Sharp costumes and production design on a gorgeous blu-ray, a nice change of pace. Ferroni made this long before Night of the Devils, but not a horror specialist, made mostly adventures and westerns in between. In the 1920s Hans has come to write a research article in a historic mill full of remarkably realistic (uh oh) sculptures of people being murdered. He meets up with cute Lottie, but becomes obsessed with the secretive Elfie, daughter of millmaster Wahl. He discovers that Dr. Bolem also lives at the mill because Elfie is afflicted with a secret made-up illness: she’ll die if she gets too excited. In the very next scene, a secret meeting with Hans, she gets upset and drops dead.
Elfie’s first appearance:
Elfie hitting on Hans:
Turns out Elfie has recurrent death syndrome and her dad and the doctor keep bringing her back by stealing blood from local girls, then Wahl turns the dead girls into new exhibits for his horror windmill. They drug Hans so he loses his object permanence then they declare him insane and send him away so he won’t discover their mad science. Meanwhile they’ve got their eyes on his girlfriend Lotte’s especially rare blood. Hans sends the cops, but no need, the dad and the doctor feud to the death, and the mill burns.
Nice touch: local girl Liana Orfei pretends to be a statue for a drawing class:
Liana ends up as expected, Wahl adding final touches:
Hans was later in Night of the Damned… Elfie of euro-spy Operacion Gigante… Wahl of Christopher Lee non-horror Secret of the Red Orchid… Lottie in Clouzot’s Inferno and the Christopher Lee Hands of Orlac… and Dr. Bolem was Mabuse in the last Lang film.