(Review originally written at 22 February 2009)

It's interesting to see how Wes Craven's directing career first started off, with this movie. It's a true '70's exploitation flick, that shows that Craven already was pretty much at ease within the genre, even early on in his career. He handles the theme well, even though the movie also has some unbalanced elements in it.

As far as exploitation flicks go this movie is a real great one within its genre. It has a pretty good look and feel over it, that is required for the genre. Despite its obviously low budget the movie really isn't cheap looking, at least not compared to most other similar genre movies I have seen. It features all of the right ingredients you could expect from a movie like this and it has a pretty simple but nevertheless fine and effective concept. It's a story that is far from likely but who cares really. In these sort of movies a story is more like a secondary thing and it's only purpose is to provide the movie with the usual exploitation movie ingredients.

The movie though is a bit of an unbalanced mix when it comes down to it's different elements. On the one hand it's an exploitation movie with thriller/horror elements to it, while in the other the movie also tries to throw in some quirky humor, which doesn't really strengthen its more exploitation like elements. The movie just feels a bit too unbalanced at times.

I doubt the remake, which will hit the cinemas next week, will work out as well because of the simple reason that this movie is a true '70's exploitation flick, a genre that is long time death now and today will only work out as ridicules with todays used techniques and usual standards.

It's violence and torturing sequences are all being handled well, with true skill. It's one of the things that makes this movie better than most other exploitation flicks from the glorious '70's. Also it's second halve, that is pretty insane, is what makes this movie a great watch, especially if you are into the genre.

A nice directorial debut from the then still pretty young Wes Craven.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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