Satan’s Baby Doll (aka La Bimba de Satina) Movie Review
Written by Steve Pattee
DVD released by Shameless Screen Entertainment
The castle has been cursed, we shall all die. – Isidro
Directed by Mario Bianchi
Written by Gabriele Cristani and Piero Regnoli
1974, 74 minutes, rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on May 31st, 2010
Jaqueline Dupre' as Miria
Mariangela Giordan as Sol
Aldo Sanbrell as Antoniio
Joe Davers as Ignazio
Giancarlo del Duca as Isidro
Alfonso Gaita as Juan Suarez
Marina Hedmann as Maria
A good exploitation film requires a few key ingredients, not in any particular order: Breasts, sex, violence, boobs, blood, tits and dirty pillows. Story, like in the case of Satan’s Baby Doll, while nice, is entirely optional.
Doll’s story is all kinds of recockulous. I suppose at the root it’s a revenge flick, but my God it’s so all over the place you could just as easily say its plot is to get women naked (which not only being a top three…okay, number one favorite plot of mine, Doll excels at it). If you see a woman in this film, she will be naked at one point — and for the ladies, there’s some penis action, too.
Almost immediately after his wife, Maria, dies under questionable circumstances, strange things start to happen at the mansion of Antonio Aguilar. Unbeknownst to the residents of — and some of the visitors to — Antonio’s house, someone is channeling his daughter, Miria, to pretty much kill, well, everyone. It’s not really clear why — well, it’s kind of made clear in the end, but it’s a half-assed explanation at best — but it isn’t too bad of a way to go out because the girl gets all sexy with her victims before she dispatches them. I suppose it’s kind of gross if you are the father or uncle, but for the rest of the victims, it’s okay.
In any other genre outside of exploitation, Doll would have failed miserably. Hell, it’s barely good as an exploitation flick because the story is so forced and convoluted. Just about every part of the film is a contrived scene to get someone naked. A good example of this is when Ignazio is being a creep and eyeballing his caretaker/nun, Sol, as she gets ready for bed. Like most nuns, Sol masturbates herself to sleep — which is at least what the wheelchair-bounded peeping Tom is imagining when he gets busted by Antonio. Yet instead of the older brother chastising his sibling for spying on the help, Antonio accuses Sol of getting Ignazio all worked up. The entire scene made no sense, and that’s typical of most of the movie.
The cast of characters is as eclectic as the film. First are the brothers, Antonio and Ignazio. The former is the bi-polar patriarch, making everyone’s life miserable and the latter a paraplegic who can miraculously walk when there’s a naked woman in front of him. Sol is the live-in nun-in-training (and object of both brothers’ affection). Miria is Antonio’s daughter, and she has simply no control over her sexuality. The catalyst of the trouble, Maria, is a dead woman who still manages to get sex. Rounding it out is a shady doctor, some random dude trying to exorcise a demon and a special appearance by a zombie mummy that really has no place in the movie. Put them all together and you have a big bag of what the hell.
None of the actors (with the exception of Mariangela Giodano) are particularly strong. Jaqueline Dupre' and Joe Davers (as Miria and Ignazio, respectively) more-or-less sleepwalk through their roles conveying virtually no emotion. On the other hand, Aldo Sanbrell and Giancarlo del Duca (Antonio and Isidro, exorciser extraordinaire) go over-the-top often enough to apparently try and make up for their co-stars’ lack of excitement. The saving grace is Giodano, who seems to at least try and take the role as seriously as she can. I could, of course, be saying that because I’m a bit smitten with her.
The acting, the (lack of) plot and insanity of the film are forgivable, and even expected of course, as nobody is going to watching Satan’s Baby Doll looking for a thought provoking and well-acted movie. Its base is revenge and the rest is T & A and Antonio running around trying to cover up the various murders that are happening on his property. Doll is a paper thin on plot, but thick on fun and boobs.
Fortunately, the film follows the proper rules of sin cinema and you get a nude scene quite often and it’s always lengthy and always out of place. Doubly important is the smoking hot Mariangela Giordano is by no means shy or ashamed of her body. No sir.
Satan’s Baby Doll is not a great movie, by any stretch, exploitation or otherwise. It just is what it is: A fun 74 minutes of boobs, with a soundtrack deserving of a better movie. Die hard collectors will probably want to own it, but the rest of us perverts will do just fine with a rent.
Video, audio and special features:
While video, audio and special features won’t be graded, the screener I received had some features that look to be ported over in the finish product. They include:
- Aldo's Alternate Gown Scene
- Alternate Opening
- Mariangela Giordano Bio
- Shameless Trailer Park
The alternate opening is a scene deserving to be cut, as it takes away what very little mystery the film has by putting what you find out at the end right up front in the beginning. It's worth a watch, as it seems to be an extended cut of what you eventually end up seeing, though.
"Aldo's Alternate Gown Scene" is an alternate take of the first time Antonio sees Maria after her death. There's a side-by-side comparison of the alternate and final shots, which is nice.
The "Shameless Trailer Park" is 24 different trailers from Shameless' catalog. It's a virtual shopping list.
Click cover to purchase.