Friday, December 12, 2008

A Frank Review of "Thriller: A Cruel Picture" (1974)

(Nudity, Violence, and a nasty opening scream...)

The Short Version? Mute girl forcibly turned out and mutilated seeks bloody revenge.
What Is It? Revenge Flick
Who's In It? Nobody
Should I See It? Maybe, with enough rot in yer gut.

"They Call Her One Eye," a.k.a. "Thriller - En Grym Film," a.k.a. "Hooker's Revenge," was the obvious inspiration for "Kill Bill." While I disliked Tarantino's overlong and underwhelming revenge saga, it might as well be "Citizen Kane" by comparison. I'd say above all else, "One Eye" is notable for its lack of dialogue, nor actors with any skill to speak lines. It's easy to say someone like Denise Richards of Shannon Elizabeth can't act, but they have a semblance of charisma, and get an "e" for effort. The performers in "Thriller," when burdened with speech, deliver with all the nuance of Max Stein reading stereo instructions aloud. The lead actress plays a young woman kidnapped, drugged, and forced into prostitution with such authenticity, you'd swear she was strung out on industrial strength depressants throughout shooting.

Actually, the movie itself seems stoned, with its lax, disinterested pacing and extended slow motion sequences. Outside of when the mute, cyclopean girl earns her nickname via scalpel through a reasonable approximation of an eye, the sex scenes are the true shockers. While edited during its U.S. run in the 70's, the Swedish original (banned in its native country) features pornographic imagery. While you may be used to famous actresses employing body doubles for nude scenes, it's quite another thing to see a nude actress disappear as a stand-in vagina takes actual cock in her place (much less a cum shot that signals the end of a portion of sodomy.) I guess I shouldn't be surprised Netflix carried this, as I'd previously rented "Shortbus" from them, but that at least was "art house"...

NSFW Abridged Version

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