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Reviews & Ratings for
Thundercrack! More at IMDbPro »

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Whole lotta thunder. Whole lotta cracks.

Author: SanFernandoCurt from United States
8 January 2003

It is uniquely impossible to comment on this film. It MUST be seen to be believed. Early on, when the guy jams his dick into a vacu-jack and cuts loose, you know you're in for a strange, strange ride. That scene could only be topped by the legendary "boinkin' the motorcycle" (yeah, right up the tail-pipe - but it's a Harley) sequence in Fred Halsted's "Sex Garage," another black-and-white gay porn West Coast masterpiece from the '70s. (Halsted, unfortunately, is also dead.) In "Thundercrack," McDowell takes the creaky "old dark house" motif and stands it on its head, its feet, its knees, buttocks... whatever. Every possible sexual combination is worked into the picture. I'm not the world's biggest fan of primate jack-off situations, but "Thundercrack!" has the best. A few weeks before his death in 1986, McDowell was feted at the Roxie Theater here in San Francisco for his contribution to American film and... well... San Francisco porn. Both industries have fallen on hard times. In Hollywood films, quality is practically nonexistent. San Francisco porn is nonexistent, period. We've come a long way from "Behind the Green Door" to "Burbank Sperm Bank." Ah, well. Everything changes. Everything ends.

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A cult classic for the seriously open minded

Author: Chris_Docker from United Kingdom
17 March 2004

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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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A true underground satire

Author: Dave Godin (Dave G) from Sheffield, England
11 October 1999

THUNDERCRACK! is, in a strange way, a scurrilous precursor of DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID, and with wicked wit and precision, subverts not only the entire `grammar' of film, but an endless succession of Hollywood images, situations and clichés in the process. It even manages to satirise pornography; no mean feat when such images still retain their power to shock and unsettle some people! Using the familiar "lonely-house on a storm-swept night acting as a safe haven for lost and confused travellers" scenario, (some chance!!), it explores the manners and mores of `normal' society with such wicked wit that only the most puritanical would not be capable of responding. Thankfully made in black-and-white, the entire cast and, it appears, crew, throw themselves into the venture without inhibition or qualm, and the result is Hollywood turned on it's head, and all those previously `hidden' and subliminal subplots exposed for what they really are. For broad-minded adults, a most amusing and entertaining tonic, showing perhaps, that even sex should not be taken TOO seriously.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

If John Waters and Anthony Spinelli re-made THE OLD DARK HOUSE...

Author: EYEboy from Greensboro, NC
3 November 1998

This celebrated oddity of underground art/porno filmmaking is at once a hysterical, insane, and strangely literate comedy. Director Curt McDowell makes good use of the great interiors and black-and-white format to lend an air of sleazy sophistication to the proceedings. As for the sex, it's too demented -- too lost among the chaotic proceedings -- to categorize this as just another "Golden Age" porno; the inclusion of a gay male scene only underscores that. Definitely one of the oddest cult films of its decade, perhaps of any decade. Students of the ultra-weird (who aren't put off by explicit sex) shouldn't miss the opportunity to see this.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Definitely Ranks Among The Strangest Films EVER...

Author: EVOL666 from St. John's Abortion Clinic
29 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's hard to even know where to begin with this strange black-and-white, horror/comedy/satire/film-noir/porno film. There is so much weirdness packed into THUNDERCRACK! that it's hard to cover it all in a review. Suffice it to say, if you are a fan of porn and uber-weirdo cinema, this is DEFINITELY a must-see...

Several travelers end up at the estate of a drunken weirdo named Mrs. Gert Hammond on a drunk and stormy night. Mrs. Hammond shows her "hospitality" by offering the wayward travelers lodging, nourishment, and sex toys. Turns out that Mrs. Hammond is even more of a whackadoo than previously thought, as we find that she keeps the remains of her dead husband (killed by a swarm of locusts ?!?!?!) pickled in the basement, has a son with elephantitis of the bean-bag that she keeps locked in a room, and keeps an endless supply of cucumbers to masturbate with. Soon the travelers begin to "acquaint" themselves with each other in some very strange sexual encounters - including straight sex, homo-sex, blow-up doll sex, vegetable get the picture. Things get even more strange (if that's humanly possible) when a guy named Bing who works for a traveling circus is in an accident nearby, releasing the animals into the area surrounding the Hammond property. With some prodding from the already resident travelers - we learn that Bing has an odd "relationship" with his female gorilla, this point the bizarro-factor is in over-drive and there ain't no slowin' down...

Anything I could possibly say about THUNDERCRACK! won't really do it justice. It is definitely a see-it-for-yourself sort of film. The performances are actually quite good (especially from Marion Eaton as Mrs. Hammond) for the type of film it is, and the script is surprisingly smart and witty, with a ton of snappy one-liners. The tone of the film - shot in old-school, scratchy black-and-white just adds another layer to the overall weirdosity of the film. If you can handle graphic sex (both straight and homo), beastiality (though it's really just some jackass in a gorilla suit), and complete and utter strangeness in film, then this is DEFINITELY something you should check out - I gotta say I got one hell of a kick out of it. Be warned though - the uncut copy is two-and-a-half hours long, but honestly - it blows by pretty fast as this one will hold your interest pretty easily...8.5/10

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Who does a 500 pound gorilla do?

Author: Scott-from-Modesto ( from United States
24 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Thundercrack is one of the most indiscriminately exploitive films I've ever seen. An old gal diddles herself with a vibe while peeping on a guy masturbating his hairy mangina with a toy while bonking an androgynous sex doll--hetero sex, homo sex, lesbo sex, gorilla sex, everywhere a sex sex. Don't get me wrong because I'm not knocking it, I'm just saying is all.

Apparently the version I saw was uncut and that means it clocks in at about 2 1/2 hours. I've watched porn for two and a half hours at a clip or more rather often but I don't think I've watched a single film in one sitting like that, so I suppose you could say Thundercrack! keeps you in your seat. Gert Hammond is your hostess for the night, pay attention to her. And the gorilla, let's not forget the ape...Uh, there's a gorilla in this.

Actually, Thundercrack! is over long but still has to be seen. Microwave some popcorn and a pizza and taquitos and whatever other snacks will tide you over for a couple hours because you ain't gonna wanna split. There are some seriously raunchy perverted groaners and one-liners in this flick that alone make it worth seeing, but even if it didn't have the gorilla it'd still be worth looking at--8/10.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Surreal and bizarre porno masterpiece.

Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
16 March 2006

"Thundercrack!" starts out as a horror flick with some people taking refuge in a ghostly mansion during a storm at the countryside.Their hostess is one of the weirdest female characters ever shown on screen.Dead drunk,horny,delirious:Marion Eaton plays the role with a vengeance.What is the secret with her dead husband?Where is her son? Why does she keep human body parts in the cellar?It really doesn't matter much.Very soon,everyone gets involved in something much more interesting:having sex in every which way possible and impossible.Curt McDowell's "Thundercrack!" is easily one of the most bizarre porno films I have ever seen.It's shot in a black and white and loaded with raunchy hard core homo/hetero sex.The script is supremely strange and the acting is fine.Marion Eaton is especially memorable as a creepy Mrs Gert Hammond.I can't wait to see a fully uncut 152-minutes long version of this film.9 out of 10.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The Greatest Trash Porn Cinema Ever

Author: maximumhong from United States
30 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After a grueling, chained-to-my-desk Monday at work, I was pleasantly surprised to see another Nicheflix envelope in my mailbox. My evening plans were immediately set; I would run out, grab some Taco Hell, then settle down behind the PC for a cinematic feast whilst relaxing the body and mind.

How much more wrong could a person be? Thundercrack! is an 'art porn' slash exploitation slash horror b-movie all rolled up into one unsettling, low low budget package. Marion Eaton, a strange, obscure but brilliant 'stage' actress, stars as a drunken, middle-aged widow living 'all alone' in a country cottage. She is charmingly insane, perverse, and her performance is over-the-top but exceedingly well done.

Back story: Her husband was eaten alive by a swarm of locusts years before. In her madness she pickled him and keeps his gristly remains in a couple of tall jars in the basement. Her son, a seeker of all things erotic, is kept in a locked closet because of his elephantitis of the scrotum, which enlarged his testicles to monstrous proportions. To her, 'he no longer exists,' and there is a little more than a hint at incest, though we never actually see her son (except for a brief flicker of his large testicles). Apparently he has a thing for enemas.

Add two groups of strangers looking for shelter from a horrible storm, a snack of peeled (used) cucumber ad nauseum, toss in a deranged, over-caffeinated carny in love with his big, mean gorilla mama (for real), throw in more than a few straight/bisexual explicit sex scenes, and the end result is over 2 hours of celluloid that would at once please and nauseate anyone from David Lynch to John Waters.

I won't go into a detailed review, because I'm saving that for the remastered, restored version that should be coming out sometime in the future (via the official site @ I will force myself again to sit through 150 minutes of restored Thundercrack! And I will live to tell about it.

Oh, did I mention that it was super cheap, and filmed entirely in black and white? I have never in my life sat through a film so stupefying and bizarre. This is a one-of-a-kind experience, I must say, and I recommend it wholeheartedly for any fan of the strange, the twisted, and the just plain f**ked up. Definitely not for the squeamish. No real gore, but there are a couple of gross-out scenes and several truly adult sex scenes (including some gay scenes).

I can't begin to describe the effect of this movie. It's like a love/hate relationship. Kind of like sitting through a painful tattoo, knowing that you will come out afterward a permanently changed person but having to undergo some rather intense pain in the process. Or wiggling a loose tooth for two hours. It was one part Eraserhead, two parts Manos: Hands of Fate, one part Pink Flamingos and two parts sleazy '70s 'shock' porn. Crazy crazy mess.

Sometime after I posted my original review of this film, I was contacted by one of the members of the cast who thanked me for the attention. Rest assured that I will give a more thorough review when the official DVD is released.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of a kind film that should not be missed by students of the weird!

Author: dogbowl from United States
27 May 1999

I had the pleasure of seeing this at a midnight screening of the Seattle International Film Festival. Wow. This may have been the strangest film ever produced. It is a comedy, a claustrophobic thriller, a love story (well, sort of), a monster movie, and a porno all at once. It would be not enough to simply describe as satire, it is far more than that. You should not pass up the opportunity to see it on the big screen if you have the chance. Any fan of the bizarre can't miss this one. Highly recommended!

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

If You're Looking For Decency, Don't Come In This Room!

Author: ElijahCSkuggs from Happy Land, who lives in a Gumdrop House on Lolly Pop Lane
4 December 2006

Absurdly weird and funny porno flick you say? Count me in! So I just finished Thundercrack! a couple days ago. And it's taken me this long to collect my thoughts on this weird-ass film. All I knew going in is that it was weird, funny and full of sex. And that hits it right on the nose.

In the midst of a dark and stormy night, seven strangers find shelter at the residence of one Mrs. Gert Hammond. She's one character you have never come across in all of your film viewing. That's for sure. Mrs. Hammond takes them all in with open arms and is happy and proud to have company on this particular night. But she fails to realize that she's gone completely insane. And you will realize this in a matter of seconds when watching the movie. And the actress playing Hammond does a fantastic job pulling off one of the strangest performances to date. Most of the time you're watching her act with pure curiosity, the next moment you're laughing your ass off. The scene where she's getting ready for her first arrival had me really laughing. Anyways, her guests are four men and three women. A couple guests know one another and the rest "really" get to know one another. Thundercrack! is chock full of flashing lightning, pickled husbands, sex, horny gorillas, gay sex and one used up cucumber.

There are many upsides to this wonder of a porn flick, but there are a couple downsides also. For me, the flick was pretty difficult to hear. It's a rare movie that has not received the proper treatment it deserves. The music is too loud when people are talking. And sometimes when you're trying to read lips, the lightning from the Thundercracks! can't let you see what they're saying. This is a big problem, because the dialogue is where the movie shines. But if this problem is resolved, wowee, this could be one hell of a treat for the unsuspecting viewer. There's a rumor that a nicely packaged DVD is coming out....who knows when though.

Again, this movie is perversely strange and strangely perverse. For many a year I've yearned for a movie that could compete with my messed up dreams. And this is it. If you like porn, witty dialogue, funny acting, cucumbers, and just overall weirdass movies, you'll definitely get a kick out of Thundercrack! Right Chandler? 8.5 outta 10

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