Friday, 22 May 2009

Deliverance (1972)

Now deliverance is another one of those classic films that I had never seen. I knew it was a jolly romp through the friendly south with guitar jams and merry hoedowns. The freaky looking boy playing his banjo with the uppity city folk. I’m sure its a film I will love, a good, happy film.

So the brutal, thoughtful, frightful and just downright fucking (excuse the expletive but it deserves it) brilliant film that followed was an absolute surprise.

Deliverance follows the path of 4 city slicker boys as they explore a river before it floods into a lake for a hydro-electric plant. There is a foreshadowing of their ordeal when the locals with the already mention banjo-boy pretty much tell them they are mad. However Burt Reynolds’ character, the ultimately cocky Lewis, is having none of it though. vlcsnap-4396867

What follows is a foray into fear at the hands of man. One of our heroes is brutally sodomised and another has “a very perty mouth” apparently…gulp.

vlcsnap-4421150 What makes deliverance different from the generic slasher / horrors that follow a similar course is what makes the film truly outstanding. The characters offset each other brilliantly and, Reynolds aside, there is no obvious eye candy and certainly nothing for the Dads.  Unusually we don't see our protagonists picked off one by one as is now the standard and if the film was scored solely on points then they would actually have won. as more bad guys die then good ones!

vlcsnap-4446236 Of course good defeats evil and our lone survivor wanders off into the mist and is happy ever after (or until the sequel). Well no, the film also expounds on the acts that these people have perpetrated supposedly for survival. Nobody leaves that river unchanged and the scars are shown to be more then skin deep. I only have one minor gripe and this lies more with the filming methods then content but we are again subjected to more “fake” night time scenes, with some very odd fringing on the background this time. vlcsnap-4468107

Overall though I haven't enjoyed an established film as a new find for some time. The last was Apocalypse Now and I am glad to say Deliverance now makes it alongside this onto my list of absolute gems. Its a corker.

Paul Out… squealing like a piggy.


Released: 1972

Go to IMDb page

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Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Ed Ramey, Seamon Glass, Bill McKinney, Lewis Crone,

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