“I know there’s gotta be a story when two sexy blondes are knifed the same way — and both have the same taste in statues!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
The opening scene — in which Ekberg is nearly killed by a knife-wielding psychopath while taking an outdoor shower:
— holds cinematic interest as well, given that it predates the infamous “shower sequence” in Hitchcock’s Psycho by two years. And fans of the legendary Gypsy Rose Lee will be grateful to catch a rare glimpse of the diva on film (though her performance of “Put the Blame on Mame” is tepid at best).
The storyline itself — a psycho-horror tale involving mind control and mysterious sculptures known as “Screaming Mimi”s — is overly convoluted, but Burnett Guffey’s superbly noir-ish black-and-white cinematography helps to elevate the film a notch above its pulpy, B-grade script.
Note: Any devoted film fanatic will immediately notice that much of Screaming Mimi‘s soundtrack is lifted directly from On the Waterfront — a seriously annoying distraction.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: