Thursday, December 3, 2015

Forced Entry (1975)

Had this picture been written, performed, or filmed with even a modicum of sophistication, it could easily have become a disturbing thriller contrasting the everyday life of a killer with that of an unlucky individual doomed to cross the killer’s path. Unfortunately, the execution of Forced Entry adheres to the grindhouse playbook, with cheap-looking images of amateurish performances stitched together by way of jumpy editing and married to screechy music and sound effects. Instead of being creepy and provocative, the picture is mostly sluggish and unpleasant. For the first hour or so, Forced Entry cross-cuts scenes featuring deranged rapist/murderer Carl (Ron Max) with scenes of frustrated housewife Nancy (Tanya Roberts). Carl works as a mechanic, but in his spare time he picks up women, drags them to remote locations, and defiles them. Because the movie also includes scenes of Carl doing his work conscientiously and being kind to his elderly neighbor, the gist is that he’s got issues with pretty young women. Meanwhile, Nancy feels ignored by her husband even though she enjoys raising their children in a luxurious suburban home. The characters intersect when Nancy brings her car into Carl’s garage for service. Soon afterward, he breaks into her house (hence the title) and torments Nancy. As to what happens next, the film’s alternate title, The Last Victim, should offer more than a hint. One can almost feel a credible film trying to emerge from beneath Forced Entry’s sensationalistic surface, but the storytelling is too clumsy to take seriously, especially with the vapid Roberts—who later joined the cast of Charlie’s Angels during the show’s last season—providing the film’s emotional center. Interesting footnote: Because Forced Entry was unofficially adapted from a 1973 X-rated movie of the same name, it’s among the few examples of mainstream Hollywood borrowing story material from the porn industry.

Forced Entry: LAME

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