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Review: ‘In a Glass Cage’ Doesn’t Hold Back on Any of the Extreme Themes and Violence



Review: 'In a Glass Cage' Doesn't Hold Back on Any of the Extreme Themes and Violence

Containing themes such as Nazism, pedophilia, torture, and homosexuality, In a Glass Cage ruffled a lot of feathers when it debuted in 1986. The directorial debut of filmmaker Agusti Villaronga, this little known Spanish gem is well worth sitting through the tough parts. Gunter Meisner originally turned down the role because he was so disgusted by the script, but he contacted Villaronga later because he just couldn’t get it out of his head. Prior to this role, Meisner had played typically stock Nazi’s in the past and portrayed Hitler several times. So, he was no stranger to potraying evil people in Cinema.

In a Glass Cage follows a former Nazi doctor who happens to not only conduct experiments on young boys but also abuses them in other ways. The doctors attempts to end his own life but fails and ends up in an iron lung due to his injuries. His wife resents taking care of him but her prayers are answered when a mysterious nurse shows up to help assist in her husband’s care. We soon find out that this is no nurse at all. This “nurse” is actually one of the former children that the doctor used to abuse and he fully intends on getting revenge.

In a Glass Cage takes a new turn in the ways of revenge. It does not provide the same path as our usual revenge flick. I can’t say too much without giving it away, so I won’t. Gunter Meisner plays the evil doctor in the iron lung. It can be jarring to see Mr. Slugworth from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in this position, but he gives a shining performance. The nurse is played by David Sust who seems to have taken a break from acting and only recently came back in 2019 in a small role in the film Boi. Which is too bad. Sust did an amazing job showing the shifts of his characters psychological ruin.

In a Glass Cage Still

Villaronga knows his way around psychological horror. There are several shots where the doctor is taken out of the iron lung and you will find yourself gasping for air alongside the character. There are plenty of moments where you may need to look away. Gore is not too much of a factor, but it doesn’t hold back on any of the extreme themes and violence. Some of these “disturbing” movies are quite slow and takes a moment to really grab your attention. I had no problem with this one. It starts off intense and then lets you take a breather before it goes all in again. I had to pause it for a minute early on in the film and said out loud “Wow, I really like this movie”. It’s aesthetically pleasing, the story is interesting, and it will color you surprised.

In a Glass Cage can be streamed for free on Tubi.



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