As a kid, Madeleine ("Frigga", played by the cult star Christina Lindberg) is the victim of a horrible rape, and has become a mute after the shock. Many years later, after missing the bus, Frigga takes a ride into town with a stranger, just to be drugged and kidnapped. The guy gets her hooked on a drug, and if she doesn't get a regular hit, she will die. She is now locked in her room and used for prostitution. After Frigga attacks a "client", she gets her eye cut with a scalpel as punishment for her actions, but what really makes her snap is when the kidnapper sends her parents a letter saying she hates them, and she later finds out that they have commited suicide. Collecting the money she gets from clients, she starts serious training every monday (the day that she is allowed to do what she wants), and plans her violent revenge against the people involved.
Sweden is a country with very few watchable movies. We have stuff like "Evil Ed" and "Besökarna", but of course the best one is "Thriller: A Cruel Picture". It's a very rough exploitation flick from the early 70's that has become very famous for it's hardcore sex scenes and the famous "scalpel scene", but "Thriller" remains a movie that has much more to offer than that.
Seeing how the movie starts out with a little child who gets raped (don't worry, not graphically), and you later learn that she is a mute from the shock, even 15 or so years later, you can imagine the pain she must be feeling, and the emotions that has to be flowing through her head when she is not kidnapped and is basicly raped on a daily basis. If you can call the forced prostitution rape, that is. Which I totally do, because she doesn't want to do it, therefor it's rape, even if it's not done as violently as the rape in some other films. Frigga knows she has to do this in order to get the drugs that she is hooked on. Without the drugs, she dies. She also learns fast that attacking the clients will only do her harm her, as she gets her eye cut with a scalpel after doing it to her first client. This scene is one of the scenes that has made the film famous, and I understand why. It's very graphic and realistic looking, and I wouldn't be surprised even a little if the rumors that they filmed it using a real corpse are true. Before the revenge, we see her train herself to be able to pull it off. She learns how to drive a car, she learns some form of martial art, how to use guns, and so on. Many films would probably not include this, but the fact that they did is just building onto the story and making it even better. The revenge part of the film is almost like a trip on drugs, because it involves so much slow motion, much of it is not needed, but it gives it a totally different feeling. You be the judge if you enjoy it or not, I think it was great at times, mildly annoying at other. It might not be as brutal, disturbing or "evil" as the revenge in, for example, "I Spit On Your Grave", but I know that if I was in her situation, I would just wanna kill the bastards off as soon as I possibly could. That it's done with a sawed-off shotgun is just a plus, of course. We all know they are cool. My favorite scenes are all at the end, the first one being the shoot-out, and the other one is her final revenge, that I would love to spoil but I won't.
There is alot of nudity and sex in the film, if you are watching the right version of it, of course. Many people find the hardcore sex scenes pointless, because they most likely were added just to add fame to the film. The scenes are all close-ups on the actual penetration, and Christina Lindberg wasn't even used for those takes, which probably is the real reason why people are against it. She's a good looking gal, I'll admit to that. Personally, I think the hardcore sex is great. Perhaps not for masturbation, but I find that it makes us feel more for Frigga.
The violence is there, but most of it is blood squirts from being shot. Then there's the great scalpel scene that I mentioned earlier, so you already know why that one is so "good". Except for those things, there's really not that much of it, except for her last action. Gore? Naaah, not really.
So, a movie that has Christina Lindberg, a great rape/revenge story, hardcore sex, seems almost like it would be a perfect film, doesn't it? That it is not. There are alot of flaws in the film, but none of them makes the film a bad film. Would it have been better if the actors were better as voice actors? Or if the car explosions were better made? Or if Christina Lindberg would have done the sex shots herself? Of course it would have been better! But this is a trashy film, and it's as good as trash cinema gets. You can't go in and expect pure perfection from something like this, you just can't. If you want to enjoy it, that is.
"Thriller: A Cruel Picture" is a great exploitation flick, and one of my personal favorites, even after repeated viewings. It's cruel, raw and shows no mercy, and it's not a surprise that it has influenced several, with the most famous being Quentin Tarantino (who I'm not a big fan of, but anyone who likes this film is atleast okay). Christina Lindberg does a great job, and considering the fact that she doesn't say a single word in the film, she's doing an amazing job even! The director might not like his own film, but he has made a cult classic that we, the exploitation fans, gladly accept into our homes. Now, order this film (the version with XXX, obviously), sit back and watch the most beautiful revenger of movie history, who also wears one of the coolest outfits on film. Black trenchcoat and black eyepatch. It's A-grade trash.