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Old 05-25-2003, 11:46 PM   #1
dwatts
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Thumbs up House on the Edge of the Park

House on the Edge of the Park

This film has to have one of the best trailers in the genre. You can find it on a lot of Shriek Show discs, and it includes lots of sex and violence (I know that combination goes over well with some members of this site) Regardless of that, this film stars David Hess of Last House on the Left Fame, playing a very similar character. The cherry on top for some will be that Deodato of Cannibal Holocaust fame directed.

Story:

David Hess plays a psycho. The movie starts with him driving through the street of New York, apparently stalking a young girl in a car whom he had met earlier at a disco. Sheís ignoring him, but soon heís going to head her off and rape and murder her in the car. Yes folks, full frontal nudity is ever present in this film Ė sadly, this is 70ís nudity, so you apparently could not buy those little plastic razors to cut down on the forestation (actually, you gotta laugh at the change in attitudes).

After the rape and murder, we switch to the central characters place of work, a garage. Apparently Hess is dressed and ready to go to a disco with his retarded friend , Ricky (like he is actually retarded, though the part is a bit underplayed). His preparations are intercut with scenes of a couple, dressed up for a night out of their own, driving through New York. This couple (the guy is played by Christian Borromeo who starred in Tenebrae as the writers assistant) are about to have a bad night.

Anyway, their car begins to make horrid noises, so they pull off into the garage owned by Hess. Whose character is known as Alex. Asking for a quick fix, we are treated to some banter regarding the time of night, and how much it would cost. Hess is bribed into fixing the car for $40! Wow, times have changed. Actually, the retard fixes the car, but itís not a major problem anyway.

As thanks for the quick fix, this couple invite Hess to accompany them to their own party. It is late, and Hess says sure. Before leaving the garage however, we see him slip a razor into his pocket Ė oh no!

The party is a muddled affair. There are six people attending (three couples) and after a bit of dancing they settle down for a game of cards with the Ricky. Of course theyíre cheating, and Hess is going to find out pretty soon.

In the meantime though, Hess has fixated on one of the women. Plenty of garter belt and stockings here, and even flashes of lingerie. It leads to a shower scene where we get to see this woman in all her naked glory. Hey, any time you want to throw in some nudityÖ.

However, this woman is just winding Hess up Ė no sex takes place. They eventually rejoin the crowd downstairs, where Hess finds out Ricky has lost all his money playing poker. Thatís when the fun starts (alright, the violence).

At this point Hess takes over with his razor. We have lots of exposed breasts, some minor foreplay, a slashed face, slashed arms, legs and torso, lots of punching before the climax. Talking of a climax, Hess actually ends up raping that woman from the shower. In the extras he claims they actually had sex on screen. Go figure.

House of the Edge of the Park ends with a bit of a twist that I wonít expose here. As a companion disc with Last House of the Left and I Spit on Your Grave it is worthy. The cheese factor is high, just as you would expect, and if you are like me, the shock value just is not high enough to cause disgust in this day and age. But as a genre piece, it is hard to imagine that this does not belong in everyone's collection. The twist ending is not going to transform your view of the film, but at least the writers gave the film some thought beyond just stringing together a bunch of sex and violence.

Image Quality

Nice. Widescreen anamorphic and probably as good as it is going to get. I think Shriek Show did a fine job transferring this one.

Sound

Mono, nothing to get excited about. All dialog is clear and concise. The soundtrack does not suit the film at all (itís a disco number) and actually adds hilarity whenever it is played. I mean you can hardly stop dancing

Supplemental Material

Actually, this disc shines in this area. We get an intro to the film by one of the actresses which is a complete waste of time. However, we also have three interviews. The first up is Deodato himself in an almost 9 minute piece. Now, this could have been good but for one screw up Ė itís all in Italian! No problem, use the sub-titles. Oops, no subs! Trying alternate soundtrack? Oops, no alternate soundtrack! Bummer. I wonder if this is a system problem on my part, coz it seems crazy they would not have dubbed this.

Next up is an interview with Hess himself. Get this, this thing runs for almost 40 minutes! In it he talks about the film, and some other things. The major revelations include that he considers this film part of a trilogy (Last house on the Left, House of the Edge of the Park and Hitchhike.) He had actual sex on screen during the film, and that he thinks this film is about the external beauty, and the internal darkness of the characters (I ainít buying it, but what the hey.)

To top it off we have another 9 minutes with the guy who played Ricky. Heís bald now, but itís a good, frank interview.

Next up with have trailers for the movie, Zombie 3 and Zombie 4, Eaten Alive and one other I forget.
Final Thoughts

You know, I had recently seen the trailer for this film, and the impact of the trailer exceeds that of the actual film. The trailer is cut faster, and shows a lot of the action from the actual film itself. So the film comes across as a bit slow after the trailer. On the other hand, the film contains a lot of the things that indeed would have gotten it banned at the time it came out. If you like Last House on the Left, it is impossible to imagine you would not want this film in your collection.

Image Quality - b
Sound - C
Supplements - b+

DVD
Shriek Show Entertainment
Running Time - 1 hour 31 minutes
Color
Region 1, NTSC
Not Rated
Widescreen 16x9
English Dolby Digital stereo
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Old 05-26-2003, 01:49 AM   #2
DefJeff
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I think the music fits the film very well.

that dance scene with Radice and DeSelle is one of my favorite scenes ever
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Old 05-26-2003, 02:37 AM   #3
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I think the music is perfect for this film too. They should have included a cd soundtrack
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Old 05-26-2003, 03:11 AM   #4
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I have the vhs of this movie, and keep flirting with getting the disc. I like it because it is so cheap it seems like a snuff film, and that is how Hess is best, imho. This review made me want to go order it right away.
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Old 05-26-2003, 04:09 AM   #5
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I had a dupe of the vhs before the disc and the opening scenes were so dark I couldn't tell what was going on. The dvd is much much better get it now.
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Old 05-26-2003, 04:21 AM   #6
dwatts
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Don't know about the VHS. but as mentioned above, they did a good job transferring this one. Is the VHS widescreen?
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Old 05-26-2003, 05:12 AM   #7
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My vhs copy wasn't widescreen.
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Old 05-26-2003, 06:31 AM   #8
Andrew
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I like the movie but I kinda think it's the least of Hess's trilogy. I remember seeing the opening scene with Ricky and all the simple-minded terrible dialogue and standing with my jaw dropped open worried the whole movie would be liek that. Of course we soon find out that he IS retarded, but still. I thought that was a bit of a bad way to start the film (there isn't any dialogue in the rape/murder, so that doesn't count). Overall though, I think it has its moments. The last scenes with Cindy are really cringe-inducing. That girl doesn't look any older than 16, and seeing Hess do that...ah. I still think LAST HOUSE and HITCH HIKE are much better though.
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Old 05-26-2003, 07:18 AM   #9
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In order I like
House on the Edge of the Park
Hitch Hike
Last House on the Left ( would be rated higher if not for the stupid cop comedy thrown in )
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Old 06-02-2003, 10:58 AM   #10
legnadibrom
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poop

that "guy who played ricky" is giovanni lombardo radice aka john morghen from "city of the living dead" "the church" "cannibal apocalypse" "cannibal ferox" "stagefright" man!
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Old 06-02-2003, 08:40 PM   #11
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Radice is one of my favorite genre actors, no doubt about it! Bob, Charlie, and Mike are unforgettable!
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Old 06-02-2003, 08:59 PM   #12
ekent
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I have the brentwood version of this flick. I thought it was a decent transfer, I'd rate it around a B to a B- but not bad at all. Am I missing anything special by not having the shriek show version (Im talking about footage in the film, not features or anything like that). Im just curious.
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Old 06-28-2003, 06:56 AM   #13
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I heard Radice popped up in Gangs of New York! Is this true? (I haven't seen it yet)

Also, I can't seem to find any introduction by an actress on the disc. Is this an easter egg?
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Old 06-28-2003, 07:30 AM   #14
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I can't wait... I am getting this disc in a trade from Mortis! I hope I like it, but I'm sure I will since I always love this kind of film.

How can you not know who John Morghen is? Definitely my favorite genre actor... his performances are always brilliant and sometimes (like in Cannibal Ferox) hilarious!!

Last edited by RyanPC; 06-28-2003 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 06-28-2003, 03:37 PM   #15
zombi3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eddie Quist
I heard Radice popped up in Gangs of New York!
I could have sworn that he also popped up in a Maaco commercial several years ago. I started a thread a while back to see if someone could confirm this, but never got a response.
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