The Sinful Dwarf/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Two young newlyweds, Peter (Tony Eades) and Mary (Anne Sparrow) are looking for a place to live. They come to a rooming house and are shown inside. It is owned by a woman named Lila Lash (Clare Keller) and her son Olaf (Torben Bille) who is a dwarf...a sinful dwarf. Olaf shows Peter and Mary the living space on the top floor. The two decide to rent it and they move in promptly. The couple spend their first night in the house making love. Quietly, Olaf sneaks up to their door and uses a secret peephole in the wall to spy on them. What Peter and Mary also don't know is that Lila Lash's Rooming House has a dark secret. Hidden deep inside the top floor, she is keeping several women hostage. Olaf has kidnapped them and keeps them drugged with heroin. They are used as prostitutes for local men that pay Lila Lash a fee. As we see in the bizarre opening credits, mechanical toys play a role in Olaf's luring of the young girls. The drug of choice for every pimp is heroin, which is concealed in unsuspecting teddy bears that Olaf gets from a dealer named "Santa" who runs the miniature toy shop..."Santa's Work Shop" and uses the toys to smuggle the drugs in.
After Peter loses his current job, he looks for work in the area and ends up getting hired at none other than Santa's Work Shop. His first job is to travel to Paris and pick up what he thinks is just some stuffed bears, but little does he know what he's really doing. Meanwhile, back at the house, Anne begins noticing strange men going in and out (pun intended) of the attic. She starts snooping around and finds the secret locked room where the sex slaves are being held. After she trips on one of Olaf's electric toy trains, it begins buzzing, alerting Lila and Olaf who quickly find Anne and decide to add her to the prostitution ring. They drug her and she is held captive as well...
The Sinful Dwarf takes place on very small sets (mostly inside the boarding house) but the pacing and artful way it's directed is visually captivating. Another aspect that doesn't hurt the production is Anne Sparrow. She's one of the most beautiful actresses I've ever seen. A big plus is we get to see her nude more than once. Too bad she never acted in any other films! Torben Bille does a fantastic job as the creepy, always grimacing Olaf, The Sinful Dwarf. Not only is he vertically challenged, he uses a cane in the role which makes him even weirder to watch as he limps everywhere, mostly up the stairs of the boarding house. Clare Keller's Lila Lash is another colorful character with her strange facial scar and habit of drinking gin and performing cabaret style shows for her friend Winnie (Gerda Madsen) as Olaf plays the piano. This lost Danish exploitation film has been something of a legend among cult film aficionados and once you experience it, you will see why!
Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.