Stigma (1980) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • The death of Sebastian's father engenders in him pathological fears and hallucinations. His death wishes seem to cause horrible accidents, which he is unable to control. When his older brother dies, he feels that he has caused it. He undergoes hypnosis, but his apparent supernatural powers continue. As his own life nears its end, he becomes even more violent and sadistic.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A phone call in the middle of the night to anounce to Sebastian (Christian Borromeo) that his father's had an accident. The funeral takes place in the local cemetery. Sebastián's mother (Helga Liné) has suddenly become a young and attractive widower, so she doesn't plan to mourn him for long. Sebastián finds it ackward that she wants to dine out with some unnamed friends of hers, but she leaves home non-chalantly. Also, there exists the possibility of Sebastián being psychic, because he knew that Dad was dead before his brother had the opportunity to tell him. Sebastián was born with a strange condition on the skin, a kind of veil.

    At high school, he dismisses a girl called Marta (Berta Cabré / Berta Singerman), who wants to go out with him, so another boy takes his place. Sebastián sees his mother kiss another man, and he feels frustrated about that. His mother tells him not to open the door without asking first. Sebastián says that Dad was with a whore when he died, and that all women are whores. His mother slaps him.

    Sebastián and Marta visit a building site. She doesn't want to go on, so he tries to kiss her by force and ends up pushing her to the floor psychically. Sebastián bleeds from his lower lip. Then, he goes to a church and talks to a priest (Florencio Calpe), who tells him that wishing somebody evil is the same as doing it. Sebastián's classmates have been having a hard time about Marta's death.

    Sebastián and his brother Joe (Emilio Gutiérrez Caba) have lunch with Angie (Alexandra Bastedo) and her grandma Olga (Irene Gutiérrez Caba). The house was built over an old cemetery and Sebastián is proclaimed to be a psychic, but Joe doesn't believe so. Olga says she's had the sensation of having met Sebastián before, which is impossible.

    Sebastián has a vision of him in a ship committing suicide by hanging. He passes out with the dangling shadow. Olga wakes up Angie because she's worried about Sebastián, because she feels that something terrible is about to happen, but Angie thinks it's Olga's delusion.

    Sebastián visits Angie at the bookshop where she works. She argues that Sebastián felt bored at the party, but he says that his only problem was with Joe, because the siblings don't get on well together. Angie talks to Joe about that visit. Angie thinks that Sebastián is shy, but Joe thinks that it's a matter of being anti-social. Angie thinks that he needs help.

    Sebastián records his mother with her lover, which upsets him. Later, he takes a shower and blood drops start falling on him. He has a vision of the ghost of a woman, and his lip starts to bleed.

    Angie and Joe make love. Olga thinks that there's some attraction between Angie and Sebastián, so she is worried because he's dangerous. Angie dismisses her. Sebastian visits her at work again.

    Sebastián is at a ferry with Angie, and he has the vision of the woman in the sea. Meanwhile, Sebastián's mother goes out with her lover again. Olga has a vision of smiling Sebastián. On being questioned by Angie, Olga dismisses her own fears, but Angie thinks that he's very strange.

    Jonathan admits to Angie that when he hates somebody, that person dies, and it's them when his lip bleed, and that's his stigma. He also sees himself from outside his own body, and he may have caused his father's death.

    When Joe talks to Sebastian, he tells him off because he's been skipping classes. Sebastián's teachers are worried about him, and he may lose his scholarship on consequence. Joe leaves angrily, and Sebastián makes his car crash onto other cars. The car flips over and Joe dies on the fire. Sebastián's lip bleeds. Mother cries a lot, and looks for consolation in his lover.

    Angie takes Sebastián to high school. She realises that he caused him to die; Angie starts thinking that he's evil. He says that he can't possibly control his thoughts and that he has no choice about his powers: when he realises somebody's going to die, it's too late. He leaves Angie's car and comes back home.

    Sebastián sees the same woman again, this time she's naked. He's got a vision of human skulls. Terrified, he phones Angie, who convinces him to talk with Olga, as she keeps on getting wrong vibrations about him. Olga tries to hypnotize him. He remembers a building and the tower from which he pushed Marta. He sees a woman in a period costume, it's Sebastián's sister, although she looks like Angie. Sebastián makes love to his sister, who is Angie. His father is an angry man. He ran to the cellar running away from his father, he can't express why. Sebastián wakes up himself because of his panic.

    Sebastián doesn't want to see Olga again. Angie wants to be his friend if he's always sincere and honest with her. They kiss each other and he goes home to listen again to Olga's seance session.

    A taxi driver (José María Caffarel) takes him to the ill-reputed house of his dreams: many young women died there. Sebastián is not sure whether he's ever visited the place before. The countryhouse is isolated. On entering it, it's empty. He moves around the different rooms, and has the vision of his period-customed parents from his former life.

    A lightning storm breaks in outside. He turns on a candle. Angie bangs on the door and enters. His mather phoned Angie to the bookshop enquiring about his whereabouts, so she asked at the oil station of the village about the house.

    She is afraid in that place, but he goes to look at a room where he's heard a noise. Somebody killed a woman in that room. She wants to leave, but he wants to enter the room: his lip has started to bleed. She wonders how he knows so much about this. He can smell the blood.

    Sebastián sets to sleep in the room. When Angie is about to kiss him in his sleep, he wakes up, and he realises the obvious: that he had killed them.

    Cut to Sebastián's vision: his sister comes into his room and makes love to him. Sebastián's name there is Michael/Miguel. He looks at his sister Julie (Alexandra Bastero as well) running around with her girlfriend. At that moment, his father criticizes his laziness, as he doesn't know the capitals of the world. Julie gets engaged to the son of his father's best friend, but Michael can't get over her. His father is more and more disappointed with him.

    The sister has completely got over him, but Michael can't forget her.

    The maid Elisa serves tead to Michael's parents. He picks up an axe and kills them both. Elisa is preparing his sister's bath. Michael starts making love to her but then he strangles her. He is deeply distraught about that, so he starts remembering other cute girls he killed. A mirror breaks into pieces by itself and Sebastián's lip starts bleeding. He tries to relax listening at Olga's tapes.

    Cut to end credits.

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