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

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

Madeleine (Christina Lindberg) is a pretty mute girl who lives with her parents in the Swedish countryside. One day, she misses the bus into town (she was heading to a doctor’s appointment), and, while looking over the schedule to see when the next one is due, is approached by a smooth operator in a fancy car named Tony (Heinz Hopf), who offers her a lift. Once in town, 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, then gives her a shot of heroin, thus addicting her to the drug. It’s all part of Tony’s elaborate scheme to turn Madeleine into a high-end prostitute (if she does as she’s told, she’ll get steady doses of the heroin she desires). 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 quickly becomes Tony’s most popular call girl, servicing a number of Johns (of both sexes) who visit her each and every week. She finally reaches her breaking point, however, when she learns that her parents, distraught over her disappearance, have committed suicide. Using the tip money her clients 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’m such a fan of They Call her One Eye. She is, without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous women ever to step foot in front of a camera (even sporting an eyepatch, her beauty is second to none). What’s more, we get to see her kick some ass in this movie, and boy, can she bring it! After 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’ve wronged her are all presented in graphic slow motion, thus bringing an almost otherworldly feel to these bloody encounters, and 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 even served as Quentin Tarantino’s inspiration for the character of Elle Driver in the Kill Bill films.

When I think of my favorite grindhouse-era movies, the films that leap to mind include Coffy, Five Deadly Venoms, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and, of course, 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). If you’re at all serious about delving into the best that ‘70s cinema has to offer, this should be one of the first movies you check out.

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