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Film / Thriller: A Cruel Picture

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Thriller - en grym film (Thriller - A Cruel Picture), also known as They Call Her One-Eye, is a 1973 Swedish Exploitation Film directed by Bo Arne Vibenius.

Madeline (Christina Lindberg), as a little girl, is raped in the park by an old pedophile, rendering her mute. When she grows up, she goes into town one day and is abducted by a pimp, Tony (Heinz Hopf), who drugs her with heroin while she is unconscious thus rendering her unable to survive for more than a few hours without a periodic fix. Tony will give her this fix, plus a wage, if she prostitutes herself. Amidst Madeline's abuse by her clients, Tony forges a letter under her name and sends it to Madeline's parents wherein she says that she hates them and doesn't want them to try and find her. Also, when she refuses a client, Tony gouges one of her eyes out, and she wears an eyepatch for the rest of the film. Madeline befriends another prostitute, who claims to know a doctor who can cure the addiction, and the two elope to flee, but she is then murdered. Madeline then escapes back to her parents only to find that the forged letter prompted them to commit suicide. That's the final straw...

Using the stash of wages she's saved up, Madeline starts purchasing heroin from a dealer as the source for her fixes. She uses the rest to learn karate, marksmanship, pursuit-driving, and to buy a car. Now it's time to collect her dues...

The film is notable for its hardcore sex scenes, for the highly controversial use of a genuine cadaver in the above-mentioned eye-gouging scene, and for being banned in Sweden, its country of origin. It is also notable as being, along with Lady Snowblood, one of the primary inspirations for Kill Bill, both in terms of plot and in terms of Elle Driver's eyepatched appearance.

See also I Spit on Your Grave and Ms. 45.

This film provides examples of:

  • Badass Longcoat: When the time comes to take vengeance upon her tormentors, Madeline dons one of these.
  • Big Bad: Tony the pimp, who is responsible for nearly every bad thing that happens to Madeline in the movie.
  • Buried Alive/Sand Necktie: How Madeline finally deals with Tony. After shooting him down and Knee-capping him with a pistol, tying him up and dragging him from a horse, she buries him up to his neck before tying a noose around him, tying that to the horse, and then placing a water bucket out of reach so that when the horse goes to drink, Tony's neck will get snapped.
  • Cute Mute: Madeline is mute as a result of a traumatic experience at the hands of a pedophile.
  • Dark Action Girl: Madeline is this in spades once she gets into vengeance mode, to the point of inspiring Elle Driver from Kill Bill.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Madeline wears one following the Eye Scream incident. It's so iconic that Tarantino used it as inspiration during the design of Elle Driver.
  • Eye Scream: When Madeline refuses a client, this is how Tony punishes her. It's easily one of the most horrific scenes of the film, and was only made worse by the fact that the filmmakers controversially used an actual cadaver for the scene.
  • Forged Letter: Tony forges a letter to Madeline's parents in her name, telling them that she hated them and not to bother trying to find her. When Madeline seeks out her parents after escaping him, she learns that the letter had the effect of driving them to suicide. This is the final straw that sets the stage for one hell of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Psycho Lesbian: One of Madeline's clients is a lezzo who delights in slapping her in the face before having sex with her.
  • Rape and Revenge: Another classic of the genre, following a woman forced into prostitution and eventually getting some much deserved payback.
  • Rape as Backstory: The pedophile incident which rendered Madeline mute.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: This makes up the climax of the film, as Madeline, after having been screwed over one time too many, takes up a Sawed-Off Shotgun and goes after the bastard who made her life hell.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: Madeline's weapon for her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Slow Motion: Used pretty much every time Madeline kills someone with her shotgun.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Madeline starts killing off his clients and nearly shoots him dead, Tony loses his smug composure. Complete with an even quicker temper, a nervous twitch, and an ashtray with a pile of used cigarettes by his side.