‘Mad Heidi’, straight in there at #1, my favourite ‘Swissploitaiton’ movie.
Deliciously cheesy, ‘Mad Heidi’ carefully negotiates that much coveted, all most un-obtainium space of being not only awesomely gory, genuinely witty and funny, but as a film it’s also, very easy to recommend to those viewers, who might not typically gravitate towards splatter movies.
For stylistic comparison, ‘Mad Heidi’ offers the same grindhouse style production effects and forced injected madness as other contemporary ‘throwback movies’ movies such as ‘Planet Terror’ and the ‘Astron 6’ masterpieces. Think over saturated ‘blown out’ film effects, bonkers plot shifts and cartoon like characters!
The plot is set in an alternative, not so neutral Switzerland. Ruling with an iron-fist, President Meili, supreme excellence, enslaves his subjects through the sale, and consumption of state produced cheese. Any other products are strictly prohibited, and should you find yourself lactose intolerance, well, summary execution awaits. In this world, for Heidi and her lover ‘goat peter’ conflict was inevitable. He’s gifted with the ability to make amazing cheese, and when he’s killed for doing as such, well… Heidi gets mad.
And then things escalate… quickly! Watch the trailer and you know what you’re getting.
The plot is as above, but as you would expect it meanders all over the place at a whim. The obvious parody of Nazi controlled alternative reality version of Switzerland allows for some outrageous caricatures of that period of history. The actors absolutely embellish the role – and not only the amazing Casper van D, but the whole cast; all in the whole movie sees full commitment to the faux 70s-sploitation nostalgia. You can’t help but be impressed how well the actors are acting badly!
The scripting is genuinely amusing. I honestly thought that the film would run out of steam eventually, as the jokes are pretty much either puns or one dimensional, but somehow the film just about manages to keep the entertainment and slapstick driven comedy right to the end credits.
The only thing I would say, to balance out my gushing a little, is just that a lot of the ‘madness’ is actually pretty typical ‘homage’ stuff, taken from other throwback efforts. For example, there’s the obligatory katana wielding fem-fatale sequence, there’s the violence in a woman’s prison skits and then there’s equally the bloaty-gooey zombie madness to boot.
Admittedly, there’s nothing at all wrong with any of this, at all in fact, but as someone that’s watched a lot of genuine exploitation over the years, these are pretty safe genre tropes to play, and they are only in there as such. Many of these scenes only loosely fit in the films theme.
Where the movie most definitely shines, is when it leans into its own identity. There are too many amazing scenes to list here, but there’s so much carnage from general gory violence, decapitations, mutilations to some imaginative use of traditional Swedish implements and instruments. There’s some stand out scenes where the films own-brand characters get their just deserts in perfectly apt ways, from the subservient propaganda minister, to those involved in ‘cheese’ research literally being bitten by their own creation. There’s plenty of gun play, and gory blood splatter, and then one absolutely out there moment involving ‘The Neutralizer’. Amazing.
The gore effects are a mixture between practical and CGI and however you look at it, they are plentiful and all look amazing.
Overall ‘Mad Heidi’ should be massive – well horror world massive anyhow. It’s on the accessible side of splatter, heavy on the cheese and moderately low on the sleaze, but it goes so hard into owning its own themes and production you can’t doubt its authenticity as a ‘cult’ movie, made clearly by fans for fans. There’s no reason not to check it out – unless of course you’re lactose intolerant that is…