The roughest revenge movie ever made ya know?!
Thriller – A Cruel Picture (1973)
Directed By: Bo Arne Vibenius (Breaking Point)
With Halloween well out of the way now. This week we are taking a turn away from horror and heading right into our friend called Exploitation! And what better way to get to know our friend than by going over “Thriller – A Cruel Picture” aka “They Call Her One Eye” aka “Hooker’s Revenge”.
This by the way is the movie that Quentin Tarantino himself called “the roughest revenge movie ever made!”. So odds are if you’ve heard of it you’ve heard that quote from QT. Because God knows they have used his words to promote this thing ever since he said it (and ever since Elle Driver from “Kill Bill” was based on the main character in this film). You may have also have heard about this film because it proudly boast that it is the FIRST movie ever banned in Sweden!
While I’m unaware about how grand of an accomplishment it is to be banned in Sweden. The reputation this film tends to get alone was enough to drive me to the point of hunting it down myself just so I could see what all the fuss was about.
Now I understand not everyone reading this is a movie nerd like yours truly so allow me to give you the scoop on this flick’s plot. Frigga/Madeleine (Played by Christina Lindberg who is known for some soft core films), is sexually assaulted during her childhood and the pure trauma from that whole experience makes her mute. When she becomes older, she misses her buss to town only to accept a ride from a sleazy man who end up getting her on heroin, and to make matters worse then becomes her pimp. At one point, she is stabbed in the eye (a scene for which the director, actually used a real corpse to shoot) for refusing a client. However when something finally pushes her to her limit (as if the eye scene wouldn’t be enough) She starts saving up money she makes from clients to buy weapons and take classes in driving, shooting, fighting etc. to finally take revenge on all the sons of bitches who have done her wrong!!
The films opening scene as you could probably guess from the plot summary is VERY creepy and will make you uncomfortable while watching. While it doesn’t show anything per say, it is one of those moments where what you don’t see is just as bad. Things do get rough at times after that but besides the eye scene, the above mentioned scene is probably the “roughest” part of the film to set and watch.
If you are not use to a lot of violence you probably will have a harder time with this film than someone who watches a ton of this stuff would. So for me, besides what I’ve pointed out I found it kind of on the tame side. Sure it was pretty hardcore for 1973, but in 2008? Not so much.
Another key thing to take note of here, is while One Eye goes on her-Oh, shall we say, “roaring rampage of revenge”. Every brutal act she follows through with on those who have caused her pain is shown in VERY slow motion. A style that while may be a drag to some, can be respected by people who truly love art films. It is a bit hypnotizing (if not uneasy) to see someone get blasted with a shotgun in slow motion. And then see every tiny spurt of blood that leaves the wound fly in the air and rain down to the ground with a splatter.
The film won’t win any acting awards but the leading lady is just hot enough to make most men actually care about her. Hate to sound like an ass here but most guys can see a dude chopped up into tiny pieces on film and not even blink. However, take out the dude and insert a half way hot girl and the sympathy factor tends to go up greatly. So that being said, you’ll probably find yourself rooting her on during points of the film.
That being said, “the roughest revenge movie ever made!” has a climax that left me a bit unsatisfied. I won’t spoil it for you kind folks, but after all we’ve seen up to that point you’d expect it to go out with a bit more of a bang.
Lastly here should make a point to mention to you that if this summary has made you want to go out a seek buying this thing for your collection, that it comes in two versions. The 100% uncut version that I based this off of entitled “Thriller – A Cruel Picture” that is not only limited but rather pricey.
Then there is the much more price friendly and easy to come by “Thriller – They Call Her One Eye” version that cuts out all the hardcore sex scenes in the film but keeps the violence all intact.
If I could do back I’d have went for the cheaper version with the hardcore sex stuff cut out because it actually slows the film down and isn’t needed at all. But with that being said, if you prefer close ups of balls (not that there is anything wrong with that if you actually do) then by all means get the version with everything together. But you won’t see anymore of Christina Lindberg on the uncut version than you do on the other because she actually has a body double for the closeups in the uncut version.
One small bright side to the uncut version is that it actually has more special features. BUT sadly we’re not talking about anything worth the higher price that most are asking for it.
It could very well be my own fault that I wasn’t blown away by what I seen with “Thriller”. After all there is many movies who push the violence factor way future than this movie does. Maybe if I hadn’t seen those other films this one would stick out to my memory more. But honestly, I lack a desire to even watch it again anytime soon.
The two things I’ll remember from this film was being creeped out by the very odd opening scene and by the “eye” scene. I think I can safely say that those might be the main two things you recall when the film reaches it’s ending.
Maybe I’m too picky, but I can’t give it a high rating here. But if you want to follow all the hype and see what all the fuss was about for yourself then by all means don’t spend thirty bucks for it, you might just regret it if you do.
The Rating: (5.5/10)