This is one that cult cinema fans have wanted with a vengeance, as Thriller: A Cruel Picture is one of the most brutal movies of all time. A coward protecting himself with bodyguards and giving people drugs. To add to that, the copy I got was of crappy quality as I discovered when I started watching it--the opening credits were so blurry I couldn't read them--and the whole affair started to look like nothing more than the chore necessary to get the idea of finally seeing this film out of my head. Adult film star Christina Lindberg plays Frigga, who is pushed over the edge by a group of disgusting men who use and abuse her in the most unimaginable ways possible. Used for the extreme close-up shot of the scalpel going into the eye was the real corpse of a recently deceased girl who had committed suicide. To show just how disgusting and off putting the acts being down to young Madeleine are? But whether deliberately or not such trick effects distance the viewer from the emotions of events; instead the mechanics of retaliation and murder are drawn out in almost fetishistic fashion, just as Madeline will savour coldly the extended demise of Tony in the closing scenes. Into early adulthood and Madeline played superbly by soft core porn starlet Christinia Lindberg unwisely takes up the offer of a lift from the odious Tony Heinz Hopf.
I'm not saying they have to be raped to be strong, but there is always that edge to these flicks. Creepy fella takes her eye. After announcing to Frigga that she is now dependent on heroin and cannot last more than 48 hours without it, she must work as a prostitute for him. And don't expect any ingenious fight scenes because the girl learned martial arts. Her performance is so impressive that is comes as something of a surprise to learn that she was in fact a former model turned porn star. I'm not sure I'd want to re-see it regularly, though.
Does this film have artistic merit? The movie is beautifully shot, the delightful Christina Lindberg is splendid, the cast is suitably sordid and the music has to be heard to be believed. I enjoyed the extensive use of point of view shots to emphasize Frigga's Christina Lindberg's childhood consciousness and even her muddled psyche as a grown up dealing with abuse. One day she misses her bus and is offered a ride from a slick city guy in a nice car named Tony and she takes it. Heinz Hopf as the sleazebag Tony is both sadistic. The camera pans top down.
It is such a directorial film. Tony treats her to a luxurious meal, then drugs her, and over the course of several days gets her addicted to heroine. 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. Lindberg is as beautiful as she is deadly as Frigga, a role that single-handedly transformed her from a sexy starlet in to an action icon as she dons her trenchcoat and eye-patch before heading out for revenge with a sawed-off shotgun. Hopefully there will be more releases, maybe with the participation of Bo-Arne and Christina.
Unfortunately there's far too much in the way of depravity to get through first, including hardcore sex scenes and a scene involving a scalpel and an eyeball which I understand was performed on a real corpse. Things don't move very fast either. In the end we see a sequence of Madeleine putting out her hand; after a while she's given some money for her work which she immediately counts. Finally, after killing all of her clients, Frigga challenges Tony to a duel. I thought for a moment I was watching Bergman's The Silence, as there was no dialog.
It might be the taboo subject or the fact that its the rare opportunity to see a decent strong woman on screen. I guess that is why Bo Arne Vibenius only had a three-film career. It has a great pace and the only time the film stumbles is during the short porn edits so obviously filmed with different actors that the viewer's attention is displaced. Audio: How does it sound? The result is a degree of audience sympathy that's quite a way from the usual exploitation product, and by virtue of the fact that sometimes less means more, accumulates considerably more dignity for the victim along the way. The close-up hardcore porn footage is used to better effect than I've ever seen such footage used, as it is supposed to be disturbing and sickening anyone who thinks about impersonal images like that when they think about real sex, the good kind, has got to be a few beers short of a case.
The violence, when it eventually arrives, is played out in extreme slow motion, which I thought was an effective way to do it. The following sequence starts slightly earlier. These moments were a principal reason for the film's truncation for the States and elsewhere, even though now they seem part and parcel of the message, reinforcing the intimate distress of what is being done. The gunshots, screams, and other sound effects come across well, though power is low. It's here where Vibenius asks the question about justifiable revenge, whilst the super slow-mo approach to the violence will either be viewed as indulgent or classy I'm with the latter camp. A rather small filmography is also provided for Vibenius, as well as a somewhat larger one for Lindberg. This film remains banned in its native Sweden, meaning that this unmolested version of the film is a rare beast indeed and one that, until now, few people, if any, have seen.
However, the entire film was redeemed for me by the last couple of sequences. She's sporting an eye patch, a glorious black trench coat, and weapons, oh yes! And last but probably most: the presence of the one-eyed little woman in a black leather jacket holding that giant shotgun: Christina Lindberg as Madeleine is epic, epic, epic. It is vengeance movie with an unusual amount of hate. The now beautiful young woman is waiting at a bus stop after missing one to go into town on a day off from work when a well-dressed smooth talking man Tony Dill Heinz Hopf pulls up in a flashy sports car and offers her a lift. Originally released in the U.