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Author Topic: Thriller- A Cruel Picture/They Call Her One Eye (Bo A. Vibenius, 1974)  (Read 9672 times)

vigilanteforce

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Here's another old review of mine, I wrote it when the Synapse DVD came out:

Thought I should start a thread about it after seeing Commissario's post in the BRAVE ONE thread.

THRILLER- A CRUEL PICTURE



Growing up mute after a childhood sexual assault, Madeleine (Christina Lindberg), spends years working in her parents' farm. After missing the bus one day, she is picked up by a pimp who forces her into a life of drug addiction and prostitution.

The plot is not exactly what you'd call original but still works perfectly making THRILLER an intense viewing experience. It is also a bit predictable but still has genuine shocking moments such as the scene where Lindberg comes across her parents' funeral. That scene was unexpected and definitely a punch in my face. THRILLER is a sleazy exploitation film that deals with the theme of revenge but also could also appeal to open-minded viewers of arthouse cinema. That is, if they don't mind those hardcore inserts!

One can see how this film may have influenced Abel Ferrara for his ANGEL OF VENGEANCE which is also about a mute girl who goes on a killing rampage after getting raped twice in the same day!

Vibenius' direction is stylish with beautifully composed wide shots and frequent use of point-of-view shots. The harbor fight sequence is probably in (extreme) slow motion because it wouldn't be that convincing in normal speed (the actors probably were not experts in martial arts). The director overdoes it with the slow motion but it's somehow original and bizarre. The murder scenes are also filmed in slow motion- which makes them look like a nightmare. Brilliant stuff. The scalpel-in-the-eye close-up (which is rumored to have made use of a real corpse) looks real and just sick. A body double was used for Lindberg's hardcore close-ups as the director admitted in his 2002 interview for the Dark Side magazine. The hardcore footage (close-ups of genitals) isn't there to satisfy the viewer's sexual appetites, in fact it adds even more sickness to the overall result. I really don't think that someone could possibly find this sensual, specially since the rest of the movie is so sick.

Score-wise, there isn't much here. The weird noises (I wouldn't call them music) make THRILLER even more disturbing and sick than it already is. They are rarely heard throughout the film though.

THRILLER is a CRUEL PICTURE indeed. This is one of the most disturbing and unpleasant films ever made, period. I'm not sure if it's "the roughest revenge movie" as Quentin Tarantino stated but is way better than his recent KILL BILL (another female "vigilante" movie). Tarantino doesn't have the balls to make such a cruel and graphic picture as this. This is guaranteed to satisfy fans of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) as it takes further steps into extremity. This is a film that stands up to it's nasty reputation. THRILLER A CRUEL PICTURE is a treasure for the exploitation fan. However, this is still hard to watch for the average viewer. So KILL BILL fans, you better avoid this like the plague!

SOURCE: Synapse (US, DVD): The uncut, widescreen print looks as clear as a 70's 16mm film can look. The extras are cool to say the least, although an interview with the director would be more than welcome.

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Mart85

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Nice review, vigilanteforce.  First saw this thanks to the Synapse DVD and I think it's excellent.  Only seen it the once.  I've gotta rewatch it sometime soon.
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vigilanteforce

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Thanks Mart! This one makes a great pair along with Ferrara's less extreme but equally enjoayble MS. 45 aka ANGEL OF VENGEANCE which is sadly cut in its DVD releases.
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Mart85

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I've got a DVDR of MS. 45 under the title ANGEL OF VENGEANCE.  Haven't seen that yet.  I think it's the uncut version.  Will have to make it a double bill as you say.  ::)
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Mart85

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Oh and Christina Lindberg is well foxy:

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Paul

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I thought this was good too, mate and can't understand why anyone would think it was boring. It's a deeply unpleasant film, and one that I'm reluctant to revisit anytime soon. Any film that inspires such a reaction is certainly not boring in my book!
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

Jonny

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I've had the Synapse disc since it was released but have still not watched it yet!! I did put the disc in once though to look at the hardcore inserts...

I'll take it down off the shelf and try and get it watched properly sometime over the weekend.
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vigilanteforce

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I thought this was good too, mate and can't understand why anyone would think it was boring. It's a deeply unpleasant film, and one that I'm reluctant to revisit anytime soon. Any film that inspires such a reaction is certainly not boring in my book!

It is certainly a slow-moving film (unlike MS. 45)- the pacing is not fast at all, the dialogue is kept to a minimum and so is the "music". I have watched it twice and never thought it was boring. I can see why some find it boring though.
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vigilanteforce

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Oh and Christina Lindberg is well foxy:

She is! Here is a link to a new interview with her. It contains a few great pics and its very informative.

http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=60739
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Paul

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I thought she was lovely, too.

Apart from the HC insersts, the film is quite minimalist in its approach, which is porbably what the director intended, as there's a disctict contrast between the earlier scenes and the "all hell breaks loose" finale.
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

vigilanteforce

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I am sure the director's aim was to make a minimalist film an I enjoyed it. I just understand why many fans find it hard to get into.
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Fray G

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This is a good one, it's so sleazy, right from the start. Curiously, I had this opened by customs and still received it. They must'nt have had a clue what it was.
Did anyone else notice the major hole in the plot? She's allowed to write home to tell her folks she's not coming back, and includes a return address where she receives mail back from them. I've never run a brothel that employs kidnapee's but I would'nt have thought that was a very smart move.
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R-T-C Tim

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I've not seen the film myself... yet, but I did find an interesting blog with a load of behind-the-scenes material about the film: http://david-z.blogspot.com

(I'm not just recommending it because my site is on his favourites list!)
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IL COMMISSARIO

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The brutality visited on Lindberg's character is well done, as are the bits cut together as she learns how to shoot guns, karate, whatnot...the action scenes are the most lazy I think I've ever seen. And the SUPER SLO MO grated on my nerves. I mean, it took five freakin' minutes just for a guy with a shoddy blood bag under his shirt to hit the ground! And not being a huge porn fan, I found the inserts ridiculous and served no purpose for the movie apart from showing us graphically what we already are aware of. There are a lot of good and bad notices for this movie. And my view falls in the latter category. I'm glad I saw it, but had I known how totally different it was from the description I got, I would never have paid the $27 for it in the first place. The extensive Lindberg portfolio was awesome though.
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vigilanteforce

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Agree with you about the extreme slow motion- I already wrote in my review they overdid it with that. As for the hardcore parts, I liked them. Not because I found them to be hot or something, just because  I believe they add to the overall sickness of the film. And also because they show the filmmaker goes all the way in making the film as sleazy as possible- I always appreciate that.
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