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Thriller - A Cruel Picture
Thriller - A Cruel Picture
Actors: Solveig Andersson, Per-Axel Arosenius, Heinz Hopf, Björn Kristiansson, Christina Lindberg
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     1hr 44min

This is the film that Quentin Tarantino (Director, KILL BILL VOL. 1 & 2, PULP FICTION, RESERVOIR DOGS) called "the roughest revenge movie ever made!"? THRILLER ? A CRUEL PICTURE is finally making its U.S. DVD debut in this...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Solveig Andersson, Per-Axel Arosenius, Heinz Hopf, Björn Kristiansson, Christina Lindberg
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Synapse Films
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/28/2004
Original Release Date: 06/05/1974
Theatrical Release Date: 06/05/1974
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 25
Edition: Limited Edition
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: Swedish, English
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

Finally the wait is nearly over!!!!!!!!!!! UPDATED
Roule Duke | the Green Inferno | 08/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mere words cannot express my excitement for this release! "Thriller: En Grym Film" aka "Thriller: A Cruel Picture", "They Call Her One Eye", "Hookers Revenge", etc, is one of the most sought after cult classics ever. Fans have had to tolerate blurred and wash out VHS bootlegs lacking subtitles for years, but that is all about to come to an end with this beautiful presentation of the film uncut on DVD thanks to Synapse, the company who brought us the awesome "Vampyros Lesbos" DVD among others.

First about the film for those who haven't seen it: Gorgeous Swedish cult siren Christina Lindberg plays Frigga who cannot speak after a childhood trauma. One day she misses her bus and accepts a ride and later a dinner date, from a rather shady character who kidnaps her. After getting her hooked on heroine, he forces her to work as a prostitute, and gouges her eye out when she refuses her first client. Frigga saves her money and pays for lessons in martial arts, race car driving and shooting, before taking her revenge on those cruel customers who used and abused her and her pimp.

As the title suggests this is one viciously bleak film. From the barren wind swept Swedish landscape and eerie electric score to the hard core sex scenes and eye gouge scene which was created using a real cadaver, "Thriller" is a truly potent cult shocker. A lot of the credit for the films impact must go to Lindberg for her brilliant performance. She draws the viewer in right from the beginning, making us feel her silent suffering and savor her revenge. Her color co-ordinated eye patches were later ripped off for Darryl Hannah's character in "Kill Bill", but this is the real deal. Lindberg is a truly striking and unforgettable cult figure, carrying a shotgun and dressed all in black she is enigmatic and certainly makes shameless plagiarizer Tartino's work look pale by comparison.

As mentioned above, this is the first DVD release ever. From early reports, Synapse's DVD transfer is stunning. Not to mention that they have gone all out to give fans some great extras:

New 16:9 Anamorphic Transfer (1.78:1)
Uncut, Uncensored Version with ALL the Sex and Gore!
Original Swedish Language or English Dub Options
Optional English Subtitles
Extensive Still Galleries of Rare Behind-the-Scenes Photos, Including Many Candid Nude Photos of Christina Lindberg on the Set!
Original TV Spot and Theatrical Trailers
Outtakes
Alternate Harbor Fight Sequence Reconstructed from Rare Vault Materials
THRILLER: A CRUEL LAB MISTAKE - Rare Photos Detailing an Unused Fight Sequence Ruined by the Film Lab During Production
THRILLER: "The Story in Pictures"
Actor/Director Filmographies
Chapter Selections

In conclusion, while this film certainly isn't for everybody, it is in my opinion the single most important cult DVD release this year! Unfortunately this DVD edition is limited to 25,000 units, so I would suggest preordering now!

P.S. 4-disc "Dawn of the Dead" is another must own!

UPDATE

I got a copy of the DVD today and though I'd add a few first hand comments to the review I'd already written now that I have personally seen the DVD. Hope it's helpful......

As soon as I opened the case I was imediately impressed with the gorgeous color insert containing linear notes and some nice photo's of sweetheart Chirstina Lindberg. The menu's on the disc were cool and exploring them I found all the great special features promised. The photo galleries were especially good, I really liked the cute shots of Christina relaxing on set in between takes.

The picture quality is great, while being overall a little soft (a few seconds seem to have being taken from a deteriated print) the colors are rich and vibrant. After only seeing the film on sloppy bootleg VHS copies, indeed viewing Synapse's DVD is as though viewing the film for the first time, stunning!

Once again, I cannot recommend this one enough.

Thank You Synapse!
"
Kill 'em all, One Eye!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 07/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Looking back at the 1970s from the distance of nearly three decades reveals a number of troubling revelations. The gruesome spasms known as disco came to the fore during this decade. Then there was the clothing, a toxic mix of fluorescent colors matched with retch inducing stylistic innovations. And don't forget about the hairstyles--oh, the hairstyles! The less said about haircuts during the decade of Watergate and lines at the gas pump, the better for all involved. There is one redeeming feature of the 1970s, however, and that is the full blossoming of the exploitation film. The sleaziest films ever made came out between 1970 and 1979; films packed to the rafters with gore and highly stylized violence, often mixed with beautiful babes prancing about in their birthday attire. I thought I'd seen most of these films over the past ten years or so, but I was wrong. It took the introduction of DVD to bring forth one of the sleaziest, vilest pieces of exploitation cinema ever made in the western world. That movie is Bo Arne Vibenius's "Thriller: A Cruel Picture," sometimes referred to by the title of its censored version, "They Call Her One Eye." Whatever name it carries, this is one sick, over the top movie.

"Thriller" follows the exploits (and the exploitation of) one Scandinavian cutie named Madeleine (Christina Lindberg). Her life on a Swedish farm leaves a lot to be desired. The victim of a vicious assault as a child, Madeleine developed muteness as a psychological defense to the memory of this aggression. She's still mute all these years later when, as a fetching young lady, she takes trips to a doctor for treatments to restore her voice. It is while she's waiting by the side of the road to catch a bus for one of these trips that the greasy Tony (Heinz Hopf) rolls up in a fine automobile. He readily offers our young heroine a ride to the doctor, which she unfortunately accepts, but his intentions are far from honorable. Tony is a procurer of young ladies for a local harridan hotel, and he saw dollar signs (Krona signs?) after spotting Madeleine. He takes her out for a bite to eat and then convinces the girl to come back to his place for a spot of rest and relaxation. Tony quickly subdues the girl with injections of hard drugs, and keeps her locked up in his apartment for weeks on end so he can insure Madeleine develops a hardcore addiction. Sick stuff, for sure, but things get worse in a hurry when Lindberg's character heads to the brothel.

A highly sought after prize for both male and female customers, Madeleine soon learns the cost of resisting her new profession when she attacks her first client. Enraged by her imprudent behavior, Tony shows up with a scalpel and removes one of Madeleine's eyes--shown in nauseating close up. What follows is just as bad, as we witness Lindberg's character working her way through a number of customers. The camera hides nothing from us during this part of the film; it's as hardcore as you can get. Madeleine bides her time through these indignities, however, carefully stowing away money for her future plans of retribution against her myriad enemies. She eventually manages to slip away from her place of employment for classes in self-defense, learns how to shoot a variety of firearms with a trained professional, and even takes driving classes. When we finally see our gal don a long black coat to match her eye patch, we realize we're seeing "One Eye" about to embark on a bloody spree of revenge. She shotguns to death several of the abusive men in her life, and in one scene deals with a couple of cops by beating them to bloody pulps. Madeleine gets her revenge, but will her future be any better than her past?

Oh boy! You've not seen exploitation until you've lived through "Thriller." This film has every conceivable debauchery acted out in full view. I'll skip right over the scenes in the brothel and get straight to the hyperstylized violence. Nearly every act of vengeance carried out by Madeleine takes place in extremely slow motion, so we the audience can see the huge squibs blowing open and the body cartwheeling through space. The scenes involving the beat down with the cops are virtual ballets of flying fists and spurting blood. Literally. You can see huge strands of the red stuff arcing through the air after Lindberg delivers a blow to the chin or nose. The whole thing runs on for something like five full minutes. Once you get past the sleaze and violence, you'll likely notice this enchanting woman named Christina Lindberg, an actress who can truly emote with just a look or a gesture. She's an amazingly beautiful young woman who will send your heart into paroxysms of joy. It's tough to watch this charming gal undergo such brutal treatment at the hands of thugs, so don't be surprised if you find yourself rooting for her to take full revenge on these gorillas.

As for the film itself, there's some controversy surrounding Synapse's release of the film. Director Vibenius supposedly opposed his film coming out on DVD, and he fought Synapse at every turn. Nonetheless, the company performed an admirable transfer (although some footage looks quite grainy) and turned up some alternate footage and assorted cutting room floor snippets to throw in as extras on the DVD. A photo gallery, liner notes, film bios, and a huge number of trailers accompany these supplements, with most of the trailers carrying the cut version title "They Call Her One Eye." Any exploitation fan worth his or her salt needs to watch "Thriller" at some point, just to say that they've seen it. It's a strong drink indeed, but one worth taking if you like this sort of thing.


"
Unredeeming of social value, I give it four stars.
Tom J. Riesselman | Twin Cities, Minnesota | 08/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, make sure you buy the red (limited edition) and not the yellow (vengeance edition). The former has footage the latter doesn't have and you are watching this genre of movie, you probably aren't into tasteful edits for the sake of decency.

The film covers the abuse, rape, maiming and disfigurement of a comely young thing who was a child sexual abuse survivor. But don't cry for her, by the end of the film she is giving as good as she gets, and all those who touched her will be sorry/killed.

The sex in the red version is rated X where you can see the special hug that adults do in close up graphic detail, so close up in fact that it seems unlikely that the actress who plays the main character was used to film it. To put it simply, sex is definately being done, but it seems clipped from some other movie that amazon doesn't carry.

The action/violence is actually poor, and in slow motion similar to the action sequences from an old Bionic Man episode. But at least it is needlessly graphic and somehow fulfilling, when the entire work is seen as a gestalt.

Besides, if one wants slick Hollywood violence where the squibs fire on time and the blood doesn't look like a Ragu product you are better served with a Coppola or Tariantino movie. But if you want to be schocked sickened and titillated scores of times in an hour and a half, this is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. The main charcter is a deaf mute, but her violence speaks most eloquently about the sound and fury that is woman scorned."
The revenge flick to rape all revenge flicks
C. Christopher Blackshere | I am the devil's reject | 11/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Whoo-boy! This is one pounding violation of the cinematic routine. Director Vibenius tries to penetrate deep into your mind by mixing the arthouse with the pornhouse. Check the EPT stick...yep, after wineing & dining your senses, he impregnates all your expectations and leaves you with dirty diapers on the brain.

It even starts off in harsh fashion. After getting raped as a little girl, the beautiful Madeleine stumbles through her life in total silence and disarray. After reaching adulthood, she is victimized by another devastating, life-altering event. A seemingly nice guy offers some help, then secretly dopes her up and turns her into a heroin-addict/prostitue. Sex, drugs, no rock-n-roll...ahh not such good times.

Thriller:A Cruel Picture is a dizzing strain of unfathomable events. The director studied under the brilliant Ingmar Bergman, and his artistic influence is evident throughout. This is contrasted by graphic images of sex and abuse. It's mind-boggling, gives an extreme sense of such sad desperation and erotic disorientation. Many people will dislike this bizarre experience, but hey, imagine how this chick feels.

Not to worry though, of course she seeks her revenge. This is a brutal cult gem of exploitation cinema. A must-see for fans of disturbing movies. A must-avoid for almost everyone else."