Absolutely different from his stylized gun slinging violent classic ‘The Wild Bunch’, Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Straw Dogs’ is brilliant tense film where violence is slowly heightening its tension towards intense and awesome climax. Dustin Hoffman plays a mathematician too mild for her demanding hot young wife Susan George. Their arrival to town starts unhealthy sexually and psychologically boiling tension throughout the film. A bunch of street ruffians become part of their private life, becoming vigilante of the couple making both of them uncomfortable. The wife was terribly gang raped and the hubby is pushed to the limit and the rest is all Sam Peckinpah style shattering authentic portrayal of rough slow motion violence.
Hoffman is fine again but what I love the most is the way Peckinpah built the tension with young and ravishing character of Susan. She is very ambiguous character guided by her sexual urges often demanding attention with her skin projection provoking strangers. But as soon as we watch that terrible rape scene, she gains all our sympathy. Rape is more psychological torture than physical and Peckinpah made us felt that too. More than half an hour long climax inside Hoffman’s home is something only we can expect from Peckinpah. He’s original and master auteur as far as rough cinematic violence is concerned.
Strongly recommended to all violence suckers.