Sunday, May 20, 2007

revenge is sweet... crazy gals with knives!


D: Arthur Jeffreys 1980

I Spit On Your Grave style rip off that I first encountered around 82 when it got Aussie release. I was 18/19 then and that front cover, tits, blood, meat cleaver reeled me in. And for some reason I always come back to this movie even though its mostly fucking atrocious. Sallee Elyse plays Linda who is attacked about a minute into the movie by four men in stocking masks and raped. Why? Cos she’d get her gear off for the scene is my guess. Anyway, after a trip to the nuthouse she comes home to try and be ‘normal’ again. Her husband played by porn king Harry Reems (sorry Bruce Gilchrist – why do they bother changing names?) is meanwhile banging away at some other slapper. Thoughtful soul isn’t he? Linda starts seeing things, imagining that her attackers, long locked away, are still stalking her. Unfortunately Harry’s porn background seems to have carried over into this movie and the acting and dialogue is pretty much bad 70s porn standard. Except, strangely enough for Harry. Anyway, a chance encounter with the teenage boys next door sends Linda over the edge and when the same boys decide to put on rubber masks and stalk their poor deranged neighbour things start to get messy. (You can almost hear John McClane saying “how can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?)

Its only from here on in that things get better. Suddenly Sallee has decided she can act (marginally) and she overacts the nutter just perfectly. The cleaver comes out and the first boy gets it in the neck. Linda then sets about seducing each of the boys, drugging the first, disarming and confusing the next two boys before a garotting castration, and a chop or two finish them off. Drugged boy wakes up tied to a chair and treated to a raw meat dinner complete with surreal and amazingly bad dialogue before she blows him away with a shotgun. And where’s hubby during all this? With some scrubber who he only ever gets to have simulated sex with!! What a waste of talent. He’s in for quite a surprise when he gets home, let me tell you. Sure Sallee ain’t the best actress in the world and the first hour (except for the short sharp rape scene) are pretty bad but once the mirror cracks she puts on a great z-grade psycho performance that almost makes up for her lack of ability as a “normal” person. See it just for the last supper with drugged boy… and of course because cleavage and cleaver go so well together!


D: Chuck Vincent 1987

Pornmeister Vincent wanders over to the ‘mainstream’ and brings Veronica Hart , Jamie Gillis and Jerry Butler with him.

This flick also stars Jennifer Delora of “Bad Girls Dormitory” fame as well. Surprisingly, considering the porn stars involved she’s the worst actor too! Veronica plays the recently married, pregnant rich girl (girl? Ok, woman) Joyce who has a few minor psychological problems. We know she has problems because as her hubby Frank (Butler) is leaving to fly off on business, Joyce hears voices in her head warning her that Frank is banging her sister Mary Anne played bitchily by Delora.

Then when Joyce gets home she’s attacked by a masked bad guy, who proceeds to beat the shit out of her. She sticks him in the head with some scissors but it’s too late and she loses the baby. (Cleverly done scene I must say – we just see the empty cot while she’s screaming in the background.) That’s enough to send Joycee over the edge and the rest of the movie maps out her downward spiral for all to see. She’s still sane enough to stuff a cushion up her jumper when people come to the door but inbetween she starts having flashbacks and talking to her shrink, her baby, her mudda – soon we get the whole fucked up story. Daddy dearest (played by Jamie Gillis!!!) slashed his own throat in the bath and Joyce discovered the body. Or did he? Did she kill him for the millions of bux she inherited? And just how closely did daddy “love” his girl? And then when her mum brings home her lover (now her new husband) the day after the funeral and introduces her new half sister! (Delora)… well. its no wonder Joyce went crackers. The majority of the flick is in the one set apartment with people popping up out of Joyce’s psyche as the story unfolds. The only real person she sees is Nick the delivery boy. Of course Nick cops a razoring after he discovers her humping a pillow (don’t ask) and mistakenly thinks he’s in. Of course once he’s dead he pops up again anyway but not until Joyce (finally) gives her half sister Mary Anne a deserved knife in the guts. Turns out Frank and Mary Anne had arranged for the attack, trying to knock her off and get her cash. After that it’s a rapid collapse into insanity with the corpse parade – stalker, Nick, Mary Anne and Daddy - being a particular highlight. I’ve seen a couple of reviews that really bagged this flick and I can’t see why. Sure, it’s done cheaply (one set for the most) but Hart puts in a fucking great performance as a woman going completely and utterly nuts. Shit, she carries most of the flick really – drifting in and out of sanity, from one flashback to the next without losing track at all… she does a bloody good job of it. Gillis is his usual sleazy self, even Butler manages to hold up his end.

And I gotta mention the soundtrack, some great throbbing synth noise, especially when she first arrives back at the apartment. And once she starts the drift into insanity there’s a continuous low humming synth loop that continues for most of the flick. At first I thought it was just tape noise or summat but I soon realized that it was the same loop over and over just niggling out yr nerves while Hart wanders from slightly crazy to fucking maniac… Fucking clever little sod that Chuck. Sure it can be slow in parts and a bit wordy for you sleaze hounds but fuck it, this is a great movie, hunt the fucker down and reward yourself.


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