Thriller: A Cruel Picture

  • 1973
  • Movie
  • R
  • Action, Erotic, Thriller

A pretty, mute farm girl misses the bus to Stockholm and ends up a one-eyed junkie hooker. Young Frigga (Christina Lindberg) lives quietly on a farm with her doting parents; she has been mute since a childhood sexual assault. On the fateful day, she misses the bus to the city and catches a ride with Tony (Heinz Hopf), a handsome stranger in a sports...read more

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Reviewed by Li Chow Li
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A pretty, mute farm girl misses the bus to Stockholm and ends up a one-eyed junkie hooker.

Young Frigga (Christina Lindberg) lives quietly on a farm with her doting parents; she has been mute since a childhood sexual assault. On the fateful day, she misses the bus to the city and catches a ride with Tony (Heinz Hopf), a handsome stranger in a sports car. Tony takes Frigga to dinner at a fancy restaurant then back to his home, where he slips a knockout drug into her drink and begins injecting her with heroin. Soon poor Frigga is hooked and learns the price she must pay to keep the supply of junk flowing: turning tricks for Tony, her new pimp. Her first encounter doesn’t go well and she attacks the john. In a shocking scene, Tony gouges out her eye as punishment (hence the film's original U.S. release title, THEY CALL HER ONE EYE). From that point on Frigga appears to be more docile, suffering through sessions with an abusive lesbian, an aggressive photographer and an overweight, leering middle-aged cretin. In the meantime, Tony has faked a letter from Frigga to her parents, telling them that she wants nothing to do with them. In response they kill themselves. Meanwhile, Frigga's fellow white slave, Sally (Solveig Andersson), tells Frigga she does extra services and keeps the cash, building a nest egg to escape from Tony. Frigga begins doing the same and soon uses the cash to work out an elaborate revenge. Unbeknownst to most of us, white-slave whores apparently get days off, and Frigga makes the most of hers. Using her purloined cash, she learns martial arts, marksmanship, and auto racing. Using her new skills she enacts her revenge on her clients and, in a very creative way, on Tony himself.

Lindberg is the highlight of the film, giving an expressive, sad performance, though she’s a bit awkward in the action scenes. By the end, with her black eye patch and long black coat, she looks like an avenging angel from a particularly dark-hearted western. Director Bo Arne Vibenius served as assistant director on Ingmar Bergman's PERSONA and THRILLER has the slow pacing one might expect from that association. The scenes of Frigga’s revenge are filmed in super slow motion, to the point of almost being comical. Given the amount of freedom Frigga seems to have, one might wonder why she doesn’t just go to the police at her first chance. But after a lifetime of being brutalized by men one can understand her desire for a more visceral revenge. Not for the fainthearted, or the easily bored, this brutal and depressing film nevertheless is not easily forgotten. [Note: The European release of THRILLER: EN GRYM FILM contained scenes of hardcore pornography, using body doubles for the film’s actors. This version (retitled THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE -- LIMITED EDITION) as well as the shorter, soft-core US release (now called THRILLER: THEY CALL HER ONE EYE -- VENGEANCE EDITION), were both released on DVD by Synapse in 2005.]

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  • Released: 1973
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A pretty, mute farm girl misses the bus to Stockholm and ends up a one-eyed junkie hooker. Young Frigga (Christina Lindberg) lives quietly on a farm with her doting parents; she has been mute since a childhood sexual assault. On the fateful day, she mi… (more)

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