pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review: thriller: a cruel picture

Most of the really good exploitation films are really nothing more than slightly embellished graphic depictions of the seedier side of life. It’s why showing them to the unprepared, middle class, white-bread-with-no-crust folk is fun… This movie goes by a few names, the two English titles being, Her Name Was One Eye, the censored version, or the more common title but less cool, Thriller: A Cruel Picture. Regardless what you call the film, it stars Christina Lindberg as the title character, who had a hand in convincing the rest of the world that Sweden was where hot woman were made in the 70’s… She also spends more than half of it barely clothed, which is nice.

they called her one eye, christina lindberg

It’s the age-old tale of a poor European girl tricked by an older, richer man into a life of drugs and prostitution. Instead of dying on the street from AIDs, or at the hands of a dude with an anger problem stemming from being inadequately endowed, she overcomes adversity and escapes the life of a lady of the night. Well, presumably… She uses her ill-gotten income, already a deviation from the tale I know, what exploited woman has disposable income? Anyway, showing off her personal finance skills, she saves up and hands over some serious cheddar for training in the martial arts, shooting lessons and advances driving classes on her days off. Yet another deviation. Do prostitutes get days off? Why would her day off be a Monday? It’s like she works at a restaurant… Still they are some quirky hobbies. Even for a country girl who was once headed for a simple life of milking cows and instead ended up getting a raw deal following the, no doubt, shiny allure of a greasy cunt in a sports car.

thriller:a cruel picture

yup... that's the only thing you have to say to get girls in your car in Sweden apparently

The plot isn’t as simple as that, obviously. One Eye, still known as Madeleine at this point, is mute after being raped as  a child by some dirty old beast. Being mute however may have just been a tactful decision by someone in charge to help the film not be completely ruined by a porn star stumbling through her lines. Madeleine’s folks spend all they can on getting her help after her ordeal. After missing the bus to her speech therapy session, she ends up meeting Tony, the stereotypical lecherous cat that lures innocents into a life of depravity. Tony forces Madeleine to get hooked on heroin and earning on her back. He also gives cause for her nickname after she attacks her first visitor. The scene in which it happens, its rumoured, the director procured a corpse to pull off. It only adds to the cringe factor when you sit and watch the scene. Dead or fake, it’s still an eyeball getting taken out. Hence, Madeleine becomes One Eye, and her spirit is finally broken and she soon gets her regulars. A pervert who likes to take photos, an ugly fat bastard who likes to put his peepee in places the sexually unadventurous deem “out-of-bounds” and a sadistic lesbian who can’t decide if she wants to make out or fight. Pretty different tastes, but they all like the taste of One Eye’s nubile tender flesh. One Eye does what woman do best, endures, and accessorizes… She collects quite an array of eye patches to match her outfits. One Eye eventually discovers that Tony inadvertently caused her parents suicides, by sending them a fake letter posing as Madeleine, which she discovered earlier in the film, and he kills her only friend in the film, Sally a fellow working girl. These two events break the hookers back, and One Eye goes on the offensive. Her off days from then on are spent becoming a killing machine with the singular goal of making motherfuckers pay for what they done.

From that point the film follows your standard revenge plot… One Eye offs the villains one by one eventually facing off with her original tormentor, Tony. No one can help cheering for One Eye while she fucks up pretty much everyone and everything that gets in her way of taking out the bastards that abused her. She messes up some cops and steals their car for their troubles and shoots up a truck for no real reason. It’s one of the films that really cemented the revenge flick genre formula that’s been done countless times with varying degrees of success, with budgets of varying sizes. This particular revenge movie is famously known for being one of Quentin Tarantino‘s favourites. One thing that stands out is the use of slow motion during the ultra violent shots. It’s pretty clear though that no one bothered to shoot a sawed off shotgun at something meaty to see what the resulting wound would actually looked like. If you’re a fan of the ol’ B-grade revenge films you’ll want to check this out. There are many reasons why it’s one of the biggest B-grade fan’s favourite film and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the graphic sex montages… It’s haunting the way she just sits calmly in a picturesque field watching Tony get his head slowly pulled off. Something about the Swedes, they sure can come up with a sadistic revenge tale. Having read Stieg Larrson’s, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series and the hectic shit his anti-heroin does to get back at her tormentors, makes cute little Swedish *flickor look like serious bad asses…

i'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure a shotgun shell to the forehead makes a bigger mess of your face...

*Swedish for, “girls”.

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