House On The Edge Of The Park / La casa sperduta nel parco (1980)

3.5 out of 5

Filmed in 1979 and featuring Giovanni Lombardo Radice in a début role as Ricky who is a little soft in the head and which presages a film career of perpetual premature bloody demise. Ricky is in the thrall of Alex played by David Hess who is cast in Italy for the second time in a role clearly influenced by the character of Krug from Last House On The Left after visiting this thematic territory to star alongside Franco Nero and Corinne Clery in Autostop rosso sangue two years earlier.

In the tradition of Last House On The Left and one of a whole series of Italian house invasion and revenge flicks such as Midnight Blue, Cold Eyes Of Fear and Night Train Murders it has to be said that while in prestigious and notorious company Ruggero Deodato's tight direction places this one up with there with the best of the genre.

Unapologetically generic and making little pretence of originality the film nevertheless came in for particular scrutiny from the censorious British government which in turn added the film to the DPP list of proscribed films and in the process created a generation of fans of Italian genre film for whom the fact that Italy was so heavily represented on the moralist's roll call of infamy could hardly have passed by unnoticed.

Benefiting from incredibly strong performances from the charismatic leads the class conscious House On The Edge Of The Park is a film that by it's very appellation will announce to cinephiles, by dint of the connotation alluded to with film titles of this nature, it's black hearted intent.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics