Mean Girls Gal Pal Plays Sadistic Rapist Voyeur in Torture-Porn Flick
|IMDB / Anchor Bay Films|
|Damian, meet Stanley.|
"I play Stanley. He's the voyeur who videotapes the crimes," explains Franzese. Those crimes include all sorts of unspeakable violations against the beautiful Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) by Stanley and his four redneck cohorts. They leave Jennifer for dead, she washes down the river, and then she returns for a presumably vindicated shitstorm of torturous revenge.
"My character dies one of the most spectacular cinematic deaths I've ever seen," says the former president of the Piper High School Drama Club. "At the premiere at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal, three people vomited and one person fainted."
Franzese's mother works with mentally and physically handicapped kids at Piper, and he says she had mixed emotions when she saw that one of the film's rapists is mentally disabled. "It's not the kind of movie she would see," says Franzese, "but halfway through, she turned to me and said, 'This is a really terrific film.'"
The original film was created by Meir Zarchi as an expression of feminist liberation, but it certainly wasn't always interpreted that way. Roger Ebert gave the flick a thudding no-star review in which he called it "a vile bag of garbage... without a shred of artistic distinction." His ire extended to the audience:
I do not often attribute motives to audience members, nor do I try to read their minds, but the people who were sitting around me on Monday morning made it easy for me to know what they were thinking. They talked out loud. And if they seriously believed the things they were saying, they were vicarious sex criminals.
What prompted the career shift for Franzese? "I turned the movie down twice," he says. "But I wanted to do something different. As a performer and actor, if you're afraid of something, you should take it on. That's the only thing that will make you grow."
Franzese says the role has actually made him a more sensitive person. "I felt I was being typecast for a while," he says. "This movie is a nail in that coffin."
It opens this Friday at AMC Aventura 24.