region 0. Pink Flamingo.
couple of days ago, The Guardian in the UK printed
yet another hysterical article about the horrors of porn, and
in both the ill-informed piece and the comments afterwards, one
theme kept coming up - that modern porn is much more unpleasant,
violent and extreme than the porn films from the 1970's and 80's
that people may have seen in their youth. It's a nonsense argument,
as anyone familiar with Seventies hardcore can tell you, and few
films prove the point more bluntly than Forced Entry.
in 1972 by Shaun Costello (as Helmuth Richter - one of many pseudonyms
he used throughout his career), Forced Entry
is unquestionably one of the grimmest adult movies ever shot -
outdone only, perhaps, by Costello's own Waterpower.
It stars a pre-Deep Throat Harry Reems (here
called Tim Long) as a grubby, damaged, psychotic Vietnam Vet who
works in a gas station and uses his job to find out the addresses
of female customers. Breaking into their homes, the deranged Reems
rapes them at gunpoint before stabbing them to death. He finally
attacks two hippy girls who are too stoned to realise the danger
they are in, and simply laugh at him. This sends him into a spiral
of madness and - spoiler alert - he blows his brains out. Oh,
and all this is intercut with Vietnam newsreel footage of bombs
dropping, villagers cowering and dead bodies. Feeling turned on
- hardly recognisable without his trademark moustache and with
longer hair (though he seems to have had a haircut midway through
shooting) is chillingly real as the fucked up psycho, and Laura
Cannon is terrifyingly believable as one of his victims. Costello,
making his directorial debut, is better with the suspense and
horror than the sex, and a lot of dialogue is looped over and
over again, but for a two-day shoot costing $6000, this is a pretty
solid piece. The print used here - the best available - is pretty
beaten up, but I doubt this film ever really looked pristine.
titles like this are aimed squarely at the cult film market, and
that's good, because at no point does Forced Entry
work as erotica. There is nothing even remotely sexy
about this film - possibly a deliberate move by Costello, who
was disinterested in making simply another fuck film. Even the
one romantic sex scene - starring Costello himself - looks pretty
horrible, and the rape scenes are consciously, brutally nasty
- there's no suggestion that this is anything more than an ugly,
violent assault that is truly traumatising.
an enthusiastic cover blurb from Gaspar Noé, a 12 page
booklet and a decent text interview with Costello, this is an
admirable presentation of a film that probably doesn't deserve
it. Fans of grubby Seventies cinema might want to take a look.
Just remember to shower afterwards.
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