Dr. Robert Ledgard (Banderas), a brilliant surgeon, is renowned for inventing a new type of ultra-resistant synthetic skin, but may have crossed bio-ethical lines to do so. He asserts that he only does research on mice... but deep in the basement of his elegant mansion lie a science lab and secret operating room. Upstairs, there is a beautiful woman Vera (Anaya), dressed head-to-toe in a flesh-colored compression suit, being held captive, her every movement monitored by video cameras. A flashback reveals Robert's tragic past and we come to understand the connections between Vera and a young man called Vicente (Cornet).
Almodovar has always been a master of playful genre transgression. Here he blends classic horror with the bright colors and pronounced acting style of Spanish telenovelas, resulting in chilling suspense with elements of twisted melodrama. Working from Thierry Jonquet's novel "Mygale," this psycho-love-revenge story makes cinematic allusions to horror greats Hitchcock and Georges Franju, but is never anything but pure Almodovar. Banderas, who first worked with the director on 1986's "Matador," makes a compelling villain, his seductive surface masking an evil mastermind, blinded to ethics by personal pain. With impeccable craftsmanship, Almodovar delivers a Frankenstein tale entwined in issues of sexual identity and transposed love.