Monday, January 12, 2015

#1,610. They Call Her One Eye (1973)

Directed By: Alex Fridolinski

Starring: Christina Lindberg, Heinz Hopf, Despina Tomazani

Tag line: "The movie that has no limits of evil!"

Trivia: The producers took out a huge life insurance policy on star Christina Lindberg, as real ammunition was used in the action sequences

One of the best revenge films ever made, They Call Her One-Eye tells the story of a demure beauty who fights back against the people who forced her into prostitution.

Madeleine (Christina Lindberg), a pretty mute girl, lives with her parents in the Swedish countryside. One day, she misses the bus into town, and while looking over the schedule is approached by Tony (Heinz Hopf), a smooth operator in a fancy car who offers her a lift. Tony treats the young lady to an expensive dinner, but when they go back to his place for a nightcap, he slips something into Madeleine’s drink that knocks her out. Tony then gives the unconscious Madeleine a shot of heroin, addicting her to the drug.

It’s all part of Tony’s elaborate scheme to turn Madeleine into a high-priced hooker (if she does as she’s told, she will get steady doses of heroin). At first, Madeleine refuses to cooperate, and even attacks the initial client Tony sends her way, savagely scratching the man’s face. As punishment, Tony cuts out Madeleine’s left eye with a scalpel.

Realizing she can’t escape, Madeleine soon becomes Tony’s most popular call girl, servicing a number of clients (of both sexes) who visit her each and every week. She finally reaches her breaking point, however, when she discovers that her parents, distraught over her disappearance, have committed suicide.

Using the tip money her "customers" give her, Madeleine takes lessons in everything from karate to firing a rifle, all in the hopes of one day exacting her revenge on Tony… and everyone else.

I’ll be honest here: Christina Lindberg is the key reason I initially watched They Call her One Eye (an alternate version, titled Thriller: A Cruel Picture, features a number of hardcore sex scenes shot by the producer after the film was completed). Ms. Lindberg is, without doubt, one of the most attractive women to ever step in front of a camera. Even sporting an eyepatch, her beauty is second to none.

What’s more, she kicks plenty of ass in this movie, and boy, can she bring it! Once her training is complete (along with karate and firearms, she also learns how to drive a car), Madeleine sets her plan in motion, using a sawed-off shotgun to deliver her own brand of justice. The scenes where she’s facing off against those who have wronged her are presented in graphic slow motion, bringing an almost otherworldly feel to these bloody encounters. Her final showdown with Tony is something you definitely won’t want to miss.

Equal parts Aphrodite and Zenobia, Ms. Lindberg’s Madeleine stands as one of the most impressive bad-ass beauties in cinematic history, and served as Quentin Tarantino’s inspiration for the character of Elle Driver in the Kill Bill films.

Whenever the subject of my favorite grindhouse-era movies cones up, the titles I rattle off include Coffy, Five Deadly Venoms, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and, of course, They Call Her One Eye. If you are at all serious about delving into the best that ‘70s cinema has to offer, this should be one of your first stops!

1 comment:

Jake Moore AKA: @RiverCityOtter said...

Dave I know sing the praise high & loud for "They Call Her One Eye" ! This is reason enough for me seek out this film I have yet to catch. You paint a verbal image of a very worth while entertainment!