posted 00/00/2010

Directed by:
James Kelley,
Andrea Bianchi

Mark Lester ... Marcus
Britt Ekland ... Elise
Hardy Krüger ... Paul
Lilli Palmer ... Dr. Viorne

Country: Spain, UK, Italy, USA, West Germany
Runtime: 89 min
Original title: Diabólica Malicia
AKA: What the Peeper Saw,
Child of the Night

We hit the mother-fucking jackpot with this one! It was the night before Christmas; well actually it was the night before Christmas Eve and Jose had flown in from California for the holidays. We had settled down at his mother-in-law's place to watch some downright awful schlock and sleaze in typical Splatter tradition. The night’s entertainment included Antichrist (2009) and the obscure, equally controversial Night Child (1972). It was a thrilling night; and who would have known we’d unearth a masterpiece.

Marcus is the strangest twelve year old boy you’ll ever meet. He has a disturbing history which includes animal abuse, sexual perversion and possibly violent behavior. His mother died mysteriously of a heart attack and since then he has become a recluse with no friends. He is extremely smart, cruel and manipulative. He is quickly growing into a dangerous sociopath. His father, Paul, soon marries Elise, a beautiful young woman in her twenties played by Britt Ekland. She instantly becomes Marcus’ new obsession and consequently vice versa.

It all starts when Elise accuses Marcus of stealing money. Paul is overly sympathetic of his only son and this creates tension in his relationship with his new wife as she struggles to bring the truth to light. Marcus lusts after his stepmother but seems to be in control of the situation. Poor Elise is driven mad as she uncovers Marcus’ lewd form of entertainment and his chilling demeanor. Is Marcus capable of murder? Elise edges towards madness as she begins to realize the horrible truth.

This is a stylish psychological thriller which patiently builds towards a shocking climax. There are things in this movie that deeply trouble and provoke the viewer. Jose and myself often looked at each other in utter amazement at the bold developments in the movie. There were a few things which made little sense, but in my opinion aided in the overall feeling of uncertainty and peril which I found very enjoyable. Overall the acting was fairly good; yet could be amateurish at times, providing a good laugh.

If you want to see Britt Ekland strip completely nude before a young boy this is your movie. If you want to see a crazy son of a bitch kid that gets turned on by watching his parents have sex this is also your movie. If you think you’d enjoy a busty blonde being electrocuted in her bath tub then this film has what you never knew you’d enjoy. I’m not sure how accessible this film is but you NEED to see the uncut version or you’ll be missing out. If you can track down this gem then you’ll be privy to what the peeper saw!

Here’s a bit of Trivia collected from IMDb: "The film received minor cuts for its initial UK cinema release. However in 1978 the introduction of the Protection of Children Act caused the BBFC to withdraw the film where it received extensive cuts to all scenes where Elise strips in front of Marcus, shots of Marcus caressing Elise's breasts, and the complete removal of the bed scene between Elise and Marcus."

- Jorge Antonio Lopez


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