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dajmasta94's avatar


My goodness it seems like most people here have completely avoided viewing this film under the right context. First of all this is an independent production from the early 70's so it's right in there with that first big wave of American independent filmmaking, these guys had no real idea of how to make a movie so you have to take things like the soundtrack (which is only half bad, there's some aspects of the soundtrack that are actually pretty strong) and the goofy comedic relief with a grain of salt. This movie is certainly not a masterpiece but it is definitely important and shrugging it off as a poor taste rip off of Virgin Spring is a pretty surface level criticism. This movie has an affect on people because it shows all of the graphic details of monstrous behavior without flinching. It does not give you the vice of cutting away very often and no this is does not make it pornographic or celebratory; evidence of this is after the rape of Mari you can literally feel just how conflicted the perpetrators are about their actions. There is an unspoken disgust amongst all of them for what they have done. Picking grass that has stuck to their bloody hands and just standing there not saying a word until they decide to get cleaned up and change. They have to put on new clothes to rid themselves of this disgust. There is so much power in that scene and that certainly isn't in Virgin Spring and it definitely wouldn't be as powerful or effective had the violence been depicted in a less graphic way. Appreciating this movie now is all about context and understanding that yes, it is a bit of a mess if you want to go through the boring check list of conventional craftsmanship but the movie is important because it challenged conventions so it would just be missing the point. I also kinda find the clunky soundtrack and comic relief to be kind of charming from the perspective that it's a bunch of guys who haven't learned about how to make all of those things work yet. It's obviously a huge learning experience for Craven. I get that's a lot to keep in mind while watching a movie but that's why the film is so highly regarded amongst certain people, not because it's genuinely some masterpiece but because it presented something interesting and upsetting to the established norm of the genre and it had huge impact on it.
6 years ago
avatud2013's avatar


The Infamous remake of Ingmar Bergman's "The Virgin Spring".

I never watched it before, probably because thinking it would be a cheap and schlocky film overplaying the shock, but now having watched it I find it not to be the case.

Well, definitely a lot of the fame comes from historical value. The film was made in the context of something that has now become widely called "a cultural revolution" in America. As I understand, a lot of such deeper/rougher themes were missing from American cinema before that time. I doubt many people had access to seeing Ingmar Bergman's original. Craven presented the idea in a b-movie scenario, to an audience that had been shielded from a lot that was going on in the cinema of other countries.

Definitely rough around the edges, and being usually listed under horror movies probably does it disservice, as people are watching it trying to find something "believable" or "scary", something "examining the essence of violence", while seeing from historical perspectives might give it much more meaning.

The characters and situations are unbelievable, it's a "constructed movie", to be sure, but I think it might have a lot of value if used to analyze "culture wars", "generational conflicts", etc. The horror movies from that time period ("Night of the Living Dead", "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre") definitely were doing things in relation to what was on at the time, they reacted to the failure of the happy "hippy-love"-attitude (that perhaps could be compared to the "pc-culture" of today - people thinking that by making other people not talk about bad stuff, it would disappear), and they definitely played with the "genre and function of horror movies as whole" to be sure.

In a way this movie does seem as "conservative horror" at the start, and a lot of horror movies seem to present this "conservative" picture of the world - a girl deals with people of the wrong class, plays with "dangerous behavior" and gets what's coming to her, but from the ironic/playful/comedy tone that is used, (which it seems to slightly have in common with "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre") and the fact that it turns into a revenge-fantasy film by the end, and by the year it was made, I doubt it's too "serious" in some such conservative message.

This film really makes you think of the "horror genre" as irony on conservative views. Just when imagining the context. Young people going to the cinemas (or renting a "banned in UK" videotape) to watch films with an exaggerated conservative message (don't do drugs or participate in disallowed forms of sexual behavior or there will be consequences), for fun, to smoke pot and to hopefully participate in disallowed forms of sexual behavior. It seems to be sort of like an ironic form of viewing (and making) movies, perhaps.

I enjoyed aspects of this movie, both in music, editing, script: the main villain is quite good at almost being an iconic villain, though trying to do that in some quite unbelievable and constructed scenarios and I think the script definitely has it's moments: Nice reference to Alice Cooper through the fictional band Bloodlust. (Cooper's famous chicken incident had happened just a few years before.) I also quite like how the group of villains are talking about the "sex crime of the century" and the girl lists Sigmund "Frood", because he can't ever see phone posts without thinking of male sexual organs again. Yes, boys and girls, psychologists/philosophers can be the greatest sexual criminals of history.

Overall, the movie is probably not ever going to be a "masterpiece" in any category, but valuable if seen from a historical or genre theory perspective and with somewhat clever moments of screenwriting, framing, editing, scoring here and there throughout. Also seems to foreshadow chainsaw as an iconic horror weapon.
2 years 7 months ago
Oneironaut's avatar


I can't believe that there are fans of this. Awful movie, and I've seen it recommended as a good horror.

Horrific soundtrack, terrible writing, worthless characters, just bad in every way. I regret watching it.
12 years ago
hannochka's avatar


this is literally one of the worst horror movies I've ever seen. What a total waste of my time
8 years 5 months ago
Groovy09's avatar


Let me just say this right up front, this is a bad movie. The acting is bad, the writing is terrible and the characters are your typical horror-movie cliches. However i still enjoyed it for it's 70's low budget feel, but I would personally just consider it a prototype for better things that came next, such as 'Texas Chsinsaw Massacre' and 'Halloween'
7 years 9 months ago
akuma587's avatar


Stylistically uneven, campy, and the acting is not great, but I definitely got into it. Kind of like a diamond in the rough. Although the movie does not quite live up to its reputation, you will be pretty disturbed by the end of the movie. It unquestionably pushed the boundaries for when it came out.

I have seen a ton of horror movies, but this one actually had me looking over my shoulder when I was getting ready to go to sleep. Its a very different take on the story from Bergman's "The Virgin Spring."
13 years 5 months ago
Marcus Fenix's avatar

Marcus Fenix

So this was the movie that had Cult following? No wayyyy, I had nightmares which would make better horror movies
3 years 6 months ago
der32284's avatar


Well that was horrible.
6 years 8 months ago
thaisquisito's avatar


what did i just watch? Awful!
11 years 7 months ago
sabke's avatar


The mother in this movie takes a good revenge on her kidnapper!
12 years 5 months ago
sinnobite's avatar


Gratuitous violence movie with a boring story and dumb characters.
13 years 8 months ago
AECH's avatar


Well I didn’t enjoy that. If it had a point and respected it’s female characters maybe I’d feel differently.
3 years 11 months ago
americanadian25's avatar


Yeah... this is a pretty dark one.
5 years 9 months ago
CellarDoor's avatar


Possibly worst horror movie soundtrack and awkward comic relief ever.
12 years 3 months ago
Jonathan_Hutchings's avatar


It's "The Virgin Spring," without the intelligence.
12 years 9 months ago

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