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Thriller: A Cruel Picture - Synapse Films Print E-mail
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Written by Chris Mayo   
Sunday, 20 January 2008

"Thriller: A Cruel Picture" DVD - Severed Cinema

AKA: Thriller - En Grym Film, They Call Her One Eye, Hooker's Revenge
Directed by: Bo Arne Vibenius
Written by: Bo Arne Vibenius
Produced by: Bo Arne Vibenius
Cinematography by: Andreas Bellis
Editing by: Brian Wikström
Special Effects by: Stig Limér
Music by: Ralph Lundsten
Cast: Christina Lindberg, Heinz Hopf, Despina Tomazani, Per-Axel Arosenius, Solveig Andersson
Year: 1974
Country: Sweden
Language: Swedish, English (Dubbed)
Color: Color
Runtime: 107 Minutes

Video: NTSC R1
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic
AUDIO: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono - Swedish, English
Distributor: Synapse Films
Official Website: http://www.synapse-films.com/

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“The first film, ever, to be banned in Sweden!”

A classic Swedish arthouse sexploitation film of its time, Thriller: A Cruel Picture has most recently acquired accolades from Quentin Tarantino’s inclusion of the character Elle Driver in his most recent Kill Bill series.  This character is an admitted homage to our one eyed heroine, Frigga, played by the sympathetic and beautiful Christina Lindberg.

Fifteen years after her childhood molestation by a black bile slobbering sicko, Frigga now resides on her parent’s farm, but is left emotionally scarred and mute from the experience.  One day she misses the bus to her regularly scheduled meeting with her therapist, and opts for a ride into town by a charming stranger, Tony (Heinz Hopf).  He wines and dines her, and takes her to his flat, and drugs her.  Several days pass, and Tony continues to drug her, causing a forced addiction to heroine, and a life of prostitution.  During one of her hazed states he forces her to sign a letter to her parents denouncing them.  Frigga backlashes and scratches a patron’s face.  Her pimp teaches her a lesson, leaving her permanently blind when he uses a scalpel to sever her left eyeball; hence the title They Call Her One Eye.  This sequence, outrivals Fulci’s eyeball splinter scene in Zombi, and is still rumored that an actual corpse was used for the scene.  Director Bo Arne Vibenius persists that a corpse was indeed used, but this has yet to be validated as fact.  After she makes a visit to her parent’s home, and realized they have both committed suicide due to the erroneous letter, she begins her path of vengeance.  Frigga starts taking lessons in self defense, weaponry and driving while still meeting her sexual requirements back at Tony’s house.  Revenge is a dish best served cold, and in Thriller: A Cruel Picture, no one will escape Frigga’s retribution.

Thriller: A Cruel Picture is as unique a revenge film as they come.  The contrast of artful cinematography and visuals (check out Frigga’s color coordinated eye patch) with the vicious idea of forced prostitution, and family abandonment provide a different experience for fans of 70’s exploitation.  The revenge footage is filmed in glorious slow motion, which has been widely documented online as an unfavorable factor to the film, but conversely, I believe it works quite well.  Ribbons of blood flow from Frigga’s detractor’s faces before they fall gracefully to their death, giving her actions of vengeance a calm peacefulness.  These revenge sequences juxtaposed with the inserted vaginal and anal penetration and ejaculation sequences, really work towards the justification of her actions.  These sequences were added into the film by the director by way of body doubles that were shot by the films cinematographer, Andreas Bellis during the film’s production.  In total they run about 2-minutes, and their inclusion in this DVD presentation was a bold and gutsy move for Synapse Films.  Their addition work in the context of the film, and while they are pornographic, their purpose is not erotic, but instead add a realism to the rape.

24-year-old (at the time) Christina Lindberg is really the star of the show, and she doesn’t even or need to utter a word.  With her onscreen introduction we are captivated by her innocence and beauty, making the viewer more sympathetic to the character’s situation.  I can’t picture the film working as well without such an innocent face.  Frigga’s friend and fellow prostitute girlfriend in the film wouldn’t work as the main character if the roles were reversed.  Synapse Films Limited Edition release of Thriller: A Cruel Picture should belong in the collection of every fan of grindhouse cinema.

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:

- Theatrical Trailers
- Alternate Footage
- Still Galleries
- Vibernius Filmography
- Lindberg Filmography

Synapse Films gives us a fine assortment of special features with their release of Thriller: A Cruel Picture.  This material is located on the main menu under ‘Revenge’.  Under ‘Theatrical Trailers’ we get a ‘TV Spot’ and ‘Theatrical Trailer’ for the film with the title They Call Her One Eye, a ‘Double Feature Trailer’ for the double bill of The Photographer's Model and for Thriller with the title Hookers Revenge, and finally a ‘”Thriller” Trailer’.  Under the ‘Alternate Footage’ section is an ‘Outtake Reel’, ‘Alternate Harbor Fight’ footage which is footage that was edited from the original US release of the film, re-constructed for this DVD release, and a burst of images from the film in the ‘Movie In Pictures’ section.  Under ‘Still Galleries’ we get an extensive selection of images throughout a group of choices: ‘In Bed With Christina’, ‘Behind-The-Scenes’, ‘Advertising and Promotion’, Deleted Fight Scene’, and finally ‘Production Photos’.  ‘In Bed With Christina’ is the cream of the crop, containing a nude photo gallery.  To conclude the extras we get a filmography from director Bo Arne Vibenius, and star Christina Lindberg.

RATING:
VIDEO: 1.78:1 Anamorphic 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema
AUDIO: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono - Swedish
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono – English
1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema
DVD: Synapse Films 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema
MOVIE: "Thriller: A Cruel Picture" 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema

 

"Thriller: A Cruel Picture"

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 "Thriller: A Cruel Picture"

 "Thriller: A Cruel Picture"

 "Thriller: A Cruel Picture"

 "Thriller: A Cruel Picture"

 "Thriller: A Cruel Picture"

 "Thriller: A Cruel Picture"

 "Thriller: A Cruel Picture"

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Monday, 10 March 2008 )
 
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