The Curator of Schlock #387 by Jeff Shuster
The House on the Edge of the Park
You don’t like these kinds of movies.
I was being accosted by three goons in a dark alley. One of the goons had a turtle crossing sign strapped to his chest. He brandished an aluminum bat and I was expecting every bone on my body to get cracked. As soon as he raised his bat, a shuriken struck him in his wrist. He screamed and the lanky goon with a nervous twitch pulled out a 9MM and started shooting in the direction the ninja star came from. — To be continued.
This week’s movie is 1980’s The House on the Edge of the Park from director Ruggero Deodato. This flick is notorious. The House on the Edge of the Park made it on the Video Nasties list in the United Kingdom upon its release in the early 1980s. The fully uncut version didn’t get released over there until April of this year! We get the return of David Hess playing yet another psychopath. Giovanni Lombardo Radice also stars. Do you remember him? Of course you do. He played the town pervert in City of the Living Dead and the singing cannibal in Cannibal Apocalypse.
The opening of the movie introduces us to Alex (David Hess) and before the opening credits hit, we learn that he’s a rapist and murderer. Yikes!
Alex works at a garage in New York City with his dimwitted friend Ricky (Giovanni Lombardo Radice). This garage may also be a chop-shop. Alex and Ricky are getting ready for a night on the town. Ricky is very excited about getting the chance to boogie. Before they leave, a rich couple named Tom (Christian Borromeo) and Lisa (Annie Belle) pull in with a fancy Cadillac and ask for assistance.
Turns out that their car trouble comes from a loose wire that Ricky is quick to fix. Tom and Lisa are in a hurry. They’re leaving for a get-together with their other rich friends in New Jersey. As payment, Alex wants an invite to that sweet shindig. He also insists that Ricky tag along. Before the four of them leave, Alex says he has to go back for his keys, By keys, he means straight razor. Yes, violence is coming.
Tom and Lisa bring the two working class mechanics to the party much to the amusement of their rich friends. Ricky humiliates himself by showing off his dancing moves. The blue bloods invite him to play a game of poker. Meanwhile, Lisa plays a game of “Now you get me. Now you don’t.” with Alex, leaving him frustrated. Alex returns to the other guests only to see them fleecing his simple-minded friend for all he’s worth. Realizing the poker game is rigged, Alex unleashes a torrent of violence on his wealthy host and guests. Alex busts up Tom’s face pretty bad. He knocks another guy into the swimming pool. Alex then proceeds to urinate on him while laughing maniacally. And it only gets worse from here.
Did you know David Hess was a songwriter? Apparently, he wrote several hits for Elvis Presley, Sal Mineo, Andy Williams, and Pat Boone. I just find it interesting that a man who already had a successful career had a side gig of playing sociopaths in exploitation flicks.
Jeff Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, episode 284, episode 441, episode 442, episode 443, episode 444, episode 450, episode 477, episode 491, episode 492, episode 493, episode 495, and episode 496) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.
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