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Copyright 1974 BAV Films
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 4 October 2008

The Characters:  

  • Frigga - Numerous indecencies are inflicted upon her person (forced heroin addiction, eye mutilation, physical abuse, rape), and she finally snaps. Look out; it's an irate one-eyed hooker with a shotgun! Run like a b*tch!
  • Sally - The other reluctant prostitute. Her employer kills her and (probably) ships the body to Denmark for sale at a medical auction. Kidnapped teenage hookers have it kind of rough.
  • Frigga's Parents - They commit suicide after reading a faked "Goodbye, you suck as parents" letter. Let me tell you something: parents of teenagers need thick skin.
  • Tony - He is the talent scout and ringmaster for the circus of depravity that forces young women into (usually short) lives of prostitution and drug abuse. I think that he shops at Ikea. No, make that "shopped at Ikea." He wakes up on the wrong side of a thirsty horse.
  • The Cornfed Cornholer (customer) - This massive lug is exactly the type of guy you do not want poking at your nether regions with his man bits. Unfortunately, because the descriptive title of this film is "A Cruel Picture," that is exactly what he does to Frigga. She pays him back with some 00 buckshot.
  • The Slap Happy Lesbian (customer) - She has really ugly breasts; the floppy things do not even appear to be natural. They look like she was completely flat, and tried to create breasts by giving herself atomic nipple twisters using c-clamps and a broom handle. Man, those are ugly. Shotgun fodder.
  • Mr. Anderson (another customer) - Oh great, a sadist with an SLR. Just what every prostitute wants for Christmas. Mr. Anderson might hold the copyright on all those lewd pictures, but Frigga holds the patent for a lead delivery system with extreme prejudice.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

I was hungry when I sat down to take notes for this review. In keeping with the film's mean and depraved attitude, I selected a bowl of Bing cherries and a generous glass of Jack Daniels as refreshment. The cherries were crisp and sweet, if not terribly filling, and I spit the hard pits into a smaller bowl; the black label whiskey was harsh on the tongue and burned going down. It was a fitting repast for someone watching "Thriller: A Cruel Picture."

Trust me, you will understand what I mean in a few minutes. Read on.

After being sexually molested as a child by a bearded weirdo, Frigga quit speaking. She is now a teenager, and still does not say a word. The domesticated rabbits that she enjoys petting are more vocal than Frigga. If you squeezed a rabbit really hard it would scream. The young woman is always silent, no matter what is being done to her. Anyway, Frigga misses the bus one day and naively accepts a ride from Tony. The slick scoundrel treats her to a lavish dinner, complete with just about every flavor of wine and cognac you could ask for. Then he takes Frigga to his house where he slips something in her drink that knocks her out.

By the way, don't let a PETAphile catch you squeezing rabbits.

When Frigga finally regains consciousness she looks like death warmed over, and is hooked on heroin because Tony gave her regular injections until she became addicted to the opiate. Tony's job is to "recruit" young women for a prostitution ring. He picks them up, knocks them out, shoots them full of medical-quality heroin until they become dependent, and then provides them with the drugs they need to avoid withdrawal - so long as they act like nice little girls to all the customers that visit the house. The girls are free to come and go as they please, so long as they are available when scheduled for a little of the old "slap-n-tickle." It is the addiction to the medical-quality heroin, and their own shame, that effectively traps the exploited maidens.

At first, Frigga is not having any of it. She tries to run away; failing at that, she claws the heck out of a customer's face. The latter transgression makes Tony REALLY angry. He bursts into Frigga's room with a scalpel and cuts her eye out! It is quick and ruthless, and Frigga never makes a sound! Tony jabs the surgical tool directly into her eye, but she does not even whimper.

The mutilation breaks Frigga's will; she quickly becomes the most popular girl in the small bordello. All of the customers are violent weirdoes! When she is not being slapped repeatedly, the young woman usually finds herself at the receiving end of the Cornfed Cornholer's (my nickname for the creep) funky tallywacker, and I mean that in a "no holes barred" way. Oh, and by the way, the uncut version of this film contains graphic sex scenes. I think that a stunt **** (yes, that), a stunt ***** (yes, that too), and a stunt ******* (yes, even that) were used, though the male genitalia might be Cornfed's. It is a bit hard to tell, and I was not keen to try and match moles. Needless to say, Frigga looks forward to shooting up; the drugs are the girl's only escape from the Hell that her life has become.

Though it all, Frigga remains mute. Even when she discovers that her parents have committed suicide, she does not scream. What the girl does is to start acquiring the skills needed to take revenge on everyone who has earned it. She studies karate, learns marksmanship from an old firearms fanatic, and even pays a guy to teach her pursuit driving. The karate instructor discovers her drug addiction and tosses her out of the dojo, but Frigga continues studying unarmed combat with a pair of military commandos.

At long last, Frigga is ready: she can fight, she can shoot, and she can drive. A shifty fixer provides her an alternate source for her heroin addiction, along with a car. As you might imagine, obtaining all of these things cost quite a bit of money. Frigga has the cash. She got it "on the side" (and on her back, and stomach, and probably standing on her head) from her customers. Let me tell you, that wad of cash represents a lot of pain and humiliation, and Frigga is ready to return the favor in spades. These people made her into the maimed ball of outrage that she has become. Now they are going to pay the price.

I am going to have nightmares about crazy one-eyed hookers with shotguns, and I have never even seen one in person.

Cornfed gets it first. He answers his front door and finds Frigga standing there with a black duster and sawed-off double-barreled shotgun. I do not think that the doomed bastard even had time to mouth the words, "Oh, SH*T!" before getting blasted in the forehead. Tony convenes an emergency meeting of the "We frigged Frigga and now she is friggin' mad" club in a restaurant. Frigga kicks the door in and shreds her other two regular customers with buckshot! Obliterating customers has to be bad for business, but there is no explaining that to an angry one-eyed prostitute jonesing for a fix.

There is an RIAA joke there...somewhere. I just know it.

Tony tries to defuse the situation by hiring a pair of hit men. No good; Frigga takes them out, and takes out the police officers who respond to the report that a crazy underage hooker is shooting people in a warehouse. Then, and I do not know why she does this, but it is a neat scene, Frigga drives to a little fishing village. There she has a shootout with somebody who eventually runs away. I think it might have been Tony, but I am not sure.

Following the random fishing village carnage, Frigga expresses her extreme displeasure with the world by going on a road rage road trip. She runs at least three vehicles off the road! Something funny about the wheeled destruction scenes is the big plumes of white smoke that pop out of the cars right before they crash. It looks as if the vehicles are battling it out with cannons, like an asphalt version of "The Ancient Art of War at Sea."

Parts of the film play out in slow motion; in fact, a substantial number of the scenes with her killing people are slow motion. Doing that was probably an artistic choice, but it gets annoying. Offsetting the excessive use of slow motion is Frigga's continued silence, which is almost genius. It portrays her as a seething, inhuman thing. Poor Tony - Frigga saves him for the end, and the end is brutal. There is a lot of Hell to pay.

Christina Lindberg became a titillating sensation in the early 1970's. Her popularity was probably due to the fact that her diminutive size and facial features made her appear much younger than her true age (she was born in 1950), but her body was definitely that of a woman. Personally, the young lady does not do anything for me, but this film brilliantly uses that appearance of youth to make the plot more disturbing. "Thriller: A Cruel Picture" starts out mean, and just gets meaner. It does have a lot of good ideas, but many of them feel half-finished, as if the filmmakers did not have something (the skill or, more likely, the resources) to flesh them out. Despite that, the basic ideas, like the setup of young girls exploited as drug-addicted prostitutes, Frigga's persistent agonizing silence, and the inevitable revenge bloodbath, still make it a memorable piece of cinema.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Little girls should never play with giant berserker leprechauns.
  • Europeans like their meals either on fire or alcoholic, and quite often both.
  • Depth perception is detrimental to sexual aptitude.
  • Heroin is Alka-Seltzer that has gone flat.
  • Revenge always requires a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun.
  • Head wounds bleed profusely, especially those caused by a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun.
  • Heck, any wound caused by a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun bleeds profusely.
  • The Volkswagen Beetle is considered a high performance sports car in some countries.
  • European blood banks stock 20W-50, 10W-30, and 5W-20 blood.
  • Never stick your tongue out at a girl who is jonesing for a fix, angry about being turned into a teenage prostitute, and carrying a loaded, sawed-off double-barreled shotgun.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 8 mins - Funny, it doesn't look like a Mitsubishi.
  • 13 mins - "Look, you even match the couch; now you have to stay."
  • 18 mins - I am convinced that hanging light fixture is actually an alien spaceship.
  • 22 mins - "You match the autumn leaves. I love the Fall!"
  • 34 mins - My grandmother used to hit me with a broom...because she was old and crazy.
  • 36 mins - Just in case you missed the point: he is having sex with her.
  • 39 mins - Is she dictating? To whom?
  • 59 mins - I guess that the sheets are waterproof. That makes sense, come to think of it.
  • 68 mins - Did you notice that her duster, eye patch, shotgun, and fingernail polish are color-coordinated?
  • 81 mins - Either that is a Swedish police car, or else there is a graffiti artist in dire need of a dictionary on the loose.


  • Tony: "Every morning at nine I'll give you your list of appointments, and the makings for two fixes to get you through the day. Monday's your free day. That means you'll be getting twice as much of the stuff on Sunday morning to hold you until Tuesday. Do a good job, and you may earn yourself a bonus from time to time."
  • Tony: (reading a letter) "Well, I'll be a son-of-a-b*tch. She's really gone off the deep end. She challenges me to a duel! I can pick my choice of weapons."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note thrillercruel1.wav Tony: "I know a lot of chicks. Most of them don't know how to keep quiet, but I think you set a new record."
Green Music Note thrillercruel2.wav Tony: "All right sweetheart, here's the setup: I've been pumping you full of heroin, and I don't mean the watered-down crap they push on the street, either - the cleanest, strongest stuff you can find. So what I'm saying is, very simply, you've been hooked, and without your jolt you can last forty-eight hours at best."
Green Music Note thrillercruel3.wav The sound of a normal day at work for Frigga.
Green Music Note thrillercruel4.wav Tony: "We've got a pack of trouble. Frigga killed one of her regular clients yesterday, and I'm betting she's out to get the three of us."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipthrillercruel1.mpg - 5.4m
Pissed off hooker with a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun! Run! RUN!

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