Tuesday, January 27, 2009

GETTING EVEN (1976) -- A love story

Reviewed by The Flying Maciste Brothers (Kevin Marr & Howard S. Berger)

A standard rape and revenge exploitation template is hurled like a Frisbee into the stratosphere by director Harry Kerwin and there ain't no dog big enough to jump up and grab it. Florida-lensed thriller was released to theaters as TOMCATS in 1977 and on video in the U.S. as AVENGED. Version reviewed here is from a U.K. video source, titled GETTING EVEN.

At the film's opening we are introduced to four loser degenerates led by co-writer/co-producer Wayne Crawford under his "Scott Lawrence" alias -- a pack of moronic, cackling hyenas (the ones who will be "gotten even" with eventually) as they begin their reign of terror on the young women of a small Florida town. It becomes immediately apparent that their real interest is in each other -- their feminine victims merely the football in a game that amounts to a kind of adolescent, homoerotic, group masturbation. The women, whether it be the victims they assault or their "girlfriends" or hookers for hire, are are never "dealt with" one-on-one in a private, separate location but are either raped or made to perform sexual acts to a public chorus of giggling, backslapping male camaraderie which inevitably turns to fisticuffs as part of the sexual payoff. Almost immediately, the gang rapes and kills our protagonist's sister thus setting into motion a perverse, romantic waltz between avenging brother and come-hither hoodlums looking to lose their onastic, self contained "virginity" and graduate to a rougher, more "mature" sexual encounter at the tip of an outsider's gun.

Finally apprehended by local police (after enjoying some foreplay in the form of squirming and giggling when frisked by the arresting patrolmen) the gang is hauled into a courtroom as the grieving, outraged father and brother look on from the gallery. It is at this moment that the second half of this psycho-sexual dance is exposed. The brother, Cullen Garrett (Chris Mulkey), begins to see flashes of his sister's attack in his imagination -- interestingly, they are not images of the attackers or of his sister being killed but of the clothes being ripped from her nude, wriggling torso. Like the rapists, Cullen has concocted a disembodied image of femininity for the purpose of erecting a mental bridge that will ultimately enmesh him in a perverse, romantic union with his psychotic, "virginal" paramours . This mental bridge is traversed at a gun range when the sexualized images of his sister are here replaced by the flash-cut faces of the rapists who smile back invitingly from the paper targets down range.

Having acknowledged their mutual attraction, Cullen begins systematically "busting their cherries" -- dramatized here with literal exploding hearts (gun shots to the chest) and, like any attentive lover, satisfies both himself and his figurative partners who lay limp and bleeding at his feet. In this film's context one can safely say, "They were asking for it."


Anonymous said...

This is available somewhere?

Temple of Schlock said...

Sure is! Check out our friends at Shocking Videos.


Anonymous said...

Film criticism from the libido. I love it!

kamagra said...

Interesting film,gang rape. Hopefully women should not under estimate by men especially the flirty ones.