?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
15 April 2014 @ 08:57 pm
Movie Reviewed: "Atom Age Vampire" part one of two  
splash


Atom Age Vampire
(1960)

Starring: Alberto Lupo, Susanne Loret, Sergio Fantoni, Franca Parisi
DIR: Anton Giulio Majang

Blurb: An exotic dancer has a terrible automobile accident and as a result is horribly scarred on her face. Hoping for a miracle treatment, the dancer visits a scientist who has had marvelous results in restoring patient's appearances and is cured of her scars. Unfortunately, there are some terrible side effects from the procedure [and] the scientist must use some unethical methods to try and make the cure permanent. With suspicions growing in the dancer's boyfriend and the authorities closing in, the scientist tries some last minute treatments to help the dancer and also win over her heart.

My Blurb: This was viewed from the 'Horror Classics 50 Movies' pack, so the quality isn't assured on the screen caps. Also, this is an english-dubbed film, so there is no telling how that's going to go. Spoiler warning applies.


Commentary: The first thing I want to say is a compliment. I like both the opening theme and the interesting credits visuals.


Scene 01: We open with a blonde coming into a dressing room in a rush. She greets a man in a naval officer's outfit. His name is Pierre, and the first words out of his mouth are "Put some clothes on".

She slips behind a screen to change out of her dance outfit. Judging by his tone, he's not pleased with her career choice. He goes onto say, turning his back on her, that he only stopped in to tell her once and for all that he's saying goodbye. We also find out that her name is Jeanette.

She's taken aback by this, but Pierre reminds her that he told her she had a choice: Her burlesque career, or him. She's still working, so he's through with her.

sc_01


She begs him not to treat her this way just before he goes off on his ship, but he believes it'll be easier to do this now BECAUSE he's reporting for his next deployment. Jeanette insists that they belong to one another. He begs her to just let them end it there, but she's adamant about not doing so.

It doesn't help her any, as he's outta there.


Scene 02: After Pierre rushes out, the stage manager tells Jeanette that the crowd loved her and wants her to do another number. She yells at him, instead, that she's tired of her job and they're not getting another number.


Scene 03: Late that night, after closing, Jeanette leaves the El Hoggar, dashing past her marquee.

She gets into her car, agitated. Speeding through the night on a windy, dark road - you just know that it won't end well [especially since the blurb pointed that out]. When a car from the opposite direction blinds/startles her with its headlights, Jeanette loses control of the vehicle.

As the car careens down the embankment, it bursts into flame.


Scene 04: Somehow, despite the interior of the automobile being engulfed, Jeanette survives.

She wakes up in a [cheapjack] hospital bed with her face wrapped in bandages and staring at a photo of Pierre. When a nurse comes in trying to be cheery, Jeanette mentions that it's been nearly three months since her accident.

The nurse tells her that it'll only be a few more days before her bandages come off. But, Jeanette is depressed and is sure that she'll be mutilated forever. Nurse harshly tells her she should be prepared for the worst, but it won't matter to anyone who truly loves her -- obvs referring to the not-having-visited-or-phoned Pierre. Jeanette goes on staring forlornly at his picture.

Jeanette insists she doesn't want anyone to see her in her hideous state and bursts into tears, ordering the nurse to leave her alone. The nurse tries to give her a soothing cup of tea, but gets it slapped all over her.


Scene 05: We skip over to a brunette woman sitting at a desk. A man we don't see mentions Jeanette and that the articles on her accident made clear she has no family to look after her. He tells our brunette woman, let's call her Monique, that he is to go to her at the clinic and be sure to not tell anyone that Jeanette would be coming to his manse/home-lab for treatment... so we'll call him Alberto.

Monique tells the professor that he'll need her help with Jeanette and she'll be there. The intensity of her gaze, and the way she grabs hold of his outstretched hand makes it relatively clear that she's got some major feelings for the professor.

sc_05


Commentary: No, really -- she makes it VERY CLEAR THAT SHE IS INSANELY DEVOTED TO ALBERTO AND HE BETTER REMEMBER HOW DEVOTED SHE IS.

She wasn't on screen 10 seconds before I got creeped out.



Scene 06: Sometime later in Jeanette's [cheap, sad, little] room, she pulls out a mirror from her suitcase someone must've delivered to the clinic for her. She stares at her bandaged face.

She sits down at the desk with Pierre's picture and in frustration, grabs her bandages and pulls them off herself. We see the severe burn left from her accident.

sc_06

When she sees herself in her mirror, she completely collapses in sobs. Finally, she gets up and slams the mirror down on the windowsill of her room, shattering the glass. She follows this up by slamming the window shut hard enough to break that glass, too.


Commentary: I'm of two minds about this particular reveal. First, it seems pretty silly to me that the medical staff would even allow her access to a mirror, before they're ready to be with her.

Second, I'm appreciative of the fact that they actually put some work into the makeup so that she does look like she's been burned-scarred, rather than have a tiny mark on her under her hair and then pretend she's hideous, but at the same time - considering the fire in the passenger compartment, I'm having trouble buying that this is the only permanent mark on her.

Maybe if the fire stunt hadn't been so ... much ... it'd be easier to buy her injury. But, it's not hard to buy that she would be this distraught at seeing the results of her accident, and Susanne sells it pretty well, even with the oddness of the obvious dubbing going on.



Scene 07: Later, Jeanette is sitting back in her hospital bed, clearly distraught and angry. She grabs her bag and pulls a pistol from it.

[EXCUSE ME?! THEY LET HER HAVE A GUN IN HER HOSPITAL ROOM?? Where is this, Texas?]

She's surprised by the arrival of Monique who calls to her that she mustn't lose all hope yet.

Monique quickly shuts the door, and goes on to try to convince Jeanette that the great scientist that she works for can perform miracles with a new, experimental treatment and that he very much wants to take her case.


Commentary: Okay, coming right after the well filmed scene of Jeanette's seeing her scars and having her breakdown, this comes off as even more awkward and clumsy than you'd think. Monique seems shockingly unsurprised to find her target patient sitting there with a gun in her hand. And Jeanette is rather fast to listen to this weird woman in her cat glasses and trenchcoat talking about miracle cures.


Scene 08: Out in the hallway, a reporter arrives to do a story on Jeanette's complete recovery. The doctor he's speaking to tells him that he'll never be able to write such a story, but before he can explain that he's done all he could and Jeanette remains scarred on half of her face, the nurse arrives to badger the doctor that they're waiting on him.


Scene 09: In her hospital room, Monique gives Jeanette a calming cigarette. It's apparent that Monique has just finished explaining things, because we join them with her telling the stricken woman that she mustn't tell a soul, or her only hope will be lost. This is all on the hush-hush.

Monique tells her that she'll have to drop out of sight for perhaps a month, and when she reappears, she'll look as she did before her accident. Jeanette doesn't buy her story, but Monique doesn't take it personally.

She tells her to remember that she was never there to see her and that they'll be expecting her to arrive when the clinic releases her. She then slips out into the hallway.


Scene 10: We join a basement lab set up with our good doctor dictating into a recorder about all of his successful work. As we're listening, we see a lab assistant feeding rabbits and Monique working with the necessary "mysterious flasks of colored liquid" of all home labs.

To the assistants grunts of panic [it is apparent that he is a mute], the doctor stops recording when he sees Monique injecting herself with the DERMA-25 formula, still in its testing stages. He's appalled at her for using herself as a test subject and info-dump lets us know that the Serum-25 formula has been turning the test rabbits into monsters.

When he looks at her injection site, the skin has been transmuted into a scaly, horror. He grabs her to rush her into a radiation capsule for treatment immediately, but she begs him to give her the injection of DERMA-28, instead.

Alberto insists that DERMA-28 isn't ready for human testing, but Monique insists that she gave herself the mutating DERMA-25 to push him into trying -28 on her.

Dr. Levin wants to wait for the Moreneau girl before they attempt human trials, but you'll remember Monique's opening scene? Well, she's in full on 'devoted unto psychotic extremes' and wants to be the one that gets his breakthrough, so that he'll always remember that she was the one to share the honor with him.

Alberto only gives it a moment of thought before going for the new, untested formula. He dismisses Sasha, the mute assistant, but Monique takes a moment to tell him kindly that he doesn't need to be worried for her and asks him to bring her roses from the garden later.


Commentary: This scene is also really awkwardly and clumsily done. It's impossible to understand how Doctor Levin isn't looking at Monique like the obviously bat-shit crazy she's not even trying to hide.

I've barely met these people and I'm seeing fatal attraction all over her.

It's also bizarre how DERMA-25 is apparently not working without gruesome side effects, and yet Levin and Riviere are somehow convinced that they'll be able to help completely heal Jeanette. BASED ON WHAT, EXACTLY?

This whole mad-science set-up was pretty badly written, and worse - they're taking up extensive time with the explanations of what they're doing, rather than just gliding over it to get to the monster part of the movie.

The movie is really off-kilter, and I don't think it has anything to do with the obvious overdubbing going on.



Scene 11: Sometime later, Monique has received her dose of DERMA-28 and it appears to be successful. The wound caused by her self-injection of the unstable DERMA-25 is greatly healed and the skin appears to be regenerating at a remarkable rate.

The professor is amazed, but Monique is ecstatically happy that she was able to share his moment of triumph with him. He tells her they should go out, but she just wants to stay in and listen to "their records", implying that they do in fact have or had an intimate relationship. It is also implied that she's still as devoted as ever, while he's much more lukewarm about it all.

During the conversation, the doctor interrupts her to move the DERMA-28 to a special vault in a way that seems to indicate some importance to doing so. Monique mentions it, but it's played off as a kind of ritual to him.


Commentary: I can't tell off hand, but I got the feeling that the vial of DERMA-28 might be unstable at room temperature and that gave a hint as to what may go wrong later. With both Monique and Alberto being on the weird side though, I can't tell if this is as significant as it appears. However, the pan to the vial while they're going back upstairs certainly is a clue that the DERMA-28 wasn't as successful as poor, lovesick Monique thinks.


Scene 12: The following day, Sacha - the mute assistant/caretaker/gardener - greets Jeanette at the gate.

Meanwhile, Dr. Levin is watching her arrival from the window and with a smile, rushes from the room.


Scene 13: In the foyer, Monique greets Jeanette, who is covering her face with her upturned coat. Monique, after assuring herself that Jeanette told no one she was coming there, sends Sacha off to the train station with her ticket to collect her luggage. She'd been instructed to leave it there when she arrived.

Jeanette is a bit shocked at not being brought to another clinic, but Monique assures her that this is where she and Levin do all of their work.


Scene 14: In a parlor, Alberto Levin joins the women. Jeanette is still hiding behind her coat and is obviously a bunch of nerves. Alberto wants to see Jeanette's face, but she turns away and hunches down into the covering coat. Alberto gets a bit demanding, but Jeanette still refuses. Monique steps in to move the high collar, with a grimace from Jeanette and inspection from Alberto.

Alberto Levin silver tongue's Jeanette by telling her that it's true, she's disfigured forever, like a cancer or a leprosy eating away at her beauty. Unshockingly, Jeanette isn't comforted by these observations and tries to rush off, insisting to Monique that no one can help her.

Alberto insists to Jeanette that he'll restore her beauty to her, but Jeanette collapes into a chair in sobs, believing that he is deceiving her for some unknown reason. Monique is comforting... sort of.

The doctor goes on to explain that like cancer, his breakthrough involves inducing radical cell growth, but in a more beneficial way. Monique - less comforting and way too intense - badgers Jeanette that this will change everything and she'll be the first person in the world to benefit from this amazing discovery.

Jeanette goes on talking about not wanting to go on this way. Dr. Levin notices her desperately clutched bag and yanks it from her grip. He finds her gun inside. Now, he angrily tells her that if she'd preferred to kill herself, she could've done it before now.

[And there is a lot of grabbing at her by both Levin and Monique. If they're trying to comfort Jeanette into taking the treatment, they have a really odd idea as to how to go about it. They seem more threatening, than helpful.]

Levin tells her that she'll be condemned for the rest of her life to her disfigurement, if she won't allow them to help her. She wants to commit suicide, she insists. Alberto promises her that he'll give her the gun back to do as she will, on the day that she finds he cannot help her after all.

sc_14


The emotions are too much for Jeanette and she passes out. Monique clutches at Alberto as she excitedly tells him that a room is prepared for Jeanette's stay. He mentions her beauty, which causes a moment of pause from Monique.


Commentary: I think I've put my finger on most of the "off-kilter" feel of the film. The performances are all over the map from Alberto Lupo and Franca Parisi as Alberto Levin and Monique Riviere. It's hard to stay with them throughout their scene because they both seem like their suffering from sudden-onset mania.

In addition, the way this scene in particular was filmed reminded me of a soap opera setup, which only further undermined the scene. And like with soaps, everything is being acted BIG, which further makes the scene feel slightly unreal.



Scene 15: Meanwhile, back at the legitimate clinic, Pierre has just learned of Jeanette's accident after coming back into port. Apparently he came to check on Jeanette and has just learned that she has already checked herself out.

And she's not at the apartment that she had been renting....


Commentary: Wow. This particular scene was so ham-fistedly shoved in there, that it must have been a late addition to explain why Pierre would even be looking for Jeanette. It's like he's had several days to figure out that she's missing, but we're just seeing a 30 second conversation tying up that he knows enough to be worried for her.

This isn't just shorthand to move the plot along, it's assuming some pretty major activity on his part.



Scene 16: Presumably, the following day, Jeanette is lying on a gurney. Monique is kit out in surgical nurse's wear.

They're in a darkened home operating room, lit only by lantern light. The doctor comes down the cellar stairs and shouts for Sacha. He's pissed, when he finds the mute sleeping on the floor and points out that he let the generator go out.

The doctor accuses him of being a drunkard and tosses him around as Sacha scrambles on the floor. Sacha runs for it, leaving the doctor to start up the generator on his own.


Scene 17: Meanwhile, Monique waits as the lights are restored and watches over Jeanette.


Commentary: Wasted film.


Scene 18: In the back cellar, the doctor investigates some water noises and discovers that he has a bad leak under the house, with water running down a partially damaged wall.


Scene 19: Monique turns off the lantern light as she waits for Alberto's return. Jeanette remains unconscious, surely sedated for the procedure.


Scene 20: The professor climbs up on a pile of fallen plasterworks to check out the water streaming into the back cellar.

He uses a sledgehammmer to probe at the area that is damaged.


Scene 21: While Jeanette is waiting for her surgery, and Alberto is being distracted by a homeowner's nightmare, Sacha is up in the greenhouse. The way he's stumbling around, it's apparent that Alberto wasn't just throwing out a maligning comment. Sacha is clearly blasted. He's also angry, as he jabs a potted flower with a trowel. But whether he's angry at Alberto or only at himself for his failure, we can't know.

He stumbles into a heap on his cot in the greenhouse to sober up.


Scene 22: Back in the rear cellar, the doctor takes the hammer to the damaged concrete wall to see how bad things are.

Apparently, the house backs onto a storm drain. A feature that he apparently didn't know about, as he seems surprised to find a tunnel directly from behind the leaky wall to the water drainage sluiceway. He thinks nothing of crawling through the tunnel to take a closer look at this discovery.


Commentary: Huh? Is this just bad editing? Why is this development here and now??


Scene 23: [In a bizarre cut,] we're suddenly back at Jeanette's former employer, where we see life is going on. Another dancer has taken Jeanette's place, where she tries to dance provacatively in heels and a feather tail without slipping on the hard floor and breaking her ass.

She's in a full body suit, so her affect is muted and she just looks more than a little silly prancing about.


Scene 24: At the bar, Pierre is washing away his sorrows over the missing Jeanette.

Meanwhile, a woman named Arlette leaves her date at the table.

At the bar, the bartender is trying to do the professional interest thing with the heavily drinking Pierre. He's joined by Arlette, who knew Jeanette.


Commentary: We're subjected to several wasted moments with Jeanette's replacement hoocheee-coocheee around and staring into the camera in 4th wall breaking that is too aggregious for it not to be deliberate direction. It was a poor choice for Majano to make, considering she isn't doing anything of actual interest with her little pantomime. A date of the directors? A personal friend he owed a favor to? It's pointless.


Scene 25: [Okay, there was some definite film damage somewhere, because in another bizarre cut...]

We rejoin the operating theatre, where Alberto has gotten suited up and is ready to proceed after his off-screen inspection of the hidden tunnel. Alberto orders a scalpal to slice the burn damaged neck of Jeanette so that this first treatment can be carried out with [one of] the DERMA formulas [28? That is what he wanted to test, right?]

Swabbing the [oddly bloodless] slice reveals no changes. He orders a injection of the solution, instead. An oscilloscope keeps track of Jeanette's condition [yeah... okay....] as Alberto and Monique watch for any signs of a change to Jeanette's damaged face.

sc_25


Jeanette shows no results, whatsoever. Alberto, apparently not concerned with Jeanette's open wound, pulls off his mask in frustration with the lack of instant results.


Scene 26: We rejoin Pierre as the club is getting ready to close. He's got his drunk on.

Jeanette's friend joins him and tells him that she'll help him get home [It's possible that Arlett works at the club as well, as some sort of companion/dance partner for the male clientele... she seems to know everybody there].

The stage manager stops by on his way out and offers Pierre a lift home, as well.


Scene 27: Alberto and Monique are discussing the failure to help Jeanette and Monique offers that it is probably because, unlike when he used the serum on her, Jeanette's treatment didn't begin immediately. She offers that perhaps it will only take more than one dose to reverse the cell damage.

He complains that it'll take months to produce more DERMA-28 and Monique says they should send Jeanette away and find a new test subject when they're ready to try again. Alberto points out that she'd be out there to blab about what they did to her and it would require killing her. Neither of them seem prepared to do so.

He also points out that DERMA-28 was derived from DERMA-25, and they don't know if there will be delayed side effects the way that the earlier formula degraded its test subjects.

Monique comes alongside the twitchy Jeanette as she complains that Alberto is showing too much care over what happens to her. She suddenly shouts for his attention. As Jeanette continues to face twitch, the DERMA-28 has suddenly become active. As they watch, the burns on Jeanette begin to heal themselves.


Commentary: This is accomplished with some obvious fade-cutting and editing, similar to what was used to transform Lon from Larry to the Wolf Man. But the effect is well done, and the insertion of some sparkling along the damaged skin really does sell the effect, even though it is clear how it was accomplished.

I think that deserves a kudo to Ugo Amadoro. While I'm here, I'll also issue a kudo to the make-up artists who rendered Jeanette's burn-puckered skin for her close ups.



Scene 28: With the marks completely reversed, Monique tells Alberto she knew that he was being too pessimistic. He sends her away to fetch him a drink. She doesn't quite understand his lack of elation, but does as he asks.

While she leaves, he stares down into Jeanette's face, obvs smitten with her beauty.

Monique comes back with two glasses of wine, and she isn't blind to the way the doctor is fawning over the still unconscious Jeanette. She eye-stabs the two of them from across the room.


Commentary: Alas, the music is turning this moment extra soapy which is really undercutting what should, supposedly, be a tense moment of us seeing that things are going to go badly due to Monique's obsessive devotion.

It all plays so melodramatically, it's hard to stop the eye rolling.



Scene 29: Later, Jeanette is recovering in her room. As she stirs, Monique wakes Alberto who checks on her. She's excited to see the signs of 'shock' have passed, and that there is no sign of her injury. She's celebratory.

But Alberto is still ambivalent about the apparent success. He tells Monique he fears that the cell regeneration won't stop as it should, or that there will be other side effects.

They stop talking about it as Jeanette rouses. Monique takes Jeanette's hand to feel her newly generated skin for herself.

She's obvs beyond excited, and shows this by throwing herself into the doctor's arms and kissing him fervently. For just a moment, Alberto is overwhelmed and clutches at her, as Monique glares. He spins her out of the embrace and attempts to recover his professional detachment. Meanwhile, Monique is looking like she's going to snap her removed glasses in half.

She then orders Jeanette back into bed and explains her body's shock at the treatment and their need to observe her. She tries to hide her dismay at the display, but she's brusque about it.


Commentary: This scene, for what it is, also isn't badly done... but again, the music comes along and turns it into a soap-opera moment. It's just too florid... too much....

I'm afraid that Armando Trovajoli's work is too in your face in selling the drama onscreen, instead of taking a more restrained tack that would allow the visuals to speak for the moment instead. His scoring is too intrusive.



Scene 30: Some days later, Alberto is with Jeanette in her room where he's plying her with champagne over the success of her treatment.

Jeanette brings up Monique's absence and Alberto expresses relief to be away from her for a bit.


Scene 31: At that moment, Monique is listening to the music coming from upstairs as she sits at her typewriter. She's obviously in a state of despair over Alberto's attentiveness to his patient.


Scene 32: Upstairs, Jeanette tries to put her glass down, but Alberto insists she drink all of it. He stares at her intently.


Commentary: It's just as creepy-assed as it sounds. How Jeanette isn't getting a 'date-rape' vibe and insisting on finding Monique, I'm sure I don't understand. Alberto's intense staring at her is creepy enough without his insisting that she continue to get liquored up. It's very... 'ew'.


Scene 33: Elsewhere, Sacha lets himself into Monique's room, where she's on her bed crying her eyes out. He's brought her a flower.


Scene 34: In Jeanette's room, Alberto is reminding her of the way she embraced him with joy as he tends to the fireplace.

He tells her that her gratitude has become love, but she shoots this down, telling him that if she'd fallen in love with him, she would've told him so.

He creeps up onto her chair, and insists that she does love him, but is too confused over everything that has happened recently to listen to her heart. He goes on about how he's the one who saved her from despair and death and that she must love him and he'll never be able to go back to being without her. He lip locks her.

She tries to object, but he flat out tells her that she belongs to him.

sc_34

As he brushes her hair aside, though, he sees that her burn mark is returning.


Commentary: Great. Now she's stuck between Psycho-Monique and Psycho-Alberto. One can't help but think that this movie isn't heading for a happy ending for Jeanette.


Scene 35: The doctor shouts to Monique to join him, while trying to placate Jeanette that nothing is wrong. She'd been playing her own record in the company of the sympathetic [and possibly also love sick] Sacha.


Scene 36: As he waits for Monique to arrive, Jeanette complains that her face is suddenly feeling on fire and she feels unsteady on her feet. It's implied that Alberto may also have spiked her champagne glass with a sedative on seeing the scar tissue re-emerging.

When Monique arrives, Jeanette calls out to her weakly but then passes out. Alberto flashes the sedative bottle to Monique, confirming that he'd just dosed Jeanette. He orders Monique and Sacha to move Jeanette to the operating theatre.

Monique tells him that she won't continue to help him because of his obvious unprofessional feelings for Jeanette, but he insists that he can't continue his work without her. She agrees to go on assisting, but only if he promises to never see Jeanette again.

He desperately agrees.


Scene 37: In the lab, Jeanette has been prepared for another treatment. But, they're left without any more DERMA-28 to use. Alberto offers up radiation as a possible solution, but Monique insists that's only useful on the unstable DERMA-25.

Alberto has become more unhinged at the thought of Jeanette suffering the return of her mutilation, and tells Monique that he'll use donor organs from another young woman and transplant to overcome. DERMA-28 was apparently created using such donations -- though it's left unexplained where the donations came from in the first place.

Monique is horrified. She accuses him of having gone mad and rushes up the stairs, yelling that she won't help him murder.


Scene 38: For some reason, Monique doesn't get the hell out of the house. She's in her bedroom when Alberto rushes in and pleads with her that Jeanette is lying all alone down in the cellar waiting for help. Monique accuses him of wanting her to sacrifice herself for Jeanette, while Alberto denies this.

He admits to the weepy Monique that he is infatuated with Jeanette, but assures her that it will pass. Alberto tells Monique that he's suffering with wanting to dominate Jeanette creatively and that only she can help him move past his obsession with possessing her as she's always helped him with all of his endeavors.

Monique insists that Jeanette will be stuck with her injury and that they've failed, but Levin promises her that if she'll only help him save her, he'll send Jeanette far away from them. She seems unconvinced, so he turns on the threat-charm. He informs her bluntly that he'd kill a thousand times not to have his great breakthrough defeated and then switches to how he and she are bound together forever and ever, before laying his kiss-magic on her.

This, apparently, is enough to convince her to stay and help.


Commentary: I hate being repetitive -- but the blocking and music = soapy... again.

Maybe this movie was inspired by Dark Shadows? Because it really feels like there must be a deliberate attempt here to combine the horror elements with the grand and overblown emotive scenes of the standard soap. It's happening too much for it to be an unhappy coincidence, but it just isn't working for me.



Scene 39: The following day, a Police Commissioner arrives with some officers. It seems that the Professor has called them, but why we've not yet established.


Scene 40: In her room, Jeanette hears someone in her room. It's Sacha, and she questions why he'd come into her room without knocking.

She complains to him of her splitting headache, and then remembers the champagne overindulgence. She then asks after Monique, and Sacha gestures with pained, overwrought regret. Jeanette intuits that something has happened and questions Sacha what, but all he can do is break down into tears.

Jeanette intuits that Monique is hurt or dead, and starts calling out to her. Sacha blocks her exit from her room.


Scene 41: Meanwhile, we find out why Levin summoned the police. Monique lies dead in her bed, apparent victim of a heart ailment.

One of the 'detectives' turns out to actually be the coroner. Levin explains to him that he'd had Monique under his care for the past two years for this ailment, and the coroner accepts the findings of the Professor that it finally claimed her. He judges that an autopsy won't be necessary, over the junior detective's objection, but the Commissioner's agreement.


Commentary: This is also bizarrely edited. So... did Monique's lovesickness actually lead her to agree to her death?? Or did Alberto convince her that they'd find a young woman, and then killed her instead? And what of Sacha... what is his role in all of this?

It feels like we've skipped a whole chapter in this story.



Scene 42: In his office, Levin spins his tale about Monique's history of dizzy spells and palpitations. He has a echocardiogram to indicate that her condition had recently worsened. The detective shares that he's had a great interest in the professor's work and has been following his career closely, as a fan.

They have a casual chat about the doctor's recent history in Japan, where his devotion to helping those deformed grew among the peoples of Hiroshima while he was working for the Japanese Radiological Institute.

The detective brings up Levin's last interview when he'd returned from his work in Japan and how interesting his work is.

[We get entirely gratuitous photos of the survivors of radiation burns caused by The Bomb.]

The coroner comes in and states he completed the certificate on Monique.


TBC