In a way I feel kind of bad about calling your attention to what I am about to call your attention to. Normally I prefer to highlight unusual “gems” of the outsider arts here, you know, marquee things we feel positively about.
This isn’t one of those times. This is one of those “This smells like shit, here, smell this” kinda posts. No, I’m not exactly being “a good person” by posting here about the oddball/disgusting 1973 Danish cinematic trash epic known as The Sinful Dwarf... but here it is anyway!
The Sinful Dwarf, as you might have already gathered from the title alone, is not high art. It’s not low art either, it’s just appalling on every level. But funny, too! The plot, as relayed via a very brief synopsis on IMDB is… simple: “Olaf and his mother run a boarding house and a white slavery ring. They also smuggle heroin to keep the addict girls happy so they do not try and escape. A young couple move into the house and the evil landlords take a liking to the female.”
Olaf is one sick fucking dwarf. He would pretty much have to be with a title like this one, no? That’s about all you really need to know about The Sinful Dwarfother than the heroin comes in teddy bears (via a sleazy crook who calls himself “Santa Claus”) and that the mother is a bit Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Here are a few more salient details courtesy of Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies: The Blog back in 2008:
I know the LPA hates this kind of stuff, but if there is an apotheosis of the deranged, nightmare-inducing dwarf that haunts the dreams of little children everywhere, brother, I just spent 90 minutes with him. I’d like to think that’s a testament to Torben’s acting skills. Because if he’s not acting…*shudder*...
The set-up goes a little like this: Olaf’s mother is a former showgirl who was scarred in a cataclysmic fire that consumed the dance hall where she was the star, the same year that little Olaf was born. “I don’t want to think about that year,” she tells a friend. “First the terrible fire—then Olaf—one disaster after another.” Love you too, Ma.
Since the horrific end of her showbiz career, Mom has been hosting tea-parties for the Horrible Women’s Auxiliary and pining for the good old days, periodically breaking into ultra-disturbing, Nora Desmond-style dance numbers to relive her former glory. To make ends meet, she and Olaf kidnap young girls, lock them in the attic, get them hooked on smack, and pimp them out to a series of faceless johns. It’s a real cottage industry.
According to one tidbit I read online, Torben Bille, the best-known little actor in Denmark, had a good time making the film, but was ashamed that his poor sainted mother knew that her son had made a porno film, basically! (The Sinful Dwarf is not really a porn film per se, but rather something that exists in a cinematic continuum triangulated by porn, Joel Reed’s repellent grindhouse classic Bloodsucking Freaks and John Waters’ Pink Flamingos.) The freaky mother is straight out of a David Lynch film, if not Grey Gardens.
It continues, after the jump…
Posted by Richard Metzger |
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