what was below?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #17
What was below?
The screencap got a bit dark, so I’ll explain: A man is pulling at an iron ring to open a trapdoor. What does he expect to be down there, what was below the trapdoor?
 
What is she?
As I deem this to be a hard one, here’s another hint: The Lady in the picture—what is she? Ultimately her fate has something to do with what was below the trapdoor.
    You can answer either of the two questions. But I guess if you can answer one, you’ll know the solution to the other one, too.
    Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.]

UPDATE 1 (28 February 2012):
Since nobody seems fit to guess anything, here are some more hints: The movie in question is a strange genre-mix and has an absolute top-notch cast—despite of that, and despite of the, at least to my eye, interesting narration, dramaturgy, and cinematography it today is a ‘forgotten movie.’ For you visually oriented types, here are yet two more screencaps:
 
Hand
Operating room
Additionally I could ask: Who is operating there?

UPDATE 2 (01 March 2012):
As everybody seems to have no clue at all or to be on holiday—or both—here is yet another screencap. Now you at least know who is operating:
 
Surgeon

UPDATE 3 and solution (05 March 2012):
Title card of 'Scream and Scream Again' (Hessler 1970)
This time two contestants solved the riddle in cooperation—S.A.S. and Alhambra. Congratulations! But without Alexander Rabitsch recognizing the immortal [Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise from your seats] Vincent Price, they wouldn’t have had a chance, I guess ;-) The movie in question is Scream and Scream Again (Hessler 1970), based on the novel ‘The Disorientated Man’ by Peter Saxon (1967).
    The movie is a strange genre mix—it starts out as a horror thriller, then becomes a police/detective mystery, suddenly a strand of cold war political thriller breaks in, and ultimately it turns into cyberpunkish science fiction. The cast encompasses the finest horror actors from the 1960s: Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee. Price and Cushing never meet in the movie, Price and Lee meet in the showdown at the very end. To my knowledge the only other movie all three of them are in together is House of the Long Shadows (Walker 1983).
    Trying to give away not too many spoilers [I deem the movie absolutely worthwhile watching], here are the solutions to the questions:
    Below the trapdoor was a pit filled with acid. It was there, because when a brave forensic investigator returns to the scene for the second time and opens the trapdoor, the acid is gone.
    The surgery nurse Jane (Uta Levka) is a ‘composite,’ meaning she was created out of body parts from different persons, plus a synthetic substance.
    As I didn’t ask a specific question concerning the hand in the third screencap, I’ll leave it at that ;-)
    In the operating room of course Vincent Price as ‘Dr. Browning’ (‘Dr. Mabuse’ in the German version) is at work, creating the composites.

HESSLER, GORDON. 1970. Scream and scream again [motion picture]. Los Angeles: American International Pictures.
SAXON, PETER. 1967. The disorientated man. London: Howard Baker Publishers Ltd.
WALKER, PETE. 1983. House of the long shadows [motion picture]. Los Angeles: Cannon Film Distributors.
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Comments
  • Alexander Rabitsch Friday, 2nd March 2012 at 21:22

    Vincent Price … ein sehr kultuvierter Südstaatler. Promovierte in Kunstgeschichte über Dürer …. Phantastische Stimme …

  • S.A.S. Saturday, 3rd March 2012 at 19:38

    Could she be a bikini machine created by Dr. Goldfoot?
    special appearance by Alhambra.

    • zephyrin_xirdal Saturday, 3rd March 2012 at 19:42

      Finally some contestants in here—two Ladies cooperating and on the heels of the immortal (Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise from your seats) Vincent Price! :-) You are somewhat close, Ladies, but sorry, no, it ain’t ‘Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine’ (Taurog 1965).

  • S.A.S. Saturday, 3rd March 2012 at 19:48

    Does that mean she is a cyborg?

    • zephyrin_xirdal Saturday, 3rd March 2012 at 19:52

      Again: somewhat close, but no, she isn’t a cyborg by the definition, but it is correct that in a way she is artificial. Thing is that ‘what she is’ in the movie is explained by a word which exactly describes the process by which she was made.

  • S.A.S. Saturday, 3rd March 2012 at 20:03

    maybe she is a bomb by Dr. Goldfoot?

    • zephyrin_xirdal Saturday, 3rd March 2012 at 20:05

      In the end it is left to the Gentlemen’s discretion and taste to call her a bomb(shell) or not … but no, she ain’t a bomb in the common sense, and she wasn’t made by Dr. Goldfoot.

  • S.A.S. Saturday, 3rd March 2012 at 20:18

    Could there be an operation room below? So that nobody could here the corpses scream and scream again?

  • Alhambra Sunday, 4th March 2012 at 12:38

    I guess S.A.S. is right with the operation room below the trap door. The woman might to become a “composed” one, means she is made of other peoples’ body parts. And the surgeon is Dr. Mabuse.

    • zephyrin_xirdal Sunday, 4th March 2012 at 15:08

      All right, this week’s flowers go to S.A.S. and Alhambra, congratulations! It indeed is ‘Scream and scream again’ (Hessler 1970). And yes, the surgery nurse pictured is a ‘composite.’ But no, the operating room was not below the trapdoor, there rather was an acid pit. The surgeon was called ‘Dr. Browning,’ not Mabuse ;-) I’ll update the post as soon as possible.

      • Alhambra Sunday, 4th March 2012 at 22:05

        But in the German version, his name IS Dr. Mabuse :-)

  • Alexander Rabitsch Monday, 5th March 2012 at 08:54

    >>Die lebenden Leichen des Dr. Mabuse<< in German

    • zephyrin_xirdal Monday, 5th March 2012 at 11:26

      Ok, ok, I stand corrected—never thought about the German cinematic title. So, Alhambra and S.A.S. are right, of course.