Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

March 22, 2014

Movie Review: Brutalization (AKA Beware of the Cats, 1973)

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Directed by Fons Rademakers

The exploitation never ends! Featuring a graphic of a naked, humiliated brunette crouching in a corner, the title Brutalization in stark lettering, one is led to believe that this is yet another outing in “torture porn.” Those tricked into renting or purchasing this film will find a 40-plus-year-old exploitation chestnut from the Netherlands/Belgium, Because of the Cats. Then again, maybe no one will complain. In the very first ten minutes a group of male teenagers in suits and ties, their faces obscured with nylon stockings, gang rape a 40-year-old woman while her husband watches. It’s really brutal in the way it’s filmed: casual, no shock cuts, just straight up and ugly.

The detective investigating the case – well-dressed teenagers vandalizing and raping wealthy people, Inspector van der Valk (Bryan Marshall) picks up a high-class hooker, is done with her, and then treats the audience to his flaccid willy. “Pickle shots” are still a rarity in even today’s cinema, so this is intended as yet another shock to the audience’s sensibilities. It’s pretty downhill from there … lots of talky scenes interspersed with some shock scenes. Eventually our detective hero learns of an elite group of rich, well-to-do juvenile delinquents known as “the cats.” These kids have the world at their feet and seemingly get their jollies from victimizing their fellow rich folk. When one of their kind threatens to squeal, he is murdered in a bizarre fashion. Our detective then learns that the male group, The Cats, along with their subsidiary female group, “The Ravens,” is under the thrall of a cult leader who fills their heads with Nietzsche-like nonsense. Will he be able to save the day?

Because of the Cats is an odd little shocker. It has sex and nudity to spare, along with some appalling violence. The sets and interiors, which range from lush and bourgeois to the startling and futuristic suggests that some serious coin was spent. The final scenes capture the vibe of Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973) with more than just a teaspoon of A Clockwork Orange (1971) threw in.

Filmed in Amsterdam with all the actors speaking English in an undefined accent similarly add to the weird dislocation. An impossibly young Sylvia Kristel before she hit it big in Emmanuel appears in the altogether – but she doesn’t have a big role. Viewers going in should be aware that Because of the Cats is a rather dated curio, with loads of amusing charms and deficits with lots of slow spots. The DVD offers a rather word and contrast-y trailer as the sole extra. If any of the above interests you – keep this a BIG secret, sshhh, shhhh – you can watch Because of the Cats for absolutely free in various places on the Internet! Look it up ... 

No comments:

Post a Comment