Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1974)

Director: Bo Arne Vibenius

Starring: Christina Lindberg, Heinz Hopf, Despina Tomazani, Per-Axel Arosenius, Solveig Andersson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The first film, ever, to be banned in Sweden!

Plot: A young woman, muted after a sexual assault as a child, is trained to seek violent revenge on those who have wronged her after being kidnapped and forced to work as a prostitute.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Ja.

#26 on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

This is the second time I've watched this. The first time was a number of years ago and it didn't fare well. It bored the piss out of me. It does get better the second time and I can appreciate the ending (OK, the last half hour) even more than before. The first hour and ten we get the build-up to her killing spree.

In the first 30 minutes she's kidnapped, force fed heroin and turned into a prostitute. Bad stuff all the way around. You really feel for the girl. Her captor, Tony, is cold. It's all business for him. When she louses up her first trick, Tony punishes her by gauging her eye out! That's pretty fucking harsh.

After that she saves her dough and on Mondays, her one day off, she gets to go to town where she takes driving lessons...

Karate lessons...

and shooting lessons.

I assume that this is happening over a matter of months. It doesn't really matter because once she's ready, she buys a car and some guns and sets out to get back at her regular customers and finally Tony and she's got something really special for him. The only issue I have with the first 70 minutes is the inclusion of the hardcore sex scenes. I watched the uncut version and this is the only way (from what I understand) you can also see the eye-gauging. It's grisly and is sure to make you flinch.

Now for the last 30 minutes of rampaging, the big problem is the slow motion deaths. There are many and boy can they take forever. It's almost laughable that some of them last so long. The scene where she kills the police lasts at least half a minute WHEN WATCHED 4 TIMES THE NORMAL SPEED, and it's STILL in slow motion. It might not be so bad if the picture were shorter but having so much slo-mo in the last half hour makes the 104 minutes seem even longer. Those are my only two gripes really. Other than that, it's a great revenge exploitation picture that can be a lot of fun depending on how awake you are for when the shit hits the fan. I'd be keen to see the 80 minute severely cut version. It's possible that it's a much more easily digestible cut.

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