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In a Glass Cage

"A victim of his fantasy..."

Klaus, a Nazi doctor, has a strange past. Throughout his life, he has developed an attraction towards young boys and a liking to major cruelty.

One day, after killing a child he just abused, he decides in guilt to kill himself by jumping off a roof, ignoring that he was being watched. The fall doesnít kill him but irrevocably handicaps him for life. The witness gets a hold of the officerís journal, left at the scene.

Oddly enough, years later, Klaus still hasnít paid for his crimes. He now lives in a glass tube, lying down paralyzed in the iron long that injects precious oxygen into his body. He lives in Spain with his wife and daughter. Life hasnít been easy for them since the incident. Klausí wife even secretly wishes his husbandís death.

Angeloís arrival, a young nurse, worsens the situation. As soon as he gazes upon the lad, the old sick man insists that he stay to take care of him. Klausí wife is opposed to the idea but he insists. What his family ignores is that beyond his angelic face and his young age, Angelo is as disturbed as the cripple.





In a Glass Cage possesses as many reasons to please as to shock. The relationships are abnormal, the dialogues are monologues and misery, madness and taboos are widespread in this cult film.

Horror movies usually have prey and predators where the predator is a disease, a human or even an entity. In a Glass Cage, the aspect is ambiguous. Three of the four main characters take pleasure in flirting with death. They provoke it and/or serve as game. When Klausí wife accidentally unhooks the cable powering the glass cage, she ponders for at least thirty seconds, looking at her husband gasping for air, before deciding to plug him back in. She even takes a certain pleasure in the act, we conclude, after seeing her intentionally cut the power to her home for a moment.

However, the most complex character here is Angelo. It would be easy to reveal too much about him because it is by learning more about him that the film makes sense. You will need to revise your definition of horror drama films because of his intensions. Plunge into the head of a sadistic pedophile that loves the presence of little boys more than anything else in the world. Once cut off of the world because of a handicap that killed off your hopes of having a sex life, if one of the younglings (in this case Angelo) came to you and freely realized all your fantasies, would you be horrified?

It is here that the film loses my interest. The scenes are filmed in penumbra, in a climate of terror and regardless, they still appear to turn into homosexual pornography of unimaginable proportions. It takes a lot to shock me and instead of that, I was confused that a film so severely lacks direction that it compromises its characterís credibility in such a fashion. When Angelo practices mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on his ďpatientĒ, he lies upon him in an erotic manner. When he masturbates next to his face, we finally understand that In a Glass Cage is simply a directorís vaguely horror-flavoured, barely legal fantasy. Would you sympathise with a pedophile, a twenty-something man that admires him and masturbates in his presence or a woman that does nothing but complain? If you answered yes, you will possibly hold your breath when these characters are endangered. Personally, I was indifferent.

Thankfully, on the technical aspect, this film is magnificent. The lighting is well though-out, the actors show no weaknesses and we can feel the atmosphere emanate from every scene, as bizarre as they are. The iron lungís noise acts replaces the suspense music on its own (imagine the sound made by Darth Vader through his mask). I must underline the fact that the electrical lung is an excellent idea.

In summary, even though this film was well produced, it didnít succeed in captivating my attention. It is odd and even vulgar. I would risk suggesting this film to the gay community and not really to horror fans. Even though the film was subtitled, it isnít harder to follow.

Final Thoughts

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Memorables aspects
- A syringe pierces a childís thorax to reach his heart.

Memorables characters

Released in: 1986

Movie type: Horror - Thriller - Drama - Diseases - Taboos - Sexuality - Nudity

Films in similar category:
The Witch Who Came from the Sea
Scream For Me
I Spit on Your Grave
Savage Vengeance
If I Die Before I Wake

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( 2004-05-24 )  

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