Saturday, May 4, 2013

Thriller: A Cruel Picture


   Thriller: A Cruel Picture manages to be one of the most intense and undoubtedly, one of the best of it's own genre. It's about a mute girl who's kidnapped and hooked on heroin, forced to become a prostitute to feed her drug addiction. Well, it goes without saying that she obviously uses her day off, once a week, to become a full fledged badass.

  She learns karate, guerrilla fighting, how to shoot guns like a boss and how to drive like a getaway driver. So it stands to reason that the last half of the movie is nothing but her kicking ass. All the ass. She does too. It's violent, well paced and bloody as fuck. You can't beat this movie at it's own game. Pound for pound it's everything you could want from an exploitation flick. You can't fault it for the hardcore sex, extreme gore, and unbridled violence, that's exactly what it's here to deliver.

  The odd thing about this movie is that it could be more than just an exploitation flick. It could be a damn good flick in it's own right. There's a certain kind of weighty gravitas to the movie. It's not shoddily acted, alot of it has real artistic design. There's a beautifully staged fight towards the end that's simply gorgeous. It's more than just exploitation. It transcends it's own genre with glimpses of some intense and moving drama. However, it's always apparent that first and foremost this movie is indeed a grindhouse gem.

  Eyes are gouged with scalpels (apparently a real eye too, as the filmmakers used a cadaver for the scene, in order to lend utmost realism to the effect), the leading heroine is repeated forced into sex in explicit pornographic detail, and gunshots spray blood across the screen with a vengeance. Which actually brings me to my big gripe with the movie, the explicit sex? It's clearly just porno cut into the movie. I remember reading that they had some actual reason for this, but I don't remember it being a good one, nor can I recall exactly what it was.

  Regardless, not only is it... kinda tasteless, but there's no point honestly. In a rape/revenge flick, I can understand, and while this is essentially a rape/revenge flick, it plays to a prostitution angle rather than a one time brutal event. We don't need to see this poor girl having sex with all these people- multiple times. I get showing it once, but even that... Graphic penetration? As far as I'm concerned, if you wanted to show that stuff, let it be in a context that isn't so awful. Cause it's unnecessary I think. Then again, maybe I'm missing the point here. If there even is one. The movie would've been just as gritty and graphic without the porno.

  Just saying. Though whenever there was one of those horribly uncomfortable sex scenes, this terrible siren-like sound would screech. I thought this was a very neat touch. It heightens the sheer tension, making it hard to watch, let alone listen to. It's a very effective way of getting across how completely nerve wracking it is for her, how unbearably awful it is. So there is that. I won't even mention how cars in this movie tend to spontaneously combust simply because they're in the vicinity of a chase.

  Being that it's a grindhouse flick, it does what it does really damn well. It has a hell of a third act that's intense and exciting, and the ending manages to be just as fantastic and fundamentally creative. I loved the last half of this movie. It's all payoff. The setup however uncomfortable it may be, is grindhouse bread and butter, as well as necessary to the story. No setup, no payoff. So you gotta take it for what it is. You might just like it. I know I did. It's an iconic piece of uber violent 70's exploitation cinema. Fuck yeah.

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