Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thriller: A Cruel Picture

I’m a fan of Quentin Tarantino, and a while back I read an interview in which he talked about his influences and his favorite films. High on the list, and cited as the biggest inspiration for Kill Bill, was a Swedish movie called Thriller (known as They Call Her One-Eye - the connection to Kill Bill being fairly obvious - on its original American release,and as Thriller: A Cruel Picture in its home video version). Naturally, I had to see it although it took some work tracking it down.

Thriller is a revenge movie. Innocent young Frigga is kidnapped by a cruel pimp, raped, and forced into prostitution. When she balks at what he wants her to do, she is blinded in one eye (hence the American title). After the pimp kills her only friend at the brothel, she runs away, only to find her parents have committed suicide due to the hate-filled letter the pimp forced her to write. Frigga snaps, arms herself, and goes on a rampage, slaughtering everyone who has exploited her. Not the most convoluted plot in the world.

As I said, the movie has a pretty simple, obvious plot, and overall is not badly done (it would probably be even better if you spoke Swedish). However, it is for the strong of stomach, and, let’s say, enlightened tastes. In the scene in which Frigga is blinded with a knife, the visual effect was allegedly achieved by mutilating a real corpse from a local morgue. Although the scene is brief, it could be difficult to take. There are several sex scenes (understandable, considering the plot) and the sex is very obviously not simulated, with penetration being shown explicitly. Apparently the Swedes are a little more liberated than we Americans, and a lot of people would probably consider it porn. So if it interests you, be forewarned. Also, the DVD is available in a heavily cut and uncensored version. If you want all the explicit sex and gore, look for the version with the red cover.

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