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Thriller: A Cruel Picture
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137 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Mere words cannot express my excitement for this release! "Thriller: En Grym Film" aka "Thriller: A Cruel Picture", "They Call Her One Eye", "Hookers Revenge", etc, is one of the most sought after cult classics ever. Fans have had to tolerate blurred and wash out VHS bootlegs lacking subtitles for years, but that is all about to come to an end with this beautiful presentation of the film uncut on DVD thanks to Synapse, the company who brought us the awesome "Vampyros Lesbos" DVD among others.

First about the film for those who haven't seen it: Gorgeous Swedish cult siren Christina Lindberg plays Frigga who cannot speak after a childhood trauma. One day she misses her bus and accepts a ride and later a dinner date, from a rather shady character who kidnaps her. After getting her hooked on heroine, he forces her to work as a prostitute, and gouges her eye out when she refuses her first client. Frigga saves her money and pays for lessons in martial arts, race car driving and shooting, before taking her revenge on those cruel customers who used and abused her and her pimp.

As the title suggests this is one viciously bleak film. From the barren wind swept Swedish landscape and eerie electric score to the hard core sex scenes and eye gouge scene which was created using a real cadaver, "Thriller" is a truly potent cult shocker. A lot of the credit for the films impact must go to Lindberg for her brilliant performance. She draws the viewer in right from the beginning, making us feel her silent suffering and savor her revenge. Her color co-ordinated eye patches were later ripped off for Darryl Hannah's character in "Kill Bill", but this is the real deal. Lindberg is a truly striking and unforgettable cult figure, carrying a shotgun and dressed all in black she is enigmatic and certainly makes shameless plagiarizer Tartino's work look pale by comparison.

As mentioned above, this is the first DVD release ever. From early reports, Synapse's DVD transfer is stunning. Not to mention that they have gone all out to give fans some great extras:

New 16:9 Anamorphic Transfer (1.78:1)
Uncut, Uncensored Version with ALL the Sex and Gore!
Original Swedish Language or English Dub Options
Optional English Subtitles
Extensive Still Galleries of Rare Behind-the-Scenes Photos, Including Many Candid Nude Photos of Christina Lindberg on the Set!
Original TV Spot and Theatrical Trailers
Outtakes
Alternate Harbor Fight Sequence Reconstructed from Rare Vault Materials
THRILLER: A CRUEL LAB MISTAKE - Rare Photos Detailing an Unused Fight Sequence Ruined by the Film Lab During Production
THRILLER: "The Story in Pictures"
Actor/Director Filmographies
Chapter Selections

In conclusion, while this film certainly isn't for everybody, it is in my opinion the single most important cult DVD release this year! Unfortunately this DVD edition is limited to 25,000 units, so I would suggest preordering now!

P.S. 4-disc "Dawn of the Dead" is another must own!

UPDATE

I got a copy of the DVD today and though I'd add a few first hand comments to the review I'd already written now that I have personally seen the DVD. Hope it's helpful......

As soon as I opened the case I was imediately impressed with the gorgeous color insert containing linear notes and some nice photo's of sweetheart Chirstina Lindberg. The menu's on the disc were cool and exploring them I found all the great special features promised. The photo galleries were especially good, I really liked the cute shots of Christina relaxing on set in between takes.

The picture quality is great, while being overall a little soft (a few seconds seem to have being taken from a deteriated print) the colors are rich and vibrant. After only seeing the film on sloppy bootleg VHS copies, indeed viewing Synapse's DVD is as though viewing the film for the first time, stunning!

Once again, I cannot recommend this one enough.

Thank You Synapse!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
First of all, make sure you buy the red (limited edition) and not the yellow (vengeance edition). The former has footage the latter doesn't have and you are watching this genre of movie, you probably aren't into tasteful edits for the sake of decency.

The film covers the abuse, rape, maiming and disfigurement of a comely young thing who was a child sexual abuse survivor. But don't cry for her, by the end of the film she is giving as good as she gets, and all those who touched her will be sorry/killed.

The sex in the red version is rated X where you can see the special hug that adults do in close up graphic detail, so close up in fact that it seems unlikely that the actress who plays the main character was used to film it. To put it simply, sex is definately being done, but it seems clipped from some other movie that amazon doesn't carry.

The action/violence is actually poor, and in slow motion similar to the action sequences from an old Bionic Man episode. But at least it is needlessly graphic and somehow fulfilling, when the entire work is seen as a gestalt.

Besides, if one wants slick Hollywood violence where the squibs fire on time and the blood doesn't look like a Ragu product you are better served with a Coppola or Tariantino movie. But if you want to be schocked sickened and titillated scores of times in an hour and a half, this is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. The main charcter is a deaf mute, but her violence speaks most eloquently about the sound and fury that is woman scorned.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon July 11, 2005
Format: DVD
Looking back at the 1970s from the distance of nearly three decades reveals a number of troubling revelations. The gruesome spasms known as disco came to the fore during this decade. Then there was the clothing, a toxic mix of fluorescent colors matched with retch inducing stylistic innovations. And don't forget about the hairstyles--oh, the hairstyles! The less said about haircuts during the decade of Watergate and lines at the gas pump, the better for all involved. There is one redeeming feature of the 1970s, however, and that is the full blossoming of the exploitation film. The sleaziest films ever made came out between 1970 and 1979; films packed to the rafters with gore and highly stylized violence, often mixed with beautiful babes prancing about in their birthday attire. I thought I'd seen most of these films over the past ten years or so, but I was wrong. It took the introduction of DVD to bring forth one of the sleaziest, vilest pieces of exploitation cinema ever made in the western world. That movie is Bo Arne Vibenius's "Thriller: A Cruel Picture," sometimes referred to by the title of its censored version, "They Call Her One Eye." Whatever name it carries, this is one sick, over the top movie.

"Thriller" follows the exploits (and the exploitation of) one Scandinavian cutie named Madeleine (Christina Lindberg). Her life on a Swedish farm leaves a lot to be desired. The victim of a vicious assault as a child, Madeleine developed muteness as a psychological defense to the memory of this aggression. She's still mute all these years later when, as a fetching young lady, she takes trips to a doctor for treatments to restore her voice. It is while she's waiting by the side of the road to catch a bus for one of these trips that the greasy Tony (Heinz Hopf) rolls up in a fine automobile. He readily offers our young heroine a ride to the doctor, which she unfortunately accepts, but his intentions are far from honorable. Tony is a procurer of young ladies for a local harridan hotel, and he saw dollar signs (Krona signs?) after spotting Madeleine. He takes her out for a bite to eat and then convinces the girl to come back to his place for a spot of rest and relaxation. Tony quickly subdues the girl with injections of hard drugs, and keeps her locked up in his apartment for weeks on end so he can insure Madeleine develops a hardcore addiction. Sick stuff, for sure, but things get worse in a hurry when Lindberg's character heads to the brothel.

A highly sought after prize for both male and female customers, Madeleine soon learns the cost of resisting her new profession when she attacks her first client. Enraged by her imprudent behavior, Tony shows up with a scalpel and removes one of Madeleine's eyes--shown in nauseating close up. What follows is just as bad, as we witness Lindberg's character working her way through a number of customers. The camera hides nothing from us during this part of the film; it's as hardcore as you can get. Madeleine bides her time through these indignities, however, carefully stowing away money for her future plans of retribution against her myriad enemies. She eventually manages to slip away from her place of employment for classes in self-defense, learns how to shoot a variety of firearms with a trained professional, and even takes driving classes. When we finally see our gal don a long black coat to match her eye patch, we realize we're seeing "One Eye" about to embark on a bloody spree of revenge. She shotguns to death several of the abusive men in her life, and in one scene deals with a couple of cops by beating them to bloody pulps. Madeleine gets her revenge, but will her future be any better than her past?

Oh boy! You've not seen exploitation until you've lived through "Thriller." This film has every conceivable debauchery acted out in full view. I'll skip right over the scenes in the brothel and get straight to the hyperstylized violence. Nearly every act of vengeance carried out by Madeleine takes place in extremely slow motion, so we the audience can see the huge squibs blowing open and the body cartwheeling through space. The scenes involving the beat down with the cops are virtual ballets of flying fists and spurting blood. Literally. You can see huge strands of the red stuff arcing through the air after Lindberg delivers a blow to the chin or nose. The whole thing runs on for something like five full minutes. Once you get past the sleaze and violence, you'll likely notice this enchanting woman named Christina Lindberg, an actress who can truly emote with just a look or a gesture. She's an amazingly beautiful young woman who will send your heart into paroxysms of joy. It's tough to watch this charming gal undergo such brutal treatment at the hands of thugs, so don't be surprised if you find yourself rooting for her to take full revenge on these gorillas.

As for the film itself, there's some controversy surrounding Synapse's release of the film. Director Vibenius supposedly opposed his film coming out on DVD, and he fought Synapse at every turn. Nonetheless, the company performed an admirable transfer (although some footage looks quite grainy) and turned up some alternate footage and assorted cutting room floor snippets to throw in as extras on the DVD. A photo gallery, liner notes, film bios, and a huge number of trailers accompany these supplements, with most of the trailers carrying the cut version title "They Call Her One Eye." Any exploitation fan worth his or her salt needs to watch "Thriller" at some point, just to say that they've seen it. It's a strong drink indeed, but one worth taking if you like this sort of thing.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
THRILLER - A CRUEL PICTURE might not live up to the Tarantino hype; it's not the roughest or the most extreme revenge flick I've ever seen. Yet, I really dug the movie. It really didn't need the hardcore penetration close-up shots (obviously using a body double). Yet, I can live with it. The movie overall is up there with other B-movie/Revenge flicks like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE to name a few. And I thought the filmmakers did a good job with the limited budget they had. I've seen much worse filmmaking within the exploitation realm and THRILLER is far more accomplished than other "Z grade" movies that I like (i.e. ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST or I DRINK YOUR BLOOD). And I thought the acting was good as well in its original Swedish language with English subtitles. Granted, I don't speak any Scandanavian languages, so I can't really gauge how well (or bad) some of the performances truly are. However, the English dubbing is horrendous, as almost every other English dubbed movie would be. Like most 70's films (and foreign film in general), the pacing takes it's time telling the story. So, if you're accustomed to MTV-style of fast-paced editing, then this movie will certainly disappoint you. For me, this was one cool revenge flick.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2008
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This film is so sweet. Christina Lindhburg is a straight hottie. If you ask me, the fact she doesn't speak makes her even hotter. Of all the rape-revenge movies I've seen, this one really makes me feel sad for the heroine. She endures the unthinkable and as a result is transformed into a straight killing machine.

I do understand that this film was made during the psychodelic 70's. In spite of the excellent experimental photography, some of the pacing in the film grinds. Even by today's standards, this is a stunning to look at and the ending is my all-time favorite. My one gripe with the movie is the slo-mo "death" camera effect. The first time it was used it was very artfully done and convincing. After that it starts to lose its power and cheapens the scene being filmed. It really wore on my nerves after being subjected to it over and over again.

With that said, I absolutely adore this move. It's one of my favorites from the exploitation genre and is right up there with I Spit On Your Grave and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

I wouldn't recommend watching this movie with anyone but the most hardcore. But a treat to watch it is. And I watch it every chance I get.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Quentin Tarantino stated that "Thriller - A Cruel
Picture" was one of the greatest revenge films of all
time. As most of you know, Quentin is the director of
the Kill Bill volumes, "Jackie Brown", "Reservoir
Dogs", "Pulp Fiction" and "True Romance". After watching "Thriller",
there is no doubt that Quentin was inspired by this
purely "ADULT" (almost porno) revenge masterpiece of
30 YEARS AGO. Yes, it was released in 1974 by
director Bo Arne Vibenius of Sweden.

The film features Swedish Actress Christina Lindberg
as a tormented woman who was raped when she was a
child. I need not say anymore. This film is
definitely not for everyone...I wasn't really sure it
was for me...but since I enjoyed the Kill Bill volumes
immensely, I just had to watch one of the films that
inspired Tarantino's legacy.

There is nothing "family" about this flick.
Definitely keep the kids away. [...]

Mature themes aside, I must admit every victim in this
film deserves what he gets. If there's one lesson
learned from this film it is definitely the
correlation between men and "dogs". If men act like
"dogs", they deserve to be taken under the wing of
animal control. In this film, Christina Lindberg is
the Director of Animal Control.

Not for everyone...very explicit sex scenes...extreme
violence...but if you ever wanted to watch a true
"revenge" film...this three decade old classic still
holds its own.

In the adult sex thriller category, "Thriller" gets a 4. The only reason it doesn't get a 5 is that the special effects are dated (30 years), but back then, this was explicit violence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
One of a kind sexploitation flick from Europe (Sweden to be exact). Previously, Sweden was known to me through Bergman's filmography, which is far from what Bo Arne Vibenius or Alex Fridolinski...directed in 1973. The movie was so shocking at the time that it was banned in liberal Sweden for a good amount of years. The director had to use multiple aliases in order to avoid any lawsuits or law problems. The movie contains explicit scenes of actual sex of a couple who of course sold their services for money. The scenes are incorporated into the rape scenes. The female star of the film Christina Lindberg who was 23 year sold at the time can be seen on numerous occasions fully naked (nice set of breasts she has). The director of the movie supposedly took out a life-policy on Lindberg just in case if she was accidently killed...the reason for it: real ammunition was used during the shoot-outs. How crazy is that. Vibenius wanted to make a very commercial and successful movie (rumor has it he was in desperate need of money, for his previous two movies failed and he did not cash-out on them as he planned). Rumor also has it, that a scene where Lindberg's character gets her eye cut-out a real body from a morgue was used in order to make it look authentic. The movie contains great amount of slow-motion scenes, especially during shoot-outs, which at the time was a novelty. The film as the title suggests is a "cruel picture" in every sense of that phrase. The picture and filmography looks cruelly done, the characters are cruel, the music is cruel, and the story line is cruel. It is vengeance movie with an unusual amount of hate. Q. Tarantino liked the movie so much as a young man, that his Kill-Bill franchise is loosely based on this film.

The movie starts out pretty slow...but once you get past the first 20 minutes the movie speeds up. I personally, think that the ending could have been done better. I don't really understand the meaning behind the horse and the bad guy being buried up to his head. A really weird death. Actually, the movie scenography and poetic ending reminded me of Deadlock (1970) by Roland Klick . Thriller: A Cruel Picture has influenced such movies like: I Spit on Your Grave (1978), Ms. 45 (1981), and a ton of lesser known films of the rape-revenge genre or sexploitation films.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Wow, what a crazy, funny, and depraved little movie this is. I've heard mixed review's about this one and I'm glad I ignored the bad one's. I can now gladly say with pride........I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!! This is the epitame of a perfect exploitation movie!
Okay, still don't believe me? Check this premise out: The movie start's out with a little girl (around 5, 6, maybe 7?) walking around the wood's with an OLD man (around 50) only to have him totally molest her in the opening sequence of the film (not graphically you sicko's!). Sound strange? IT IS! So then they show her as a young woman (now traumatized and can longer speak) who meet's a guy who then proceed's to get her addicted to heroin, by quietly shooting her up in her sleep and then forces her to prostitute in exchange for heroin! Sound awesome? IT IS! This all happen's in the first 20 minutes of the film (and some people say there is nothing offensive in this movie?!?!) I'll tell you right now at this point I was already sold as a huge fan of this movie. She then she rebel's against her pimp only to have one of her eyes gouged out in graphic detail, there are rumor's that a real corpse was used for this seqeunce.......cool. Not that I condone this kind of behavior but you have to respect that kind of audacity, and you really have to keep a sense of humor watching these exploitation/grindhouse movies. The rest of the plot is about (THEY CALL HER ONE EYE!) her training for battle and plotting revenge on all who have wronged her, and she does (in violent, slow motion detail!) Now tell me that is not the coolest premise you have ever heard for a movie?!
This is a film Quentin Tarantino called "The roughest revenge movie ever made!", with good reason. Any fan's of his should give this a watch at some point in their live's just too see some of his old influences. This is a highly entertaining movie made during the golden age of exploitation, when director's did'nt take themselves too seriously and nothing, and I mean nothing was off limit's!
CHECK IT OUT!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2005
Format: DVD
The revenge flick is rarely ever pulled off with as much panache as in THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE.

Let's set aside, for a moment, the lame title. I mean really! A more appropriate title would be something like DIE!, DIE NOW! or DIE SWINE DIE, but that's an altogether different exegesis.

Essentially this is an extremely linear story that holds our attention with snippets of ultra-violence and hardcore anal action. I'm not kidding. Full on penetration.

So it's a fun watch, but the proportions are off. It's about a 60/30 split on the victimization/revenge ratio, which tends to be the flaw in lots of these 70's yarns like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. Jeez, how many times to you have to see a woman brutally savaged, raped and mutilated to get on board with her consequent merciless quest for vengeance. I'd say just once and the scoundrels have it coming. The fact is, from the first frame of flicks like this, I'm just marking time until the revenge. The part of the film that establishes the bad guys as deserving to be revenged upon is kind of like the oral sex in a porno: It's an okay warmup, but let's get to the screwing already.

Likewise, THRILLER has us a little antsy for the revenge to arrive, and when it does finally, I must confess it's not quite as ass-kicking as I had hoped. Alas.

Of course, it's a must see flick for anyone even remotely into the genre, and when it comes to the revenge game,"One Eye" most assuredly puts the likes of the celluloid Punisher to sheer and utter shame.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
"Thriller-A Cruel Picture" starts out with a young girl named Frigga who is sexually assualted at a very early age. Due to the experience, she was left as a mute. Fast forward years later to when she was a teen. One day, she misses the local bus and runs into a strange man. He takes her out to dinner and then to his place. Unknowingly to Frigga, he drugs her and kidnaps her. From that point on, she becomes a prostitute and a heroin addict. Years later, she is a young adult and sick and tired of the prostitute/addict lifestyle. She decides to pay her folks a visit, realizing her parents committed suicide due to her lack of communication. She then goes in revenge mode against anyone who has caused her pain or goes in her way.

When I first purchased this film, I thought it would be a great revenge flick. When Quentin Tarantino quotes it, then you notice to buy it because of high praise. Unfortunately, it became slow pacing and borish. The revenge part doesn't come into effect until the last third of the film. It starts promising, but it ends up be a complete lame duck. Even the "pornographic" scenes-which look inserted from an X-rated flick-make no sense and is a complete turn off from the storyline itself.

It is a shame that the beautiful Christina Lindberg had to show her talent in this mess. Because of her performance, I have to give the film two stars. Even though she doesn't speak a word, you can see the pain she goes through. Her expressions and actions speak for itself.

Like my review states: great promise, less substance. This would make a badly dubbed movie look like Oscar material. If you think about buying this, pass. Rent it.
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