile. At the following show, Vorelli asks a member of his audience onto the stage. When no one volunteers, English encourages Marianne to go up.
Vorelli succeeds in hypnotizing her and making her dance the Twist with an uncredited Ray Landor, an "expert in modern dance". Marianne is left partially hypnotized by Vorelli, who recognizes her as a wealthy heiress. English, wanting to do a story on Vorelli and his unique powers, gets Marianne to invite Vorelli to her aunt's charity ball.
Vorelli has already decided to go to the ball, having read about it in the newspaper and seeing it as an opportunity to seduce Marianne. The night of the ball, Vorelli stays at the mansion of Marianne's aunt, where he seduces her after using his power to subdue her will. In the meantime, Hugo miraculously appears in English's room and asks him for help. Hugo repeats "" and "Berlin" before disappearing. The next day, English begins an investigation into Vorelli's past. Meanwhile, Marianne falls into a semi- coma that the doctors cannot alleviate.
In one lucid moment, she tells English that, "He keeps calling me" and, "Make him stop". Through a colleague, English discovers that Vorelli had once been a disgraced medical doctor who dabbled in Eastern magic. The colleague traces Vorelli to Berlin and guides English to a former female assistant of Vorelli's who lives there.
She tells English that another assistant, "Hugo", had worked for Vorelli in , and would be hypnotized into a state where he could not feel pain as part of their act. The female assistant says that she would catch the two in strange conferences. One night, Vorelli killed Hugo on stage and simultaneously transferred his soul into the dummy.
Vorelli was cleared in the death, and no one believed the female assistant's story. Vorelli's current assistant, who is also his lover, becomes jealous of his relationship with Marianne.
Vorelli then hires a new, younger assistant whom he also puts under his physical and sexual control. The extent to which Devil Doll have maintained this enigma would almost have me wondering whether the whole thing was really an elaborate hoax, but The Girl Who Was Death stands as the evident work of some manner of genius.
Although Mr. Doctor wears his influences both musical and otherwise most often on his sleeve, the result is something unique and inimitable. Regardless of your previous experience with goth or progressive rock, metal or even neoclassical music, Devil Doll makes for a stark and challenging experience; prospective listeners have been warned, but those that dare venture forth may find themselves captivated forever.
Death is the defacto debut from a then-relatively new band; a LP The Mark of the Beast apparently existed before this but, in true Devil Doll fashion, its mere existence has been under dispute. It's rare to hear of a band debuting with a strong sense of identity, and rarer still to hear a band with an identity all to themselves. In the case of Devil Doll , the odd mesh of Romantic minimalism, gothic post-punk and off-kilter sprechgesang sounds alien upon first listen, but I posit that Devil Doll as a stylistic construct would appear completely natural in the light of his influences.
Many of these influences are no doubt as esoteric as Mr. Doctor himself; others are more apparent. Among the latter, classic horror cinema is at the top of the list. The album cover features actress Elsa Lancaster in The Bride of Frakenstein in the final moments before her character's death. Long stretches of minimalism led by the piano and eerie strings lend a sense to the archetypal silent horror film score, not to mention the expressionistic lyrics, which divulge a sense of being stalked and chased by an unknowable entity.
The excellent TV series The Prisoner itself enjoying an enigmatic context of no small obsession is also evoked, through the title, lyrical excerpts tying into the album's thematic sense of solipsism and the lonesome individual , not to mention a rock rendition of The Prisoner 's theme, hidden at the end. Though their aesthetics and chosen mediums are different, I'm sure The Prisoner 's creator Patrick McGoohan would at least look upon Mr.
Doctor's work with a sense of intellectual respect, if not an appreciation for the music itself. While the work of an auteur may be seen as a compilation of his influences, it's the resulting product and identity that truly matters, and in the case of The Girl Who Was Death , the effect is overwhelming.
Death opens the saga with a more clearcut balance between string orchestrations and rock. The two halves are also more segregated here than they would be on later bouts. Set as a single forty minute composition the rest of the stated album length is silence, in keeping with the hidden Prisoner theme at the end the suite jumps between periods of slow, minimal piano, theatrical metal and avant-garde orchestrations.
Although the long-drawn piano passages are atmospheric, they're remarkably understated in contrast with the excitement of the heavier parts. The album takes almost ten minutes to 'get going' and shed light on its rockier elements, so listeners with an impatient ear will likely find themselves scratching their heads.
Among the musical highlights are a gypsy fiddle solo, a beautiful, longing violin build, carnivalesque fanfare halfway into the work, and a jarring instrumental section towards the latter half, complete with disjointed piano and chilling violin screech, a la Psycho.
While the long periods of relative inactivity in the music give the exciting moments greater impact, the effect of its trying minimalism begin to wear off by the time the album is close to finishing. A masterpiece it may be, but The Girl Who Was Death still offered room for its successors to improve.
If Devil Doll 's jaw-dropping Dies Irae from is any indication, at some point those small spaces were filled in. No discussion of Devil Doll 's music would be complete without a regard for Mr. Doctor's vocals themselves. I have saved talking about them for the end of the review precisely because they are the most challenging, puzzling, and altogether compelling part of Devil Doll 's music.
I am not sure who gave him the nickname 'The Man of a Thousand Voices', but the name is given weight through his performance here. Devil Doll 's frightening frontman is a vocalist in the truest sense of the world; his delivery here is less singing by the traditional definition, and moreso incredibly intricate and theatrical speech, with the occasional melodic or, I daresay, operatic ingredient.
Doctor's sprechgesang, to put it simply, is weird and scary, and evocative to an almost overwhelming level. It's the sort of strange voice I can only imagine spoken by Peter Lorre, had he actually become a creature from a German Expressionist horror film.
For a musical comparison, think Current 93 's David Tibet, if he had been somehow forced to stay awake for a month possibly by the Lorremonster? It's jarring and bound to be a complete turn off to some listeners, but for those who know, it works. The Girl Who Was Death is frightening fare, regardless which genre you try to hopelessly place it in. Even so, there is a deliberate method to this so-called insanity; behind the maddening screams and gothic bombast, there is the truly uncompromising mark of an auteur here, who let nothing hinder his vision.
Particularly in a rock or metal-related work, that sort of purity is hard to come by. Death is one of the best and weirdest albums I have ever heard, and even then it's not the best thing Devil Doll would create. What then can I call it, save for the work of a bona fide genius? For as weird as the stories are, I was expecting something really strange; perhaps RIO in the vein of Univers Zero or something of that ilk.
I guess that just goes to show that you can't judge the sound of a band by its behavior, though, because in comparison to the weirdness of the band their music is almost shockingly normal. Sure, the vocal delivery is certainly one of the more bizarre I've ever heard Mr. Doctor goes from rasping like he can't breathe to moaning like a disturbed spirit , but the music itself is very accessible, with epic gothic symphonic parts played against crossover prog-metal parts with a touch of folk.
There's a lot of interesting music here, but I do feel at times that Mr. Jones, who would return for Turner's second film.
The titular devil doll from the movie was modeled after the performer Rick James and Turner's young nephew portrayed the doll in walking scenes. The film was first released in through Hollywood Home Video, a working relationship that Turner has described as exploitative. The set also featured commentary from Turner and Shirley L. Difficult to endure, impossible to forget, and loads of fun to discuss afterward sorta like bragging about battle wounds.
Graeme Clark from The Spinning Image panned the film, awarding it one out of ten stars, calling it "Absolutely dreadful by any estimate, but difficult to look away from and listen to, thanks to the piercing and droning soundtrack ". In his review, Clark criticized the film's dialogue, sexual content as being "almost softcore pornographic", and called the title character "a low rent Chucky ".
The monotonous and loud Casio soundtrack, hallucinatory pacing, profane script, and amateur performances combine to create a Black Devil Doll from HellDIY video project so far removed from anything remotely resembling normality that most wondered how it ever escaped onto commercial VHS release at all. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Release date. Running time. This article needs an improved plot summary. Please edit this article to provide one. May This section needs expansion.
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