The House on the Edge of the Park

Helmed by Ruggero Deodato (the ballsy dude behind Cannibal Holocaust), this claustrophobic shocker takes no prisoners as it spins a tale of party-crashing sleazebag mechanics taking prisoners at a posh condo. Riffing on Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left, Deodato puts Last House heavy David Hess center stage as the scenery-chewing brute hellbent on making life anti-peachy for the collection of shocked yuppies assembled in the ultimate Italo party pad. While Hess’ relentless performance — one which blithely spins out of control, as his character rapes and torments his hosts in an orgy of self-destruction — ultimately drives the film, Eurotrash fanatics will also thrill to the appearances of Cannibal Ferox alumnus Lorraine De Selle, Tenebrae‘s Christian Borromeo, and a bald black lady who’s possibly the foxiest of all bald black ladies throughout cinema. This magnum sickus, coated in a quasi-American visual gloss, is a rare delight, and remains a suitably stylized contribution to early ’80s shock filmmaking. They sure don’t make ‘em like this anymore.
Dir. Ruggero Deodato, 1980, 35mm, 91 min.

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