Widely regarded as D'Amato's finest (read "least hack-ish") effort with focus on characters and some genuine suspense apart from some truly disgusting gore and a relentlessly downbeat tone.
This film has the following tropes:
- Ax-Crazy: Frank and Iris. Iris is the most obvious one.
- B-Movie: The beautiful cinematography and clever set design might fool you into thinking that this is a reasonably big budget movie but this is not.
- Big Bad: Iris kickstarts the plot with her voodoo killing of Anna. She later becomes a Dragon-in-Chief of sorts to Frank who becomes the major villain. Ultimately it becomes an Evil Versus Evil fight towards the end.
- Creepy Housekeeper: Doesn't get much creepier than Iris, what with her less-than-healthy interest in Frank and aiding and abetting him as he descends further into murderous madness and depravity. Not to mention murdering his fiancée, which kickstarted the whole gory mess, because she wanted him for herself.
- Drop Dead Gorgeous: Frank picks up a hitchhike named Jan and eventually kills her. Iris then helps Frank dispose of the body. The scene starts with Iris strippping Jan's corpse, which is displayed in what would be a very Fanservice-y way if the character weren't dead and all.
- Gorn: Truly revolting stuff which is amplified by the bleak tone.
- Hero Antagonist: Kale. He is also very clever, choosing to stay in the background and do his detective work, in order to catch Frank. Ultimately subverted since he is doing it to blackmail Frank which proves pointless as Frank dies.
- I Love the Dead: Heavily implied with Frank as regards to dead Anna. The only thing we see is him making out with her.
- I'm a Humanitarian:
- The stew made from the dead Hitchhiker eaten by Iris.
- Frank later chews off a girl's throat and eats it.
- Jabba Table Manners: Deliberately enforced by Iris when she gorges on some stew. Frank vomits on seeing this.
- Undying Loyalty: Villainous version of this. Iris helps Frank out to the end in all of his foul deeds because she wants to marry him. She finally flips out when Anna's twin Elena comes and she tries to kill her too only to be stopped by Frank.
- Villain Protagonist: Frank.
- Wife Husbandry: Gender flipped with Iris coveting Frank.
- Yandere: Iris, towards Frank.