Grim cyclopian-Scandi-porn-thriller that sees a one-eyed prostitute exact Peckinpah-style revenge on bad men everywhere.

Thriller – A Cruel Picture
Thriller – A Cruel Picture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This review was written  39 years too late

Another film that glories in abusing women and tries to justify it by tossing in a revenge plot, They Call Her One Eye has a superb title but little else. Young Frigga is assaulted in a Swedish forest by an old man who subsequently gets let off for being a nutbar or something, establishing the injustice and frankly terrible life One-Eye is going to live (she’s still got two eyes at this point).

Jump forward a decade or so and One-Eye (Christina Lindberg) has not spoken to anyone since her assault but lives happily enough with her loving parents on a farm. Deciding to go into town, she misses the bus and foolishly accepts a lift from a Tony, a 70s cliche with flares and a fast car who wines and dines and drugs her. He’s not very nice either, it seems.

Quickly hooking her on heroin, with the incorrect threat that she will die if she misses a fix, Tony starts pimping her out. So evil is Tony, instead of cackling insanely, he proudly and loudly two-finger types a letter to her parents saying she never wants to see them again and forces her to sign it. Yes, that will throw them off the scent.

One-Eye becomes just that when she fights back against an abusive client, prompting Tony to punish her. Director Bo Arne Vibenius, working under the not-much-better name of Alex Fridolinski, supposedly used a cadaver for the scene, which is worth bearing in mind when you sign your organ donor card. Now called One-Eye, Tony is pleased that she is attracting more business since the clients like “The Pirate”, as she becomes known.

About this time in the film, it shifts into porn mode, showing increasingly harder encounters with both men and women. When one of her fellow workers who has been planning an escape to a detox clinic is killed by Tony, One-Eye has had enough. On her day off (Tony isn’t all bad) she scores as much dope as she can and uses it to keep sane when not working and instead learn how to drive, shoot and generally handle herself.

All of this is handled with a degree of incompetence you would expect – awkward hand-to-hand combat sessions that are reminiscent of Captain Kirk teaching Charlie how to stand up for himself in the Star Trek episode Charlie X – not very fast rally driving, and small arms-related slow-mo shooting all supervised by kindly gents who don’t for a second wonder why this eye-patched young heroin addict wants to learn all this.

From there it all goes predictably. Having shown the sexual titillation, it’s time to justify it all with some violent titillation. One-Eye starts offing all the men and women that have abused her, takes on the hitmen that Tony has sent after her and finally finishes off Tony himself – no spoiler there. The gun play involved is too Peckinpah, with shotguns discharging so slowly, most shootings take about 20 minutes of the film to complete as we watch the orange blast from the weapon explode from the barrel while our fingernails grow another two centimetres.

Quite what I was expecting, I can’t recall fully. Certainly something less porny, corny and slow. Maybe more of a Western, more of a rampage rather than a wander. In the end [warning: closing wrap-up pun approaching], you’ll be called two-eyes after watching this – and both will be closed. Or, you’ll be wishing you’d been blinded in two eyes after watching this. Or, oh shut up.

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