Take a cliched Horror-story beginning, a remote Gothic mansion, an insane hostess, a group of strangers (four men, three women and a gorilla) and you pretty much begin to see that this is ... See full summary »
Take a cliched Horror-story beginning, a remote Gothic mansion, an insane hostess, a group of strangers (four men, three women and a gorilla) and you pretty much begin to see that this is not meant to be a serious film, but rather a parody of several other (older and better) ones. Social and sexual confusion & misunderstanding guarantees that this odd cast of characters will come together and entertain & amuse for 120 minutes. Written by
Mrs. Gert Hammond:
Shut the hell up, Goddamn puppet! You're nothing but a puppet for the Weather Bureau, and they pull the string that makes your mouth go up and down. I'll bet you don't even know what the hell an isobar is...
Mrs. Gert Hammond:
And don't go telling me it's some kind of a popsicle!
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Imagine Rocky Horror in black and white and as serious perved-out schlock-horror. Now, let's soup up the story a little . . .
We have a big old mansion on the hill. Some strangers are caught in a thunderstorm as their truck breaks down and decide to shelter. They are shown to a room in which they can change into some dry clothes (this room just happens to contain a wide variety of sexual 'aids'). Maintain an atmosphere of menace.
Soup it up a bit more. One of the characters is love-sick for a sex-crazed gorilla whom he had an affair with back in the days when he used to work in the circus. The owner of the mansion has the remains of her husband pickled in various bottles in the kitchen. Her son contracted a weird condition in the Far East that made his balls so heavy that they crushed things and sent him crazy (so he's behind a locked door and trying to get out).
Into what is becoming an increasingly complicated story that involves clichéd situations treated and re-created with incredible vision, add the odd 'porno' scene (why have pretend ones??). The effect of this is equally unsettling. Just as you get into the comfort zone of camp horror, some carefree full frontals make you feel distinctly on edge - all the better to freak you out for the next scary plot development. I should add that a bountiful mix of hetero and gay sex ensures it is not a film for dirty old men unless they are exceedingly liberal and the sudden shifts between genuinely erotic and scarily weird make you feel involved with the characters rather than observing them from a superior height.
I saw this film for a second time in 2005 and it was apparent that a number of very explicit scenes had been previously deleted. As the graphic sexuality runs simultaneously with double and triple puns explaining the subplots, it makes much more sense with them in and makes the film more cerebral than the average psychotronic experience. The acting by lead character Marion Eaton is also outstanding, almost Shakespearean, and contrasts with the tongue in cheek hamminess of other cast members in a way that makes your jaw drop. One of the most unusual films you'll ever see, I can't imagine anything more weird if John Waters was abducted by aliens and then regurgitated all over someone making a psychotic horror spoof with political and psychological undertones.
If you like cult films this as a jewel. Go and see it with very open-minded friends, or people you know very well! Thundercrack! is a cult classic for the seriously open minded.
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