By Linda Lofstrom

Gloriously gorgeous, titanically tit-illating Swedish temptress Christina Lindberg (Picture: - - ) electrifies the ultimate revenge grindhouse blowout Thriller: A Cruel Picture (Picture: ) as a gun-slinging, ass-stomping prostitute bent on revenge. It is a powerhouse performance like no other in a film without perverse peer.

The 1974 cult classic was originally banned outright in Sweden and then grotesquely edited in its U.S. release as the re-titled They Call Her One Eye. Despite the editing whack job, the film remained drenched in sex, blood, violence, and vengeance.

Now, a newly restored director's cut of Thriller: A Cruel Picture is soon to be available on DVD from the heroes at Synapse Films ( Where the old, edited version was simply drenched in sex, blood, violence, and vengeance, this new version is absolutely sopping in all manner of orgiastic delights. And, oddly, the only Thriller devotee up in arms over this glorious news is the movie's director, Boarne Vibernius. But more on that later.

The new DVD contains meticulously restored original vault footage--twenty minutes of previously deleted scenes, many of them highlighting, at the behest of the director, skinfamous insertion shots done in porno-classical close-up. Although not the star's real cooch, the stand-in genitalia penetration footage is in your face and as graphic as it cums. A stunning choice for a director who at one time worked for Ingmar Bergman. This was the project Viburnius exclaimed would be the "most commercial film ever."

In the movie, Lindberg's character, Madeline, as a result of being molested as a young child, grows up a traumatized, pitied--albeit smolderingly hot--mute, clad in crotch duster mini skirts and knee socks on a rural dairy farm in the beautiful remote countryside of Sweden.

After missing the bus into town one day, she accepts a ride from a sweet-talking con man who woos the na? young lady with food, wine, and compliments. He comes off much more suave when the film is watched in its native Swedish tongue with subtitles. His character's English overdub, retained from the original U.S. release, is laughably smarmy sounding, and one starts to wonder, "What the hell is she doing getting into this asshole's car?"

Going back to his place for an after-dinner cocktail (big mistake), Madeline is drugged by her chivalrous, covertly conniving companion, who, over a period of days, proceeds to get her hooked on heroin. With skinister skintent, she enters a life of prostitution in exchange for the drugs she now depends on. When she defies her captor and tries to escape, he slices and dices her eye as punishment, in a horrific close-up scene rumored to have been filmed using an actual corpse. Post-eye gouging she wears an eye patch, which she has handily in many colors to match her volcanically sexy outfits.

There are many skintillating scenes of Lindberg clad only in her fabulous flesh or in flimsy negligees and panties (Picture: - - - - ). She proudly flaunts her perfect Swedish squeezables while bedding Johns and one Jane--a beautiful brunette with boobettes so small it appears the stylist intentionally covered them with the actress's long, luscious locks so as not to distract from Lindberg's firm, beautiful, bouncing bulbs.

Madeline is used as a human hump bag for the pleasure of her captor's customers. And she isn't the only one. She befriends another of Mr. Smooth Talker's sex slaves, only to find later that her newfound pal has been murdered. With that discovery, something inside Madeline snaps and she becomes resolved to no longer take shit from anyone. While continuing to play along, she quietly uses the money she earns turning tricks to pay for the finest training in martial arts, weaponry, and high-speed driving on her one day off a week. She plies these newfound skills to exact the revenge she has precisely planned upon those who have held her hostage and used her body as their play toy, as well as anyone else who gets in her way.

Thriller: A Cruel Picture was shot in picturesque Oland and Stokholm, Sweden, and has been called "the roughest revenge movie ever made" by Quentin Tarantino. High-profile fan Tarantino even paid homage to Lindberg's eye-patch-wearing, sawed-off-shotgun-wielding character with Daryl Hannah's personage, Elle Driver, in the Kill Bill series.

Slated to come out in late September of 2004, the new DVD of Thriller, complete with outtakes, behind-the-scenes photos, and other special features, has been shrouded in a cloud of controversy.

Synapse first bought the film from Chrome Entertainment, who held the rights to the picture's world distribution, in January 2002. It appears the director was not happy with this deal; in addition to trash talking the re-release of the film on various cinematic websites, Vibernius has reportedly been bombarding Synapse Films and the company's General Counsel with numerous threatening emails and letters implying that Chrome Entertainment had the film "on loan" and had no rights to sell it.

Starting in February 2002, Synapse reportedly received its first threatening letter from Vibernius stating, "Auto visual piracy brought over state borders is a referring to information that have got from the FBI [sic]." This was said to be followed by a letter demanding that, "since material has been lost for over fourteen months it is considered stolen. If picture is unlawfully distributed action will also come from this side, with full cooperation from international Unions, etc."

Now remember, the guy is Swedish, so the broken English is no indication of his intelligence or state of mind. However, his insistence that Synapse Films has stolen his movie very well might be. He has sent letters to the FBI, threatened Synapse's lawyer with disbarment, and then mysteriously began hiding behind the moniker "Otto van der Leyfen" in the fall of 2002.

"Otto" recently sent an email to the website Movies Online which stated that Don May Jr., president of Synapse Films, and the film's distributor, Ryko, are distributing "the Cult Picture without agreement" and that "Synapse has paid zero to the owner, Cult Director Boarne Vibenius. Bastards, steal and go!!"

Otto signs off as a "friend of secrewed [sic] 61 year old Cultdirector [sic] Boarne Vibenius, now in prep for - Thriller 2 - But be sure, no Americans will be allowed to be involved in this production."

Don May Jr., unable to comment on the brouhaha due to possible litigation, sent a retort to the website through his lawyer stating, in essence, that Chrome legally obtained the rights to the film and Synapse, in turn, acquired the assignment of the distribution agreement which remains in effect through legal channels.

Another odd embroilment involving the film erupted recently when a Canadian fan crossed the American border back into Canada after picking up a collection of DVDs not available in his homeland, including a copy of Thriller. He was reportedly detained while the authorities watched the DVD (with their pants around their ankles, I'm sure), and determined that the of-legal-age Lindberg was not. They then are said to have arrested this poor soul and booked him on charges of trying to smuggle "child pornography."

Lindberg was well over the age of consent during the filming of Thriller, so any such charges will be proven false. Regardless, be careful what you carry into the nation once labeled by National Lampoon as "the retarded giant to our North."All controversy aside, Synapse will officially release the film on September 28, 2004, as originally planned. And we should all be grateful because this will enable many more viewers to gaze upon the lovely Christina Lindberg and soak in her goddess-like gazongas in freeze frame and all the other slo-mo features that modern technology affords us.

Thank you Synapse Films and technology itself, for without you, fantasizing about Lindberg's luscious love humps would not be so enjoyably easy.

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