Directed by Ruggero Deodato [Other horror films: Ultimo mondo cannibale (1977), Cannibal Holocaust (1980), Inferno in diretta (1984), Camping del terrore (1986), Un delitto poco comune (1988), Minaccia d’amore (1988), Vortice mortale (1993), The Profane Exhibit (2013, segment ‘Bridge’), Ballad in Blood (2016), Deathcember (2019, segment ‘Casetta Sperduta in Campagna’)]
In many ways, this Italian movie (generally known under the title House on the Edge of the Park) is a by-the-numbers exploitation flick, and there’s not much here that’s overly surprising (even for a video nasty). At the same time, if you’re a fan of exploitation films, there’s no reason not to check this out, even if it is a little shallow.
For the majority of the film, some rich, rather snobby, people are humiliated, raped, and otherwise under attack from David Hess’ Alex and Giovanni Lombardo Radice’s Ricky. Hess, best known for The Last House on the Left, does a fantastic job, and for his role, Radice does pretty decent too. Few of the other characters really stood out, save Gabriele Di Giulio (who had The Purge’s Rhys Wakefield swag), Annie Belle, and Brigitte Petronio, but everyone did at least okay.
None of the rape sequences here were as revolting as the scenes from I Spit on Your Grave, but there’s an in-universe reason for that, as we find out toward the finale, so that’s probably not a problem (and certainly not something I’d complain about). Speaking of the end, it was nice for this movie to throw a little bit of a twist to us – it didn’t entirely make up for just how dull much of the previous time was spent, but it did throw a bit of meat into the story, and the ending itself was pretty decent.
That said, I just can’t see House on the Edge of the Park being a movie I go back to all that often. It’s well-made and well-acted for what it is, but what it is is a by-the-number exploitation film, and while maybe fun for drive-ins, and certainly possessing some foreign appeal (the soundtrack here was, as the kids say, dope af), it’s not something I particularly loved. It did get better toward the end (some solid nudity from the attractive Petronio helped), but I still think it’s a bit below average.
Certainly, though, if you’re into exploitation movies, and you’ve not yet seen this one, it’s worth a watch.
This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If interested in hearing Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss House on the Edge of the Park, listen below.