Thriller: A Cruel Picture
Also Known As
- Crime à froid (Canada) (video title) (French title)
- Desenlace mortal (Spain) (original subtitled version)
- Enögd (Finland) (informal title) (Swedish title)
- Hooker's Revenge (USA) (reissue title)
- They Call Her One Eye (USA) (censored version)
- Thriller (Sweden) (short title)
- Thriller - ein unbarmherziger Film (Germany)
- Thriller: A Cruel Picture (USA)
- Yksisilmäinen (Finland) (informal title)
- The Swedish Vice Girl (double/triple feature title)
- The first film, ever, to be banned in Sweden!
- Den första svenska film som någonsin blivit totalförbjuden av censuren.
- The movie that has no limits of evil!
- First they took her speech...then her sight...When they were finished she used what was left of her for her own frightening kind of REVENGE!
- Released in 1974
- Running Time: 104 min | UK:80 min (heavily cut) | USA:82 min (R-rated version) | Australia:92 min (R-rated cut)
- Production Co: BAV Film | United Producers
- Distribution Co: BAV Film (1974) (Sweden) (theatrical) | American International Pictures (AIP) (1974) (USA) (theatrical) (edit) (dubbed) | Astral Films (1974) (Canada) (theatrical) (heavily cut) (dubbed) | Brent Walker Film Distributing (1976) (UK) (theatrical)
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Bo Arne Vibenius
- Written by Bo Arne Vibenius
- Starring Christina Lindberg, Heinz Hopf, Despina Tomazani, Per-Axel Arosenius, Solveig Andersson
- Produced by Bo Arne Vibenius
- Original Music by Ralph Lundsten
- Cinematography by Andreas Bellis
- Film Editing by Brian Wikström
A young girl plays in a park, looking at the beautiful leaves. She wears a bright yellow dress. She picks up a leaf and brings it to an old man. The old man lifts her up and smiles, but suddenly his facial expression changes and a dark bile-like tobacco juice seeps from his mouth. In the next shot, we see his face from the little girls point of view. He is raping her. Later, as the police take the man away, the girls mother holds her and when the man tries to say hes sorry the woman slaps him. Flash forward to several years later, Frigga (Christina Lindberg) is now a beautiful teenager living on a farm with her adoptive parents. Frigga is not a regular girl, she became mute (unable to speak) after the savage rape by the old man years before. Two of the local women goto get their milk from Frigga on the farm and as they leave they gossip about Frigga and whats wrong with her.
Frigga decides to go into the city one day and as she comes to the end of her road, she just misses the bus. While looking at the bus schedule, a man in a sports car stops and asks Frigga if she wants a ride into the city, she agrees and they take off. While driving along we meet Tony, he is a smooth talking guy who gets Frigga to smile. He tells her all about his new car and although unable to speak, Frigga seems impressed by him. When they reach the city, it is nighttime and Tony takes Frigga out to dinner. He orders for both of them and they enjoy a nice meal as he shmoozes her up. Afterwards he takes her back to his place and they have a few drinks. When Tony goes to his cabinet to get the liquor we see a quick shot of what looks to be some kind of drug in a glass vile. Things seem pleasant enough at the time. Tony talks to Frigga, and she finally relaxes some and sips the wine. As he looks at her, we see from Friggas POV that shes starting to get blurred vision. The wine was laced with something.
When Frigga wakes a few days later, Tony tells her, that he wants her to sign a letter he wrote to her parents. She gets up and she tries to run away, but before she can get out the door, Tony slaps her, knocking her out and brings her back into the room. He then shoots her up with more of what he has been giving her: heroin. As the screen shows a calender page, we see days go by. Frigga is now hooked on heroin, but she doesnt realize it. When she wakes up again days later, she runs out of the room and this time she makes it down the street and into a park, but she collapses from exaustion and Tony brings her back to the house once again.
Tony explains that she is hooked on heroin and unless she cooperates with him, shes going to be in big trouble. He tells her that in return for her "services" for him she will receive her heroin fix and some money. Frigga seems cooperative. When Tony sends the first "customer" to see Frigga she scratches his face, leaving big red bloody marks. When the man yells to Tony about what Frigga did, we realize Frigga is in deep trouble. Tony enters the room with a scalpel and we see is deadly shine. He then holds Frigga down and slowly we see the scalpel from Friggas point of view come closer and closer. As the scalpel cuts the eye, it bursts Un Chien Andalou style. Note: Theres a rumor about this scene that Director Vibenius used an actual corpse for the close up eye gouging.
The next time we see Frigga she has a brand new white patch on her eye. Tony tells her that shes going to have a new client named Weirdo Anderson. Frigga holds out her hand and Tony remembers that she needs her heroin. He gives it to her. When Weirdo comes into Friggas room he orders her to take off her clothes. Then he takes out a camera and starts snapping photos of her. Her next client comes in and this is where we get the XXX porno scenes. This will be a turning point for most viewers because the film becomes an outright Swedish porno. We also see Frigga doesnt show any emotion during the sex act, she is completely detached. Around this time, Frigga meets another one of Tony's girls and she tells Frigga that she knows what shes going through. Frigga doesnt respond, just sits idly in despair. As the girl breaks down, we can see she is broken by this brutal way of life, she gets up and bolts from the room.
Tony sends Frigga's parents a note saying she is not coming back and that she never loved ot trusted themn. Her parents are crushed and they both commit suicide over the depression and heartbreaking letter. This part of the film hit me the hardest, because you could see Frigga's mothers face full of anguish and hurt. Frigga decides to take the bus back to the farm to let her parents know shes ok. We see that Frigga's colored eyepatch matches her outfit (bright red), and she looks sexy and very devilish at the same time. When Frigga arrives at her home, she sees the funeral caskets and overhears her neighbors talking about how her parents couldnt get over her devastating letter and so they committed suicide.
Frigga decides to train herself for her big revenge spree. Yet, instead of being full of rage, we see her methodically learning new skills: martial arts, guns, and stunt driving. Meanwhile, back at the whorehouse, Frigga has her first lesbian client. This woman has to have the manliest flat chest Ive ever seen in a film. Pretty nasty looking stuff. When Frigga goes to see her friend in her room, Frigga discovers a very very bloody scene. The girls bed is drenched in blood and Frigga breaks down and nuzzles the girls bloodsoaked pillow. Frigga takes all the money shes saved from her work as a prostitute and she goes to see an underground dealer. Even though she cant speak, he still is able to figure out what she wants: a brand new car and enough heroin to hold her over until her revenge spree is over. Frigga goes back to the training academy where shes been training as a marksmen. She breaks into one of the gunsheds and saws off a shotgun, then she grabs some shells and leaves.
The rest of the film, Frigga starts her rampage of revenge on her pimps clients. Her first area of attack is the big guy whos been banging her regularly. Frigga rings the doorbell, when the dude opens it, she blasts him in the head and in the chest. These revenge killing scenes are all in slow motion, it echoes the balletic action bloodletting that we first saw in Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece The Wild Bunch. The only difference being its even slower and the bloodletting isnt as heavy. At least I didnt feel it was. They act as a drawn out catharsis for Frigga who has been used over and over. We can get the sense these slow motion attacks are her only way of filling herself with emotion. Friggas next area of attack is a race track where Tony and his friends hang out. When Frigga arrives she opens up her gun on Tony and his friends who are talking about her. She hits two of them, but luckily for Tony, he gets away.
Tony hires two hitmen to find out who Frigga's contact is on the underground. When the hitmen go after Frigga, she ends up in a trap at a warehouse and she systematically and quickly shoots them both, again in the cathartic slow motion style Vibenius uses throughout the film. When the police arrive, Frigga doesnt try to run away, but instead lets the cops arrest her. Suddenly, like a super hero Frigga breaks free and in the longest slow motion fight in the film, she beats the crap out of each cop. Blood streams fly forth in slow motion. She then steals the police car and drives off with sirens blaring. Frigga begins to drive around, on a random spree, running people off the road. I didnt understand this segment, but I guess its because Frigga has completely lost her mind and is just out to kill any man she sees. Frigga gets to a harbor and when she is searching for her next victim, she gets shot at. She barely escapes without getting killed.
Last on her list is the man who started this whole hellish nightmare for her. She writes Tony a letter saying that she wants to have a duel on the fjords. She waits with her shotgun alone as the wind blows. Tony finally arrives and tries to charm his way out of the confrontation. When he tells Frigga to drop her gun, she does. Then like the scumbag he is, he goes to shoot her, but Frigga pulls out her small pistol and fires, hitting Tony. She then fires into his leg two more times so he cant move. She ties a rope around his waist and drags him off using a horse. We then see Tony is buried under some rocks up to his neck and Frigga ties another rope around his neck. She ties the other end to the horse. and she places a bucket of food or water a few feet away from the horse. When the horse decides to go for it, Tony loses his head.
Reviewed by Popeye Pete - 4/25/07