Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Not pretty at all....Poor Pretty Eddie (1975)

I'd been meaning to watch this for a while, but just never got round to it. I knew it was meant to be extremely bleak and I guess you just need to be in the right mood for that kind of thing.

Elizabeth 'Liz' Wetherly is a professional singer. With some time to spare before her next engagement, she decides to take a bit of road trip, get some space and just escape from it all.

Unfortunately, her car breaks down in a hick town in the middle of nowhere. She tries to get some help in a small diner/bar/guest house. This is where she meets Eddie, a wannabe country and western singer, with a slight resemblance to Elvis. He lives there with the owner/his mistress Bertha and the gentle giant Keno. I'm not quite sure what Keno is meant to be, some sort of caretaker perhaps?

Eddie and Bertha

Liz just wants some privacy while she's waiting for her car to get fixed, but Eddie has other plans. He becomes convinced that Liz has eyes for him and eventually he forces himself on her. She tries to report the rape to the local sheriff, but he is every bit as bad as Eddie.

It's a dark film, both in subject matter and in the way it is filmed. With no way out and no chance of help from any of the locals, Liz's only option is to 'play along', take the repeated abuse and wait for an opportunity to take her revenge.

Keno and Eddie

Poor Pretty Eddie is violent, surreal and very sleazy. It's interesting up to a point, as it at least tries to do something slightly different with an often used formula, but it's not a great film by any means. Many of the scenes are in truly bad taste and difficult to watch (rape scene inter-cut with random shots of dogs mating and children giggling anyone?). The whole thing is saved by a solid cast, who all do pretty well with what is at best an ok script. I guess you're not supposed to 'like' a film like's definitely an odd one, worth watching if you like your redneck-revenge-sleze....which it certainly delivers. And there's that legendary ending...which is every bit as surreal as it is violent.

As many of these films it did the grindhouse/drive-in circuit for many years and kept getting rereleased under a variety of titles. Here's a selection.

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