The Sinful Dwarf (1973) (original title: Dværgen) is a Danish exploitation film, sometimes referred to as part of a subgenre called "Dwarfsploitation". This particularly nasty piece of cinematic trash was reviled in its own time, playing to only a few thousand people in its native land and flat-out banned in Sweden. At this point, it is sought out by fans of Euro-sleaze cinema for its completely over-the-top nature. It does have some plot elements in common with Thriller: A Cruel Picture and Bloodsucking Freaks, if that's any indication of its content.
The movie centers around a boarding house run by a sleazy vaudevillian landlady, Lila Lash, and her incredibly creepy son, a flannel-wearing, toy-collecting, always-grinning little person named Olaf. The two of them use their attic space to imprison several young women, whom they control through heroin addiction and sell as prostitutes. Fair warning: there are scenes involving these women that are quite explicit, particularly in the uncut version of the film.
The movie begins by introducting Peter and Mary, a young couple who have their share of financial struggles, and must find a place to live within their means. Despite the disturbing nature of Lila and Olaf, the couple decides to rent a room in their boarding house. While Peter goes out in search of work, Mary stays home and tries to ignore the constant piano-playing and singing that takes place between Lila, her drunken friend, and Olaf. Even worse, whenever she's changing clothes or making love to Peter, a nasty little man is watching...
This film provides examples of:
- Bad Santa: "Santa Claus" is the nickname of the drug dealer who supplies Lila and Olaf with the heroin they use to keep their white slaves under control. He wears red and uses a toy store as a front for his operations.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Or possibly crazy. At least one of the female sex slaves kept in the attic can do little more than giggle at everything that goes on around her; she just smiles at a new recruit as the poor girl begs for help before being raped.
- Depraved Dwarf: Olaf, of course.
- Evil Laugh: Olaf. His laugh fluctuates between a snicker and a giggle, but it's always undeniably evil.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Lila Lash is evil. Very evil. She's so evil she has a large, brown scar across her left cheek, almost to the point of having a half-glasgow grin. Has the fact that she's evil been mentioned?
- Lady Drunk: Lila Lash and her friend spend much of the movie getting plastered.
- Little People Are Surreal: Olaf can make anything seem bizarre and disturbing with nothing more than a sweaty grin.
- Mad Women In The Attic: Three of them, kept completely naked and hooked on heroin.
- One-Hour Work Week: Subverted with Peter, who begins as a struggling writer, but then spends much of the movie searching for a job.
- Police are Useless: To American audiences, this was highly averted. When Peter goes to the police, they not only believe his story, they respond immediately.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Olaf.
- Sex Slave: Lila Lash and Olaf capture young women and turn them into prostitutes as a major part of their operation.
- A Taste of the Lash: Olaf has to punish one of the unfortunate slaves with a squeaky whip. Being an exceptionally perverted dwarf, he really enjoys it.