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Customer Review

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kill 'em all, One Eye!, July 10, 2005
This review is from: Thriller: A Cruel Picture (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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 31, 2011 1:18:02 AM PDT
bulls_lad says:
great enthusiastic review!
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Review Details



Jeffrey Leach

Location: Omaha, NE USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 144,899