Il Mulino delle Donne di Pietra

Carlo Innocenzi

" It does, however, feature several themes that give the score some distinctive qualities. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the download only release

Il Mulino delle Donne di Pietra (Mill of the Stone Women) is a 1960 gothic horror film directed by Giorgio Ferroni. It is set at the turn of the 20th century in the Netherlands and involves University assistant Hans who wants to explore an unusual carousel powered by a windmill, while developing a far greater interest in the manufacturer’s daughter Elffie. The Plot thickens as the carousel is seemingly related to unusual occurrences (of death). Italian composer Carlo Innocenzi, known for his peplum works, wrote the music to the film.

I must say, the music to Italian horror films in 1960 wasn't as creative as it would become some years later. Innocenzi makes use of typical techniques and musical ideas that result in an effectively scary, but rather conventional score, performed by the usual frantic strings and brass, xylophone, harp, dissonant piano notes, organ, percussion and female choir.

It does, however, feature several themes that give the score some distinctive qualities. There is a romantic theme for Hans and Elffie, a lovely melody for the violin, which also carries shades of melancholy for good reasons. A secondary theme was composed for Elffie, performed by the piano.

Yet, there are two other themes that give this score a real personality of its own and were written for the windmill driven carousel, a crucial ´character´ in the film. The music for the carousel is briefly introduced by a woodwind in the opening cue, after which it is only presented as a typical merry-go-round piece of waltz music, which is not music that I generally conceive with great praise, but here it works splendidly. The eerie use of the female choir, the fourth theme, is related to the windmill itself, which is decorated with gruesome sculptures of tortured and death women, while also underscoring the realization of their images. At first, the carousel and female choir are divided from one another, only to come together, as the single entity that they really are, in the memorable end cue Escape from the Mill of Stone Women.

The 2020 release by Disques Cinémusique incorporates portions of sound effects and dialogue, probably due to the lack of another source. While the score to Il Mulino delle Donne di Pietra is not a particularly strong one, it has enough above-average qualities to withhold anyone’s attentions.

1. The Mill of the Stone Women (Main Title) 1:45
2. Hans' First Visit to the Mill 1:50
3. At The Café 1:49
4. Elfie's Piano 0:42
5. Meeting Elfie 1:50
6. The Spooky Carousel 1:01
7. Searching for Elfie 2:37
8. Hans Returns to The Mill 2:49
9. Elfie's Mysterious Illness 3:05
10. The Operating Room 3:28
11. Fight for Deliverance 1:48
12. Escape from the Mill of Stone Women 1:55

Total duration: 24:39

(written 02-04-2020)
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(total of 1 votes - average 3.5/5)

Released by

Disques CinéMusique (download only release 2020)