Monday, 30 May 2011
Poor Pretty Eddie (1975)
I don't think i've ever come across a movie with so many alternate titles or covers. This one is also known as Black Vengeance, Heartbreak Motel, The Girl in the Web, The Victim and Redneck County Rape as far as i'm aware.
This film really does grab you from the opening credits. It sets the tone with a chilling score and some intense dialogue. The dinner table scene is the first sign of madness, where you get a glimpse of these local hillbilly types who are trying to do everything they can to impress their new celebrity lodger. It's the reaction of Liz to each question which makes you a little uneasy. If it was me in that position i'd just smile, eat up the meal, drink the drink, laugh at all the jokes and then go to bed having been as polite as I possibly could. Sadly, Liz admits to not liking the music that Eddie was playing and also being quite sharp with her responses, a trait which is common with most celebrity types and this one appears to be no different.
I love movies that play the US national anthem, it's such a haunting theme to me on film and it really shouldn't be. I also loved the setting too, those creepy Texas Chainsaw/Deliverance woods are the creepiest.
There were a few minor gripes with this one but I don't want to spoil any of the plot if I can help it, so i'll leave one out. All I will say is this, I can understand the predicament but not the response.
My other gripe is the use of flashbacks and dream sequences, it's like I never know where I am with the film, you have to sort of catch up later. Luckily this only happens a few times, most notably when the action is hotting up like at the bar in town and also with the drunken guy who gives Liz a lift in his car.
"No, I would not like to suck on a Tomato, Sheriff."
The performances of everyone involved are pitch perfect, aside from my minor gripe from above. Shelley Winters puts in a phenomenal turn as a faded starlet Bertha, disillusioned and totally oblivious to the actions of Eddie. Another great performance comes from Ted Kennedy who plays Keno, a sort of caretaker for the bar and lodge but also a protector of Bertha. I loved him, my favourite character by a redneck country mile.
It's difficult not to think of the other movies from this genre, the likes of Deliverance, Straw Dogs, Wolf Lake and alike. This can stand among the very best examples. I loved it.
I'm also glad that we kept to the roads on our trip across the States last year because this sort of hick stuff scares the hell out of me.
"Did he bite you on the titties?" "Did he put his suck-box on ya?"