If you’re one of the dozen or so people who foolishly paid to see last year’s inept Straw Dogs remake, do the cinema gods a favor and catch up with Sam Peckinpah’s exceptional original. A visceral look at man’s proclivity for violence, the 1971 adaptation of British novelist Gordon Williams’ book The Siege of Trencher’s Farm erupts in a third-act explosion of reactionary slaughter carried out by the formerly nebbish David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman).
The film’s most unforgettable sequence, however, happens much earlier into its two-hour duration. David’s sexy wife, Amy (Susan George), is home alone when her ex-boyfriend Charlie (Del Henney) shows up, rapes her, and then lets his buddy have at it as well.
At first, George’s bold performance makes it unclear whether she’s deriving pleasure or not, but once the second guy begins his violation, her intense displeasure becomes painfully visible.