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Straw Dogs (1971)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Straw Dogs (1971) This is the second time I've watched this movie, and while I applaud the action-packed ending that legendary director Sam Peckinpah stages, the movie still doesn't have a lot going for it. Dustin Hoffman and sexy Susan George play a couple who moves to an English community that she has ties to, including an ex-boyfriend. Hoffman is some kind of Science Writer, working on a book of equations and Susan kind of tramps around the house, pouting. It's set up early on that Hoffman is a meek guy who wouldn't hurt a fly, he avoids violence at all costs, and quite frankly, he's one of the most BORING cinematic characters ever committed to celluloid. It's painful to watch him never defend himself, avoid bar fights when people insult him, and walk away from any and every confrontation that life sends his way. Hoffman hires a group of dudes to work on his house, including Susan's ex-beau, and wouldn't you know, ol' Susan loves to walk around braless with her nipples pointing out through her shirt, enticing the guys. Heck, I know I would've looked! I loved it! After an argument with her meek hubby, she deliberately goes topless in front of the work crew, which I didn't mind at all---and neither did they! Susan George was a 70's Celluloid Goddess, and I rewound and freeze-framed her topless scene several times! Of course, this brings out the animal instinct in the crew of workers, and they take Hoffman out shooting one day to make sure the wifey is HOME ALONE, and the ex-beau rapes her. It's a weird rape scene, though, because Susan's character has been teasing him all along and at first...she says "no" but when he forces himself on her, she not only lets him...but enjoys it! It's not until his buddy wants to take a turn that it turns into a traditional "forced" rape sequence, but it's an odd sequence and tone for a rape scene. Back in the day, this "enticing rape sequence" caused quite the stir. Today, it's a bit uncomfortable to watch, but that's about it. The plot continues with the workers and more town members being mad at Dustin for harboring a potential fugitive that killed a little girl at church (and don't ask me why this subplot was added), but at the end of the movie, all the crazy workers are trying to bust into Hoffman's house to get the guy and he FINALLY fights back in a violent and crazed manner, murdering quite a few of them. At first Susan doesn't want to help him, but eventually, they team up and dish out the violence. It's epic, tense and expertly staged. Both leads are great and play their characters and emotions to the hilt. Another oddity: Susan never tells her hubby she was raped by some of the men they kill. Love the last line of the movie: "I don't know my way home." "Neither do I," quips Hoffman, smiling now that he's become a violent avenger a'la Charles Bronson. So this movie is worth seeing if you can stand the very slow and annoying build-up to a most excellent final act, worth repeat views. And let's not forget...Susan George nekkid and topless! Get the UNRATED, RESTORED VERSION that was "banned for 18 years."

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