Plot: Alex (David Hess) is about to leave work and head out to boogie down, with his pal Ricky (John Morghen) at his side. But just as he is about to close shop, a couple arrives and needs some minor repair work done on their car, so while Alex shakes them down a little, Ricky fixes the mechanical issue. As it turns out, the couple is headed to a small get together with some friends and since the mechanics are such colorful dudes, they wind up invited to the event. Alex sees a chance to get a taste of a beautiful woman and have some fun, so he and Ricky make an appearance. The party is just a handful of rich people, so the mechanics stand out, but their hosts are fascinated by the guests, especially Ricky, who seems to eager to be liked. Alex tries to put the move on one of the women, but finds himself cock blocked, raising his temper a little. What starts as some awkward, nervous energy soon ignites into a violent, horrific night that no one will be the same after.
Entertainment Value: A home invasion thriller that stars the always brutal David Hess, this movie can be tough to watch, with ample instances of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. House on the Edge of the Park is pure shock cinema, but for genre fans, it is an enduring and still effective experience. Hess is like a man possessed here, in the kind of role he was infamous for and he really ramps up his aggression, he is a force of nature as Alex. His performance is intense and over the top at times, but he never feels like anything less than an unstable menace, always right on the brink of lashing out in horrific ways. John Morghen plays Hess’ sidekick, the imbalanced, but more good natured Ricky, who seems to just want to be liked, though he is willing to do most anything to achieve that. The cast also includes Annie Bell, Marie Claude Joseph, and Lorraine De Selle, among others. This is a dark, mostly serious thriller, with only minor bursts of humor, such as the dance sequence and Hess’ is sometimes so over the top, it is funny in a sadistic sense. The movie also boasts Ruggero Deodato’s capable direction and an effective score from legendary Riz Ortolani. For fans of shock cinema or 80s horror, House on the Edge of the Park is well recommended.
The movie has a good deal of nakedness, including numerous topless scenes, bare asses, and full frontal nudity. Not like quick flashes of bush either, but frequent, lingering, and fairly vivid shots of full frontal. A lot of this happens in moments of sexual violence or humiliation, however. A couple scenes that occur before the tide turns involve a more traditional, erotic presence (such as the shower scene), but the majority happen under less than pleasant circumstances. A lot of violence unfolds here, but the bloodshed isn’t as rampant as you might expect. There is a wild scene where Alex slices up one of the girls and while it is intense, the actual gore isn’t that bad. I think the sexual component of the violence is much darker and more disturbing than the actual bloodshed. The dialogue involves a lot of Hess using tough guy talk to intimidate and manipulate his victims, while Morghen has some humorous, but strange moments as Ricky that stand out as well. But Hess has most of the wildest and memorable lines, though there a lot of them on hand here. In terms of craziness, Hess’ performance, the odd dance scene, and the sheer volume of sexual madness earns some solid points. The tone might be serious, but this one feels quite out of control at times.
Overall Insanity: 6/10