OKAY ADMIT IT, IS THIS MOVIE SUPPOSED TO EMPOWER WOMEN OR WERE THEY JUST LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO SHOW THEM GETTING THEIR CLOTHES TORN OFF?
Act Of Vengeance aka Rape Squad (1974)
Yeah yeah I know I said I was done with sexploitation pictures but this one popped up the other day and I had to take a peek. There was, for every one thing portrayed (unfortunately) accurately about a dozen other things that were just... wrong. Yes, this is a Grindhouse picture, not an After-School Special so why am I beefing? I'm not really, but I was kind of disturbed by the 'viewer reviews' who, most being born sometime AFTER this film was made, were taking this a bit too seriously. I mean they thought that this movie represented the CORRECT way of dealing with the subject of rape and how to get justice <facepalm>.
Okay let's break down the story. A woman gets raped by a man in a hockey mask who makes her sing Jingle Bells (Why? I have no frickin' idea.) while he tells her how lucky she is 'cause he's a fantastic lover, the best she'll ever have. Oh, and her clothes get ripped off.
In other words, this movie, whatever its goal, is presenting rape as a sex crime, not a crime of violence. Which is typical, as many today still have that impression - that take away the enjoyment of the act and a person won't get raped. That's where you get all that puke-urinate garbage women get fed to make themselves 'unattractive' to rapists <facepalm again>.
So she goes to the cops - who are all shown lasciviously listening to every detail, ignoring their work and gathering for the juicy story. She talks to her - I wouldn't call him a boyfriend, more like just dating and he tells her that it was a game of grab ass that got a little carried away and suggests it's because of the way she dresses. And she should just forget it. After all, isn't it a kind of compliment that he would choose her?
As for the rapist himself, this was kind of eerie. He was wearing a jumpsuit and a hockey mask - four years before Michael Myers and six years before Jason Voorhees. Stalking college campuses, taking pictures, thinking he was a real ladies man - that was a Ted Bundy trick and he started somewhere around 1974. As for the singing Jingle Bells - they never explain that one and I really don't want to start delving deep into serial rapists and killers right now.
So for the remainder of the movie Linda, the woman raped at the beginning, gathers a group of others who have been victimized (not necessarily by the same guy) and they form a 'squad'. Problem is, they end up breaking almost as many laws in their quest for 'justice'.
Let's see... we've got assault, breaking and entering, destruction of personal property for a start. But all this is 'justified' to these women if they even see a woman mistreated, not necessarily in danger of rape.
Where are the cops? In the doughnut shop I guess. You don't see a single one for the rest of the movie. One of the women, a black belt, says she practices six hours a day five days a week. Uh, what? Is she preparing to kick ass on the weekends?
How does it end? He somehow manages to capture the squad, but Linda degrades his masculinity, telling him he was terrible at sex and... well, the point was that they were again making rape a sex crime. This distracts the Lothario enough that she can grab a shovel and beat his head in.
The tag line of the movie (one of them anyway) is let the revenge fit the crime. This never happens. Not in this movie, not in life. This movie is what it is - a simple 70's sexploitation movie and should be remembered as such, not a life lesson.
Oh and I heard that they were actually going to remake this thing in the near future. I think I'll skip it.
Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.