Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "La casa sperduta nel parco" or "House of the Park on the Edge")

 

directed by Ruggero Deodato
Italy 1980

 

Refreshed from raping and murdering a young woman in the park, New York mechanic Alex (David Hess, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT) is ready to go out dancing with his more timid buddy Ricky (Giovanni Lombardo Radice, CANNIBAL FEROX) when well-to-do Tom (Christian Borromeo, MURDER ROCK) and smokin' hot Lisa (Annie Belle, THE ALCOVE) drop in to get their car fixed. To make up for the inconvenience, Tom and Lisa invite the odd pair back to their swanky house for a party. Also in attendance are outwardly glum, closet disco diva Gloria (Lorraine de Selle, WILD BEASTS), her boyfriend Howard (Gabriele Di Giulio, THE SEMINARIST), and statuesque "Grace Jones-y" Glenda (Marie Claude Joseph). After a memorable bout of groove thang-shaking (mostly from Ricky), a fixed poker game, and lot of sexual teasing from Lisa, Alex realizes that he and Ricky were invited for amusement and ridicule by their wealthy hosts. Alex whips out his straight razor and commences a night of horror at THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK.

More than a rip-off of
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, Ruggero Deodato's HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK makes its victims (with the exception of two) possibly even more unlikable than their assailants. Deodato never suggests that they are asking to be raped, but their behavior presents various form of provocation which are either stupid or deliberately calculating. The assault on the innocent Cindy (Brigitte Petronio, EMANUELLE AROUND THE WORLD) at first edges audience sympathy towards the hosts (for some reason, we forget momentarily the actions of the others and lump Cindy in with them as victims) until the final contrived revelation. Hess's Alex and Radice's Ricky have the only recognizably human relationship, and it is on the dynamics of this on which the film's drama hinges (on the final betrayal between them, Ortolani's underscoring switches from dissonant bass and organ to an instrumental version of the main them "Sweetly"). The final dialogue scene falls flat and fails to actually convey the ambiguity the writers want to suggest. The film might have been better off ending before that scene, but it does not take away from the overall viewing experience of the film.

Back from Deodato's CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST are producers Franco Di Nunzio (IGUANA) and Franco Palaggi (GENTLEMAN KILLER), cinematographer Sergio D'Offizi (DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING), production designer Massimo Antonello Geleng (THE STENDHAL SYNDROME), editor Vincenzo Tomassi (HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY), screenwriting team Gianfranco Clerici (MURDER ROCK) and Vincenzo Mannino (NEW YORK RIPPER), and composer Riz Ortolani (BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON). Ortolani provides the gentle lullaby "Sweetly" as well as the insanely catchy disco song "Much More," while cinematographer D'Offizi makes excellent use of light and shadow in the night exteriors, the greenhouse, and the darker rooms of the house, and frames ensemble shots in depth (sometimes suggesting a film version of a stage play). Radice - typecast as Italian horror's whipping boy, but also an accomplished stage actor - and de Selle - now a producer - would go on to appear in Umberto Lenzi's grisly but loopy
CANNIBAL FEROX, while Borromeo and Petronio shot Joe D'Amato's PLEASURE SHOP ON 7TH AVENUE in New York the previous year. Deodato and Radice have recently completed HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK PART II, slated for a 2012 release.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 1985 (USA)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Shameless Screen Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Shriek Show/Media Blasters
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:27:42 (4% PAL speedup) 1:31:27
Video

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.8 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.81:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.82 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Shameless Screen Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Shriek Show/Media Blasters

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles English, none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shameless Screen Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by David Hess (16:9; 0:14)
• Interview with Ruggero Deodato and David Hess (16:9; 20:56)
• Ruggero Deodato and Giovanni Lombardo Radice face the BBFC (16:9; 47:18)
• David Hess on the Cutting of HOUSE (16:9; 4:45)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:33)
• Isolated Score Track
• Start-up trailers for FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, and DON'T TORTURE THE DUCKLING
• DVD-ROM: PDF Introduction to Poliziotteschi
• Reversible Cover

DVD Release Date: 31 October 2011
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Shriek Show/Media Blasters

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.81:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with David Hess and Family (4:3; 39:02)
• Interview with Giovanni Lombardo Radice (4:3; 16:31)
• Interview with Ruggero Deodato (4:3; 8:40)
• Stills Gallery
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 2:33)
• Trailers for SEVEN BLOODSTIANED ORCHIDS, EATEN ALIVE, ZOMBI 3, and ZOMBI 4
• Easter Egg: Triva Game (10 questions)
• Easter Egg: Musical performance by David Hess's son Jessie
• Easter Egg: Lobby Card Gallery

 

DVD Release Date: 17 December 2002
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

First off, the Shameless DVD of this Deodato titles has not made it through the BBFC unscathed. It has been cut by 42 seconds (most of it to the razor violence late in the film), which is disappointing but nowhere near as severe as its previous BBFC submission (it was rejected theatrically) for video which was cut by 11 minutes and 42 seconds. Fans in less censorious countries may be interested in the new Deodato/Hess interview (they have spoken at length about this film on other releases, but Hess' analysis of his character and the script is a bit more academic and it might be rewarding to view the film again after the interview) and may take an academic interest in the lengthy BBFC meeting with Deodato and Radice (which is part of a presentation made by Aberystwyth University professor Martin Barker - who argued against censorship in the Video Nasty days - discussing the film in the context of a BBFC-commissioned research project "Audiences and Receptions of Sexual Violence in Contemporary Cinema" [downloadable as a PDF from the BBFC site] on the effects of cutting of sexual violence on the viewers of films). Deodato and Radice only appear onscreen for the last eight minutes or so (although there are some humorous reactions by Radice offscreen during the presentation) as part of a Q&A, but it is actually a very interesting discussion. Hess' comments on the cutting of the film make reference to the class elements (which have also been commented on in relation to the film in the documentary VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE).

The transfer appears to be slightly brighter than the Shriek Show edition, but not overly so - it is probably the same master used for the Alan Young Pictures R2 Italian release - and it lacks the greenish tinge of the older transfer. On the downside, there is some unattractive edge enhancement (present at a different but very noticeable degree on the Shriek Show transfer as well) and the result is only marginally better. The English and Italian audio tracks are of comparable quality (optional English subtitles are included), but Shameless has also included an isolated score track (this option is not available from the menu, but this third audio track is accessible through your remotes "audio" button). The score track does allow for the appreciation of the more subtler use of instrumental cues throughout the film (and the repeated use of the catchy disco vocal "Much More"). I assume the "Introduction to Poliziotteschi" PDF file on the disc was meant for - or is also on - Shameless' release of Umberto Lenzi's ALMOST HUMAN (it is the only Shameless release so far for which this PDF file would be appropriate).

Shriek Show's DVD features an uncut anamorphic transfer version of the film at the correct projection speed, although it has been given an unfortunate interlaced encoding. The interview with David Hess and his family is interesting, although neither Hess nor his wife want to talk about their scene together early in the movie. Some players have had problems accessing the subtitles on the Deodato interview (along with the subtitles on some other early Shriek Show/Media Blasters discs), but he discusses working with Hess and the other cast members, and reassesses his own opinions of the film film (both Hess and Deoadato are "candid" - to say the least - in their discussion of each other and the other cast members). Radice (in English) contributes a humorous interview as usual (including some humorous remarks about the homoerotic subtext of Alex and Ricky's relationship). An Easter Egg leads to a set of trivia questions that, when answered correctly, lead to a musical performance by Hess' son Jessie. Both discs feature the trailer (quite a fun viewing experience in itself) which hilariously refers to the film as HOUSE OF THE PARK ON THE EDGE.

Shriek Show's edition can be acquired more cheaply in their 3-disc PSYCHO KILLER TRIPLE FEATURE set which also features Lamberto Bava's DELIRIUM (LE FOTO DI GIOIA) and BEYOND THE DARKNESS (BUIO OMEGA). EC Entertainment issued the first widescreen transfer of the film on laserdisc, and followed it up with two non-anamorphic DVDs (the likely source for the widescreen version that was available on some of the US Brentwood multi-film DVD sets), and then an anamorphic version with an exclusive interview with Deodato and Hess. In Italy, Alan Young Pictures has issued an English friendly version (with additional Italian 5.1 - I'm guessing an actual remix rather than an upmix because of the existence of an isolated music track on the Shameless disc - and mono) that features an audio commentary (in Italian only).

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Shriek Show/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Draw

Sound:

Shameless (Italian track and isolated score)

Extras: Draw (both have exclusive extras)
Menu: Shriek Show

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Shameless Screen Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Shriek Show/Media Blasters
Region 1 - NTSC

 

 




Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!