Monday, December 19, 2011

House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

R.I.P. David Hess.  I'm a bad Scream Queen and I've only ever seen him in The Last House on the Left so I felt compelled to check out something else he's been in.  House on the Edge of the Park is about two friends, Alex (David Hess) and Ricky (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) who work at a garage in New York City.  Ricky is a slightly more mentally stable version of Matthew from I Spit on Your Grave and since David Hess got hired for this movie on the basis of LHOTH, he's playing a fairly similar character.  Right off the bat, Alex rapes a woman he spotted at a club.  At another date and time, a yuppie couple, Tom and Lisa, pulls into the garage as they are closing.  Although Tom offers money to fix the car, Alex and Ricky are more interested in leaving to party.  So, it all works out for everyone when Tom and Lisa invite them back to New Jersey for a little social gathering.

Christ, the late 70s were a weird time.  Apparently, at a "cabin in the woods," everyone is dressed in suits and evening gowns.  Lisa's pixie cut is cute as hell though.  The women at the house seem overly flirtatious, encouraging Ricky to do a striptease, while Lisa invites Alex into the shower.  After being rebuffed by Lisa, and realizing that everyone is cheating at the poker game, the party quickly turns ugly.

Alex and Ricky attack all the men at the party, and turn their attention to the women.  In a Straw Dogs-like scene, Alex rapes Lisa, although she doesn't seem entirely bothered by it.  After that, they pretty much traipse about the house torturing, taunting, and raping their victims.  The rape scenes in this movie are downright bizarre and hard to describe.  There's singing, straight razors, and lots of garters and 70s bush.  Not surprisingly, there's a reason for this whole charade, since only the dumbest of the dumb would invite random people from a garage back to their house.

I would say this movie is pretty reminiscent of The Last House on the Left and I Spit On Your Grave.  Pure raw craziness and exploitation, complete with some serious characters.    It didn't hold my attention as much as either of those movies, but it was a fairly solid rape/revenge/exploitation movie if that's what you're looking for.

Also, this was on my mind the entire movie, but doesn't young David Hess look like current Jon Bernthal?!?!