After becoming a minor cult figure with his role as Krug Stullo in the notorious Last House on the Left, actor David Hess found himself typecast in minor variations of the role for the rest of his career. In this bloody thriller from director Pasquale Festa Campanile, Hess stars as Adam Kunitz, ringleader of a group of vicious bankrobbers who terrorize bickering vacationers Franco Nero and Corinne Clery. There's action, violence, and hard-edged sexual tension aplenty, although Hess' famous fireside rape of Clery is optically censored in some versions. The film, based on Peter Kane's novel The Violence and the Fury, and well scored by Ennio Morricone, still comes across as an attempt to capitalize on Hess' cult status, prefiguring his even more violent Italian films such as La Casa Sperduta nel Parco and Camping del Terrore. Ignazio Spalla and Monica Zanchi also appear.
"This fun little thriller isn't nearly as nauseatingly tense as those of its kind that came after it -- most notably The Hitcher -- but it does have its moments. Franco Nero, nearly always the handsome romantic leading man, turns in a wonderfully sympathetic performance as a man battle weaknesses when his wife needs him most, and Corinne Clery's nearly blank face is ideal for concealing her fear and rage. The film has taken on a cult status over the years because of David Hess' presence, and while he's convincing as a psychotic thief, he's hardly as dangerous as, say, Rutger Hauer's deadly hitchhiker, John Ryder. Still, there are some real thrills, if very little genuine horror."
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