La casa sperduta nel parco Film Details
Overview: Two low-life punks invite themselves to a party at a posh villa and after being taunted by their snobbish hosts, hold everyone hostage and subject them to various forms of torture and mayhem.
Tagline: Anything Could Happen… Everything Did!
Review: ***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** Every so often you’ll get to see a film so demented, so sleazy and so OUT THERE that it really leaves an indelible mark on your psyche. Films like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and GIALLO A VENEZIA have done it for me in the past, but to be honest I don’t think anything lives up to this one. Deodato has absolutely surpassed himself here, creating one of the most horrendous sexually violent films I’ve ever seen. It seems so alien watching it, especially in these “enlightened” PC times- a truly strange experience. It’s not so much the subject of the film that is the problem, but the way it is presented. The frequent scenes of sexual violence are filmed and presented as pornography, and there is no doubt about that. Far more of a problem is the behaviour of the victims throughout the film. The women are permissive to the extent that they allow rape and attacks to occur with little or no resistance, and even worse is that in almost every case the woman begins to ENJOY her assault half way through. There are some deeply surreal and glaring examples of this throughout the film, and it is exactly this kind of worrying message that has earned the film the reputation it deserves. Another movie that employed similar tactics (of so-called “porno rape”) was Aldo Lado’s LATE NIGHT TRAINS, but in this case the technical merit and overall level of acting is high enough to ensure that the images truly are shocking. The movie descends way further though, providing one sequence that on so many levels is by far the most shocking and deplorable depiction of on-screen sexual violence that I’ve ever seen within the genre. One of the protagonists, Ricky, had been constantly attempting to assault one of the female guests throughout the film, but every time had bailed out. Finally, she leads him into the garden of the house and has consensual sex with him- almost in sympathy. Meanwhile, inside, a young babysitter has called at the house and David Hess’s character, Alex, has begun to terrorise her. She is forced to strip and is humiliated not only by Alex but by the camera of Deodato itself. She looks very, VERY young and the scene is shot in such a way that she is in middle-frame, totally on display for the audience. Alex gropes her before proudly announcing that she is a virgin- a fact that leads to further humiliation. Finally, after telling her that she’ll “never forget the first time”, he takes his razor to her breasts and slices them repeatedly. His obvious sexual satisfaction from this act is juxtaposed with the sexual encounter that his friend is enjoying in the garden, whilst the camera voyeuristically lingers on the young girl’s wounds. There are very few ways that this passage can be read- this is flat out sexual sadism presented in a deeply unambiguous way. The very depths of exploitation are plumbed at this point, and this sequence is truly disturbing. There was a rumour that at some point in this scene in the “uncut” print of the film, Hess pulls a bloody tampon from the young girl’s vagina and dangles it in front of the camera. However, this seems very unlikely due to the tight construction and editing of the sequence. It seems likely that just like the “pirhana scene” from CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, this supposed cut is an urban legend. Throughout the film, Hess’s performance as Alex is superb. He is totally believable as a sleazeball psycho and for me, this particular movie was his greatest performance. Italian horror’s favourite victim, John Morghen, hams up his role as Hess’s simple side-kick quite effectively. The sound-track is hilariously inappropriate as one would hope, mainly consisting of appalling disco music (which the characters take great pleasure in “boogying” to!), and the main theme is an outlandishly out-of-place sickly sweet ballad. It seems to be a requisite of this type of movie to have such an absurdly sentimental theme and this one delivers! Deodato himself claimed that the film was a comment on classism, with the “proletarian” protagonists terrorising bourgeious society represented by the guests at the party. I feel that this is dishonest. The movie is sleaze and exploitation from start to finish. With CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, Deodato was widely criticised for condemning what he exploits, but in this case he just took it too far to use that excuse. The eagerness with which the scenes of sexual violence are filmed, to the point of being RELISHED within the context of the movie, is more telling of what the agenda was when this was made. In saying that, this film is most definitely worth seeing for any fan of exploitation. It’s hard going in places but it really is well put together, and if you can stand the ultra-dubious sub-texts that run throughout it is totally worth getting hold of. One of the hardest aspects to stomach, which at the same time is a testament to the acting and production on display, is that you will find yourself cheering on Alex and Ricky on a lot of occasions. The cinematography is good, and Riz Ortolani’s score is excellent. Deodato was a man of vision but he let excess and bad choices destroy his career before it even really began.
Language: Italian, English
Duration: 91 min
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Also known as: To spiti stin akri tou parkou,Huset i änden av parken,The House at the Edge of the Park,Ház a park szélén,A Armadilha,La Maison au fond du parc,La casa sperduta nel parco,Trampa para un violador,Talo puiston laidalla,House of the Park on the Edge,Το σπίτι στην άκρη του πάρκου,Дом на краю парка,The House on the Edge of the Park,Dom na skraju parku,A Casa no Fundo do Parque,Talo puiston perällä,House on the Edge of the Park,Der Schlitzer,La hiena,Violencia mortal,真夜中の狂気