Wednesday, 13 April 2016
Slashed Dreams (1975)
A young man and woman - "just friends" but clearly on the way to being something more - hike up into the mountains to visit a former college classmate of theirs who has decided to tune in and drop out, so to speak. The couple's journey to their friend's cabin occupies most of the first hour of the film, and is a largely low-key character piece as the romantic tension between them grows more and more obvious.
There are a couple of slightly off-key moments during the journey though: and I'm not talking about the incessant, lilting folk music of the sound track. There's the shopkeeper who warns them that part of the mountains are "bad", and tries to sell them a knife. And then there's the bear that turns up to gorge on their provisions. Still, these are mildly alarming moments that are soon forgotten by the young couple. They continue their trek and their romance, eventually consummating their new relationship in their friend's cabin: the young owner of the domicile being absent when they arrive.
And then two hillbillies turn up to rape the young woman.
The scene's fairly effective at being unpleasant, and not in any way titillating, and I guess I have to salute the efforts taken to ensure that, but it is still a "Really? Ugh" moment for me.
This doesn't turn out to be a rape-revenge film, though. The boyfriend does track down the rapists and fight them, but they ultimately run away from him, and the couple - whose friend finally turns up to offer some earnest if clumsy counselling - gradually overcome the shock of what happened to them and walk off into the sunset together, one last warbly love song playing as they do so.
I'm not sure who the intended audience of this film is, to be honest.