The Corruption of Chris Miller – Spain, 1972

‘When it rains it pours… blood!’

The Corruption of Chris Miller is a 1972 Spanish giallo horror thriller feature film directed by Juan Antonio Bardem from a screenplay by Santiago Moncada (Rest in Pieces; The Bell from Hell; All the Colours of the Dark; A Hatchet for the Honeymoon).

The Xavier Armet produced movie stars Jean Seberg, Marisol and Barry Stokes. The original Spanish title is La corrupción de Chris Miller and it has also been released as Behind the Shutters.

Vinegar Syndrome is releasing The Corruption of Chris Miller as a Blu-ray + DVD combo on April 30, 2019.

“Lushly photographed by Juan Gelpí (Crypt of the Living Dead) and scored by Waldo de los Ríos (The House That Screamed), Vinegar Syndrome is proud to present this under-seen masterpiece of early 70s Euro horror in a brand new 4K restoration and in its original scope framing, for the first time on home video.” Special features:

  • Region Free Blu-ray + DVD combo
  • Newly scanned and restored in 4K from its 35mm original negative
  • Archival career retrospective interview with director Juan Antonio Bardem
  • “Jean Seberg: Movie Star” – a short film exploring the tragic life of Jean Seberg
  • English and Spanish sound mixes
  • Alternate Spanish ending
  • Alternate Spanish insert shot and partial title sequence
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Reversible cover artwork
  • English SDH subtitles

Plot:

Chris Miller (Marisol) lives with her fashion designer stepmother Ruth (Jean Seberg) in a large secluded mansion in the Spanish countryside. Both women have been traumatised by the mysterious disappearance of Chris’ father.

However, the pair’s isolation is soon interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious young British drifter, anthropology student Barney (Barry Stokes), whom they take on as a handyman.

All the while, an unknown scythe wielding killer has been stalking the area, leaving an ever growing body count, and it’s not long before the women grow increasingly suspicious of Barney…

Reviews:

“Seething with off-colour sexual politics, Chris Miller is masterfully handled by Bardem and exceptionally acted by the glacial Seberg and feline Marisol. As Barney, Stokes arguably lacks the dangerous edge that might have made the film’s middle section more compelling…” Jonathan Rigby, Euro Gothic

Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

Whilst the film has a stately – almost staid – air for much of its running time, this makes the violent set pieces all the more startling. The slo-mo, sustained attack on one naked male victim with multiple knives is certainly one of the most brutal I’ve seen in any 70s giallo. It might not be too much of stretch to wonder if it influenced the similarly artful bloodshed of fellow Spanish director José Ramón Larraz’s better known Vampyres (1974).” Justin Kerswell, Hysteria Lives!

“Always interesting and well shot, this is a curious and somewhat meandering tale that just about holds the interest through the strong performances. There are a couple of prolonged dark sequences which my copy didn’t seem to manage very well but the film holds together and ends very well indeed.” Chris Underwood, Letterboxd

” …very interesting and watchable due to the performances, the atmospheric direction, and the dramatic score, but if it wasn’t for the exciting prologue in which a woman is killed by someone wearing a Charlie Chaplin mask (!), you might forget that this is supposed to be a murder mystery. That is, until an entire family is slaughtered by a scythe-wielding madman.” Ryan C, Letterboxd

” …robs a slasher-with-an-extra-chromosome from The Cat o’ Nine Tails and moves at the molasses speed of Sergio Martino’s weaker efforts. Seberg is dull as an icy, over-the-hill femme fatale in peroxide blonde hairdo (Carroll Baker was apparently unavailable), yet the moments of violence are intense and bizarre.” Nathaniel Poggiali, Temple of Schlock

 

Choice dialogue:

Ruth Miller: “Men don’t love, they possess. They injure. They invade. It’s always cruelty and violence with them.”

 

Cast and characters:

  • Jean Seberg … Ruth Miller
  • Marisol … Chris Miller
  • Barry Stokes … Barney Webster – Prey
  • Perla Cristal … Perla
  • Rudy Gaebel … Lewis
  • Gérard Tichy … Commissioner – Pieces; Horror aka The Blancheville Monster
  • Alicia Altabella … Adela
  • Mariano Vidal Molina … Ernesto (as Vidal Molina)
  • María Bardem … Maria
  • Juan Antonio Bardem … Pedro (as Juan Bardem)
  • Miguel Bardem … Tin
  • Gustavo Re … Shopkeeper
  • Carl Rapp … TV Reporter
  • Goyo Lebrero … Peasant
  • Antonio Parra … Postman

 

Filming locations:

Shot from August to early November 1972 at:

  • Comillas, Cantabria, Spain
    Isasi Studios, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
  • Santander, Spain

Technical credits:

113 minutes | 2.35:1 | Panavision | Eastmancolor

Release:

The film was released in Spain on 17 May 1973.

Trivia:

The original title was YY

Image credits: Vinegar Syndrome

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