Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rape Squad (1974)

Oh yeah, that title right there should let you know very quickly what kind of movie we're talking about today. To be honest, it was a movie I never really intended to cover, as I think Brad Jones said all there is to say about it. But I asked you all to submit your requests so I could cover things you want me to in the lead-up to Horrorfest and one request I got from a close friend was for this lovely little gem of a movie. I suppose it's only fitting, as it does have a hockey mask wearing assailant terrorizing young women. He's just not killing them but is rather raping them...while singing a song.

No, not that song. That would make too much sense.

This movie can also be a little hard to track down, as the obviously more popular title is not what it is most commonly marketed as. Generally you'll see it instead under the title of Act of Vengeance. It can be a bit tricky to find a watchable copy too, as I don't think it ever got a DVD release, much less a Blu-Ray one. So, it's a good thing that a movie about rape and revenge is readily available via other means. If that doesn't get taken down at some point, I will be shocked.

"You and me both, brother."
Before we get into the movie though, let's talk about the elephant in room...that fucking mask. Why does it have that giant goofy mouth hole? It just makes me think of the hockey mask in the Fallout games, which was equally goofy looking. It honestly ruins any sense of visual menace this guy might have for me right away, because all I can see in my head is him eating pudding through that hole. I literally imagined this elaborate scenario where the actor demanded they provide a hole so he could enjoy his pudding without having to constantly remove the mask. That's stupid and I can't help but think of stupid things when I am faced with such deep levels of doofiness. Now that I've complained about that, let's get on with it, shall we?

Quickly, be I realize I could be playing Fallout instead of watching this!
Linda is a lovely lady who seems to have a pretty good life. She's got a man she loves, a budding business, and glourious 70s hair. What could possibly go wrong? Well, she could get raped. I know how shocking that plot twist is for you. And the rapist wears that doofy-as-fuck mask to do the deed, because he doesn't want his identity known. So what do we call him? Here's the thing...he actually has a name he gets called based on the thing he does during the rape. You know, other than telling the women they can scream and being oddly polite with his southern drawl. No, what he does that earns him a nickname is...he makes the women sing Jingle Bells while he rapes them. But not every time, because sometimes he just sings it himself. Thus the notorious Jingle Bells comes to be, ruining the reputation of hockey mask wearing nuts all over.

"It just makes my job harder. I'm just trying to kill stupid teenagers, you know? Jason may shrug it off, but I've got bills."
We're supposed to take this guy as a serious threat. This guy with a big fucking hole for his mouth, a Dixie-fried accent, and a proclivity for the most annoyingly overplayed Christmas song ever. How do these women keep from laughing at him, for fuck's sake? I know rape is a terrible and serious thing but...this guy....this fucking guy. But, yeah, he successfully rapes Linda and when she goes to seek the help of law enforcement in finding the guy they prove to be about as helpful as most cops in exploitation films. That is to say, two officers take time out of their busy schedules to comment on how they'd love to be involved in a bit of sexual assault. I'm not sure if they're saying they want to get raped by women or if they want to rape women, but either way it's kinda shitty to bring up as a victim walks past you.

Behold, 1970s men's rights activists at their finest.
Linda wishes them lots of luck on the whole getting raped front and she gets to return to the loving arms of her boyfriend...who asks her if she's making the whole thing up. There are a lot of ways to handle the news that your girlfriend has been violated in such a way. There's anger, violence, homicidal rage, vigilantism, sensitivity, and then there's this movie's idea of how men should react to it: skepticism.

"I'm just saying that I barely want to fuck you. Now, let's go meet my parents."
But, to remind us that this movie has at least one guy who believes her, Jingle Bells pops back in to rape yet another woman. I'm not sure, but I'm detecting a pattern here. Call it a hunch on my part. But this is how it goes in a rape revenge movie, as there can be no revenge without the rape and lots of offensive sexist dialogue. The guys in this movie's reality make Al Bundy and his buddies look like hardcore feminists. Again, the cops prove to be rather useless as far as help goes. A fact that is hammered home when they march out a line-up of me in god damned hockey masks. And they're not even they same kind of mask that dipshit wears either!

If I didn't know any better, I could swear they're not taking this seriously.
As it stands now, we've got five women who were raped and want a little payback. Linda says to the other women that they should form a squad and take the fight to the rapists, which is cool. Let's see some hardcore vigilante justice! Castrations! Public shaming!! Feed the fuckers to some alligators!!! Not that I condone that kind of behaviour, but this is a revenge film and I want to see some solid revenge action.

You know, like the cover art promises.
So, what do they do? Well they go and...hand out flyers. Alright, sure, I'm not going to complain. Even the Monster Squad needed business cards, so it's fine. But when one of the ladies is greeted with a guy who says rape is his favourite sport and her immediate reaction isn't to beat the shit out of him, I fear this movie is going to lose me. Especially considering we get to see soon after that they're been training to fucking fight.

Behold! It's the ancient martial art of posing while someone else fights.
I should really correct myself though, as while one of them seems to be into martial arts, the other ladies just take a damn blunt object to a dummy's testicular area after writing RAPIST on it. Ladies, I understand, you want to have a stand-in to practice on. But maybe, just maybe, it should be one that might put up some sort of challenge for you? Because I am fairly certain Jingle Bells and his ilk won't just stand there while you take a bat to their balls. Here's an even better idea though: guns. Get some bloody guns. If a guy is trying to rape you or someone else, shoot the fucker. What? Is that too efficient of an idea? Whatever. So, after they get done caving in the dummy's scrotum, we then get to see Jingle Bells is sitting in his fucking car right outside of the dojo. Are you fucking kidding me?

"I can blend in anywhere!"
Yeah, I know, he's not wearing his stupid mask out there, but come on! Their rapist is just sitting outside of where they are like he's daring himself to be caught. But what do I expect from a guy called Jingle Bells? Intelligence? Nah, that went out the window the moment he earned his nickname. he remarks about how the ladies are learning karate, even though the place clearly also teaches taekwondo,  but I guess it doesn't really matter since all they're really learning how to do is hit unmoving dummies square in the crotch. From that slice of idiocy, the women finally set out to do their mission of taking down rapists. And they do this via dance!

That'll teach the bastard.
I'm kidding, of course, as they're really just using her to first seduce him, because that's how you find a rapist? I dunno, I guess they already know he's a rapist? It's hard to pay attention to this movie because I keep taking time to go weep in the corner. She gets back to his place and before any rapey shenanigans can take place the other girls burst in and the only one who knows how to fight dropkicks him in the face. There we go! Now, cut his nipples off! Or knock over his tower of beer cans, I suppose that's truly painful to him too.

In the arrrrrmssss of an angeeeelllll...
In the artermath of that horrible tragedy, they fuck his apartment up by making a mess that could probably easily be cleaned in like half an hour, tops. Then they tie him down, strip him naked, and pour a mysterious liquid on his dick that make cause him some truly terrible discomfort. What is it? Perhaps some sort of harsh chemical mixture that will burn the flesh from his pelvic bone? With how he reacts to it being poured on him, you'd assume so but...it's not. No, our group of vigilante women take down the rapist by dying his dick blue.

This calls for some patented rage-sobbing.
Their big master plan when finally catching a rapist is to dye his penis, and presumably testicles as well, blue. I'm sure you all expect some sort of joke about "blue balls" here, but I can't do it. The sheer awe-inspiring ignorance on display is making my brain want to cave in upon itself. They dyed the naughty bits of a man who forces himself onto women in the hopes that it would serve as a warning or deterrent. Do you see why this is dumb? Do you? Well, here, let me explain it then. If a woman is at the point where she can see his dick and balls, either she is consenting to sex with him or she's already at the point where she's about to get raped, which would mean the Rape Squad still let another woman get raped. And it's not a proper deterrent for the rapist as HE'S A FUCKING RAPIST! He likely doesn't give a shit if his bits are blue so long as his dick is getting wet. Sure, they promise that if they hear of him doing anything within the next six months (with is apparently how long the dye lasts) they'll come back and fuck him up but why? WHY?!

Sometimes I think a better review of a movie would to simply be me screaming for a while.
This groups of women who have endured the trauma that is rape have come to together as a squad to try and stop rape...by doing almost nothing to the one rapist they actually nab. What's to stop this piece of shit from looking into a dye remover? Or maybe simply waiting it out before he rapes anyone again? Hell, this entire plan of theirs is dependent on the fact that another woman may get raped and will talk about how her rapist has a blue cock. It's the stupidest fucking plan and I seriously now kinda despise these women for being so utterly useless while they preach about how they want to stop rapists. They're not stopping anything except for my ability to talk about anything but how moronic this is.

"Hey, now...don't you think you're being a bit too harsh on my ladies...?"
Shut the fuck up, Jingle Bells! Let's just continue this before I go eat myself into a diabetic coma. It would have to be better. Since the Rape Squad do such a bang-up job of stopping rape, guess what happens next? Another woman gets raped! Yes, Jingle Bells decides he's not really fond of landscape paintings, so he lets the woman painting know his opinion by raping her. I am seriously questioning his ability to properly critique things. And since the Rape Squad and the cops aren't taking this all seriously enough, the movie decided to up the ante by letting this be the first victim he actually kills. That's right, a man in doofy mask raped and killed a woman while singing a Christmas song. Remember Elves, the movie I covered about the Nazi elf that wanted to impregnate a teenage girl? That was less offensive. It was less stupid too. Not to mention it had our true lord and saviour, Dan Haggerty.

Our father who art in the woods just hanging with bears, Haggerty be his name. Amen.
It really is something when I can say the movie with Nazis in it was less offensive, especially with all the incest in that movie. What is it with these movies I end up covering and all the damned incest? Well, at least I can say this one doesn't have that...just three cases of women being raped and one case of blue balls. In the aftermath of the third victim's death, Jingle Bells actually seems remorseful about it. Too bad he's still a shitty person who rapes people. Adding murder onto it isn't going to really make me think less of him, but it is going to make me think less of the women who could've been tracking him down while they dyed a guy's junk the colour Jason Voorhees' mask in the NES Friday the 13th game.

The Rape Squad game wasn't quite as well received. Ironically, it was still made by LJN.
So what's Jingle Bells going to do with all this guilt over killing a girl? Why, he's going to focus on raping another girl to get mind off of it. This movie would make Tumblr explode. Shortly after we see Linda's boyfriend being about as sensitive as every other guy in the movie, one of the other girls playing some lewd calls she recorded, and then finally we see the group go after another rapist. Well, at least I think they're going after him. They could also be propositioning him with  the way this is playing out. But wait, he's not actually a rapist but is rather the guy making lewd calls? Um, ladies? I know getting a call from a skeevy guy sucks, but there is literally a serial rapist out there who happened to murder his last victim. Can you actually try doing something about that?

Or you can just make him start to disrobe. Are they gonna rape him now?
After our ineffectual heroines finish harassing the guy who looks like he's related to Bud Spencer, they go and do something somewhat competent as they stand up to a pimp who is manhandling one of his "hos". They do this by beating the shit...out of his car. Because a pimp totally can't get a new car by profiting off the women he makes work for him, right? I really hate these women. But at least one of them kicks him a few times, knocking him out. He'll probably wake up and turn over a new leaf, right? Or maybe he'll wake up nice and angry, then take it out on one of the women under him. Thanks, Rape Squad. What would we do without you? Probably a lot, honestly.

The dummy would probably feel a lot better without them crushing his poor dummy pelvis.
We finally get to see Jingle Bells unmasked and he looks like...well, a guy. He's kinda unremarkable. He could be interchangeable with any other douche in the movie. The beardy guy they almost raped sticks out more. He monologues about the ladies and the rest of the movie is basically them finally trying to get to him as he toys with them, which must be so hard as these women are just such big threats. He better watch out, they might give him a light spanking for being such a big meanie. In the finale, they're all out in the woods and he ends up catching two of them due to their own jackassery. He tells the others to get in his large cage or he'll kill them, which is a credible threat as he's the only person in this rape revenge film to have actually killed anyone. Linda doesn't though, as she's the main character and she decides to taunt him until he comes after her. She knocks him down with her ability to hit everything but him, then she beats him to death with a shovel that suspiciously has no blood on it. The credits roll as she tries to let the others out and that's it.

"This movie raped me and I want you to do something about it!"
If you haven't figured it out by now, I didn't really like this movie. Yes, it's offensive, but not really because of the subject matter. There are good movies from this same time period that delve into the same water and actually feature women who actually kick ass. This movie featured a bunch of women who were annoying and mostly useless. They claimed they were going to do something about rapists, but ultimately they barely managed to do anything worthwhile. Really, Linda is the only one who stopped a rapist and that's only as a result of the other idiots being captured and said rapist being so ego-driven that he allowed himself to be lured out where she could attack and kill him.

That's right, I'm talking about you. Feel free to get pissy about it, as I've got no car for you to smash & could care less if my balls are dyed.
As an exploitation film, this also falls kinda flat as it really isn't remarkable in any way beyond the ridiculous villain. Compared to other such films in the rape revenge subgenre, this is positively tame and never really feels exciting at any point. And while it does feel difficult to watch, it's never due to violence or the rape being too graphic but is rather because the movie just isn't really entertaining. The characters reach such nonsensical levels of ineptitude that I honestly did yell at the movie while watching it. Rape Squad, you are no I Spit on Your Grave. Only watch this movie if you're curious and do not go into it expecting anything good. So, until we get Freddy vs. Jingle Bells, I'll be here cursing at my internet provider for going out around 10pm last night, keeping me from getting this posted up sooner. Later days, bleeders.

"Do you ladies still want some of this...? My prices are flexible."

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