On the outside, Carl is a mild-mannered and a bit of a simpleton who works as a mechanic at the corner gas station. On the inside, Carl’s an unstable, sociopathic rapist and murderer with chauvinistic patriarchal tendencies. His grisly exploits rock the small New Jersey town but as life continues on so does Carl’s misguided perception that the women who cross his path want him. As a mechanic and a rapist, Carl continues in getting his hands dirty even when the exceptionally beautiful housewife, Nancy Ulman, drops off her husband’s car for repairs. With Nancy’s husband out of town, Carl creates an unfounded fantasy of being the one and only that can please her right. As his obsession swells, Carl’s pushed over the edge into a no-turning back captive scenario by holding Nancy bound and hostage in her own home as he attempts irrationally and violently his case for bestowing his flawless companionship to her.
Throughout nearly the entire history of cinema, the adult industry has remade blockbuster film titles into triple X spoofs. “Beverly Hills Cox,” “The Penetrator,” “Clockwork Orgy,” and “Forrest Hump” are a few titles that come to mind. But have you ever heard of a porn remade into an actual movie? Of course, there’ve been a few biopics surrounding controversial cog players of the adult industry machine, such as with mainstream biopics that expose the lives of starlet Linda Lovelace of “Deep Throat” with Amanda Seyfried as the titular character and the notoriety of porn filmmakers Artie and Jim Mitchell in Showtime’s “Rated-X,” starring real life brothers Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Never in my existence on this tectonic plate shifting Earth have I’ve ever bear witness to a porn being remade into a film marketed on retail shelves to the general public. That’s the backstory behind Jim Sotos’s 1976 debut feature “Forced Entry” based off Shaun Costello’s 1973 stag film of the same name and starred that “Deep Throat” connection with Harry Reems as well as Reems costars Jutta David (“Sensuous Vixens”), Nina Fawcett, and Laura Cannon (“The Altar of Lust”). Also known more uncommonly as “Mr. Death” and “Rape in the Suburbs to more commonly as“The Last Victim,” Henry Scarpelli adapted the script out of the X-rated context but kept much of the aggressive themes, changing the gas station attendant from a Vietnam shell-shocked maniac to delusional maniac stemmed from abusive mother issues. Sotos and Scarpelli also serve as producers under the Kodiak Film production company.
“Forced Entry” stars a then fresh faced Tanya Roberts. The late “A View to a Kill” Bond girl and “The Beastmaster” actress received her start as the slightly frustrated, but overall pleasant, housewife Nancy Ulman who must fight for her life when Carl, under the wonderfully wild and violent guise of “Heated Vengeance’s” Ron Max, breaks into her home to fulfill his ferocious fictious fantasy. The contrast Nancy and Carl is extremely key to “Forced Entry’s” modest success as the story plays out in both perspectives with more lean on Carl with a far more interesting mindset, internalizing monologues of desires and anger. While Tanya Roberts is hardly stimulating on screen as routine wife and mother, concerned a little on her husband’s sudden indifferent behavior, she exhibits a stark normalcy that makes Carl’s actions flagrantly deviant with the anticipation that Nancy will be too submissive or afraid to fight back. Ron Max is no David Hess but instills a disturbing, looney bin creeper who, most frighteningly of all, could be your neighborhood grease monkey mechanic. Like Roberts, another yet-to-be-famous actress has her brief moments of screen time as Carl’s hitchhiker victim. “Robocop” films’ Nancy Allen finds herself riding shotgun with a serial murder-rapist even before going face-to-face with the telekinetic prom queen, “Carrie,” in a blink and you’ll miss her thumb lifting and chitchat-disparaging segment to give Carl more depraved depth. Billy Longo (“Bloodrage”), Michael Tucci (“Blow”), Vasco Valladeres (“Bad”), Robin Leslie, Frank Verroca, Brian Freilino and Michele Miles.
Color me easily impressed by the novelty of the basis of a porn plot being transposed into a more accessible outlet for audiences. Pushing that novelty aside, “Forced Entry’s” plot is simply stitched together to make Carl this really bad guy by fashioning situations that indulge his impulses – a stranded woman motorist out in the middle of nowhere, a female hitchhiker talking back to him in his own car, a girl with high cut shorts pumping gas station air into her bike. Though often disjointed in the story’s framework and for some reason, Carl’s face is initially pointlessly concealed for the broken down motorist attack, helpless moments like these, plus the crazed internal monologuing rationalizing his actions, pushes Carl’s chances of being stopped next to nil with audiences. How will a happy homemaker, trapped in her own home, be able to survive crazy Carl? That’s where the story really begins with the first moment he laid eyes on Nancy and as he rolls out the imaginary carpet of playing house with her, we begin to see how attached he becomes to the idea as he strays away form his normal off-the-cuff methods that has served him well until this point. Much of the shock value comes from the climatic finale that determines Carl and Nancy’s fate with a slow-motion shot full of cacophonous screaming to bring a definitive effect to an unexpected turn of events. “Forced Entry” is more Spinell “Maniac” than it is Hess “Last House on the Left” but not as well-known and has unformulaic structure that strolls too comfortably between the lines of shocking consternation.
Dark Force Entertainment and MVD Visual distributes this notable unconventional remake onto another Blu-ray home video, but this new and improved version of the film that includes nearly additional ten minutes of footage into the original 73-minute director cuts of the previous 2019 Dark Force Entertainment prints under the Code Red label. This longer version adds back in more of the sexually graphic material and is 1.85:1, anamorphic widescreen, presented in a 2K scanned transfer with a 1080p output from the original 35mm negative material of the US theatrical release. Granted, some of that footage, such as the snatching of the bike girl, is nearly impossible to discern much beyond an unrefined image. The coloring throughout is inconsistent and unstable with clear fluctuations in hue flickers and a few scenes early in the film suffer from conspicuous wear damage. However, I suspect this transfer to be the best of the best to date and is not all a waste of viewing space with much of the image holding up strong. The single audio option is an English LCPM 2.0 mono is not the cleanest with clearly noticeable crackle and static throughout and overtop a muted dialogue track. Tommy Vig’s (“Terror Circus”) score nabs more support than the others in the audio output. Special features include the full-length 88-minute VHS minute version from standard definition video so don’t expect the highest resolution if you’re looking for more sordid footage in an essentially quantity over quality version. The blue snapper case does have a limited edition stark black and yellow/orange cardboard slipcover. The new scan runs at 83 minutes in length in the region free and rated R Blu-ray (updated from the original PG rating when reexamined by the ratings board…go figure). Not just another rape-revenge notched into the controversial subgenre’s hole riddled belt, “Forced Entry” agitates suspicion in the most harmless of unsuspecting, quiet-natured nobodies as it only takes one to be the filthiest troublemaker hidden right under our trusting, naïve noses.