House on the Edge of the Park

House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

Two psychotics wrangle their way into a private party and turn on their hosts in this Ruggero Deodato exploitation torture flick.

Alex (David Hess) is a sadistic rapist who fancies himself quite the ladies’ man.  When he and his friend Ricky are about to head out to the disco, fate drops a young couple with car trouble in front of them.  The couple is late for a party and desperate to get their car fixed and when Ricky is able to get it done, he and Alex find themselves invited to the get-together.  From there, things go about as well as you’d expect.  Alex and Ricky take everybody hostage and a night of torture follows.

This is another one of those Italian exploitation films that I don’t get.  From the description: “Time to party hardy. Hardly! It’s more like time to bail when two psychotics gate-crash a perfectly delightful get-together and turn it into a gore-fest with a huge body count.”  Spoiler alert: Two people die in this movie and one of those is off screen.  Seriously.  *End spoiler*  In the end, a surprising twist turns the tables on them and tries hard to salvage the film but winds up bringing up more questions than it answers.  Hess and Deodato have both done better, which makes this film so disappointing.  Alex is almost a spoof of Hess’ character in “Last House on the Left” and Deodato still seems to want to explore the human condition through looking at the depths of our depravity, as he did in “Cannibal Holocaust”, but this film isn’t nearly so thoughtful.

This one fails on almost all levels. The characters are largely uninteresting, the story is jumbled, the dialogue is painfully forced – even for a spaghetti slasher – the torture scenes are watered down or ridiculous and the deaths never materialize.


Stars: 1.5/5


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