I know I complained about who thinks up some of the titles for movies. Sometimes though, a movie title will catch your attention. House On The Edge Of The Park (1980) was one such title for me. I don't know why, I guess it just sounds menacing to me. In the end, I found out it is nothing more than a somewhat copy of Last House On The Left. That movie took a long time to be released in Italy so I guess they tried to make their own version. In theory, the movie only copies the basic plot of people being made to do sexual things and having violence inflicted on them. How it is done is changed around.
House On the Edge Of The Park (phew long title) starts right away with a rape scene. Alex (David Hess) sees a girl that he met at a club and just about wrecks them both trying to get her to stop her car. He jumps in and pushs her into the back seat, rapes and kills her. We don't actually know that she dies but she looks it. Later, never told how much later, we see Alex getting ready to go out for a night at the club again with his friend Ricky (Giovanni Lombardo Radice). Ricky seems a little bit on the slow side at times.
Tom (Christian Borromeo) and Lisa (Annie Belle) are having car troubles and pull into Alex's shop. Turns out the fix is easy enough and Alex somewhat invites himself and Ricky to the party that Tom and Lisa were heading to. They go to a very nice house, all the people, including Tom and Lisa, are very rich. Howard (Gabriele Di Giulio), Glenda (Marie Claude Joseph) and Gloria (Lorraine De Selle) are already there. They quickly start to make fun of Ricky a bit and get him to start dancing and to do a little strip dance as well. Alex gets upset at this and puts a stop to it. They invite Ricky to play some poker with them and get him to start drinking while Lisa hints to Alex that she is going upstairs to shower. She puts on a little show in the shower and really teases Alex and then leaves him hot and bothered. Meanwhile, Ricky is being taken at the poker table. They are cheating somehow and end up taking all of Ricky's money. When Alex notices this he gets upset yet again and Tom and Howard move to attack him which Alex easily fends them off. After this he starts to beat up the guys and humilate the women. This goes on for a good while until Cindy (Brigitte Petronio) shows up. Alex starts to humilate her and figures out she is still a virgin. He assults her and when Ricky tries to interfer, Alex cuts him pretty bad. This all leads to a twist ending.
As far as effects go, there isn't much to talk about. The guys get beat up some and of course they show the effects which do look real enough. Cindy gets cut up with a straight razor (Alex's weapon) and some reviewers said that this was done with the blunt end of the razor. I didn't happen to notice that. While the effect only leaves streaks of blood, I thought it was probably the most disturbing part of the whole movie.
The acting wasn't the best here. Of course the movie was dubbed, which seemed a little funny to me since I know at least Hess can speak English. I know this was probably done on purpose but the rich people are very hard to like. It was very hard to feel sorry for them at all. The fight scenes are very lacking. If that is the best they can do then they deserved to be beat up. The only person I ever felt sorry for was Cindy since she just happened to come over at the wrong time.
House On The Edge Of The Park is close to Last House On The Left. I do feel though that it can stand on its own. It is funny that Hess ends up being in both films playing almost that same character. The movie is supposed to show the dark side of people. Not just the already bad Alex but also that of the rich people. Even though Alex forces himself on Lisa, she seems to enjoy that. She fights a little but then just gives in completely and even goes along with it. Ricky wants Gloria but can't bring himself to force her into sex. At one point, when Cindy shows up, she makes a run for it. Ricky goes after her and eventually finds where she is hiding. After convincing Gloria that he doesn't want to hurt her, she has sex with him. This seemed very out of place to me.
I don't normaly do this but the twist ending was another reason I didn't care for this movie. So if you want to watch it on your own and not know, turn away now. The twist is that this was all a set up. The woman who was raped at the start of the film (turns out this was or would be Hess's wife Karoline Mardeck) was Tom's sister and he set all this up in order to get revenge. Two thugs "break in" and in the course of defending himself and his guests, he kills Alex. Tom reveals this in the last 10 minutes of the film to Alex just before they kill him. I'm fine with the twist really but what I don't understand is why go through almost an hour of hell, getting beat up, watching your friends being humilated, watching another friend get cut up, before acting out the revenge?
While not a bad film, it just isn't my idea of a true horror movie. I liked Last House On The Left more because I felt very uneasy after watching it. Wes Craven also added just a pinch of horror to it as well. Being held against my will and made to do things would be very scary to me in real life. In a movie it always makes me feel lacking, I'm not scared since I know it just an act being put on for all of us watching it. Last House On The Left felt more raw and therefor real. The characters were also easier to indentify with. House On The Edge Of The Park (in the trailer they swap the words On and Of around making a funny title) is an ok movie but not one I really enjoyed. The interviews with Hess and his wife (they would not talk about her being in the movie at all) and Radice are probably the best things on the dvd, at least I enjoyed them more than the movie itself.
2 out of 5 Hoping the next movie will have a shorter title
6 days ago