Directed by Elsa & Kit Colfach
Drama/Coming of Age, 88min
Distributed by KlubbSuper8
Susanne [Susanne Ulfsäter] is a young woman who lives with her parents, parents that don’t really give a toss about her and spend more time entertaining guests and complaining about their fair daughter and her appearance. Agitated by her parents hassle and moaning during their chic dinner parties, Susanne takes off to a café where a lad she’s attracted to, Olle [Arnold Stackelberg], is hanging out with his greaser mates. He invites her on a date the following evening during which they make out and drive way to fast – despite Susanne’s objections.
Olle obviously tries to cop a feel, but Susanne rejects him. Instead they booze it up, cops arrive and after a swift chase at high speeds they laugh off the police as they evade them. On her way home from that one night of randy drinks and fast cars Susanne and Olle crash head on into an approaching car giving the Colfach’s an opportunity to gloat in the aftermath of the accident. But the dead bloke hanging out of the windscreen of the other car is only the beginning as this movie is just about to turn nasty on you. The young couple are taken to hospital after a lengthy sequence showing Olle writhing in pain with his moans and groans being the only soundtrack playing, the ambulance personnel pointing out that the other driver would have survived if he only had wore his seatbelt. In hospital their treatment of internal organs is shown in all it’s gory glory - with real O.R. footage, as doctors try their best to patch them both together again.
Susanne has some wonderful trippy, erotic, guilt dreams whilst in a coma, and it isn’t The Wizard of Oz dreams she’s having because when she comes out she’s a changed woman. Instead of the tender, frail teenager, she’s now a hardened girl with a bad mouth and filled with urges she can’t quite control. Stuff you mom and dad, I'm gonna drink, ride and screw! The now promiscuous Susanne takes to taunting her parents, partying with the gang, riding in fast cars again, and taking advantage of all the men she can set her claws into whilst driving Olle up the wall with jealousy.
Realising that she’s preggers she takes drastic means to loose the child, but Olle stops her and makes an honest women out of her in the eyes of God to keep her from having an abortion. But their relationship rapidly deteriorates after the wedding and before you know it, Susanne is in labour after battling some heavy suicidal thoughts. Again Susanne’s mental state is question as she can’t bond with her child or find happiness in her current situation. Olle broken by the way Susanne acts decides that he’s had enough and leaves her. But after fate plays an evil trick on her that almost costs her babies life she comes back to her senses and finally matures into the responsible young mother that is expected of her.
Anyways Kit and Elsa screened their movie for colleagues at Kit’s resident hospital in Västervik and the ball was in motion. The national traffic safety board picked up the movies and put it up theatrically along with screenings in schools and youth centres. Kit’s light was lit and he followed Blindbock with a couple of documentaries and finally returned to his themes of the raised finger of warning – Susanne. Ulfsäter who never had any theatrical or movie experiene previously was simply the girl next door. True, she was literally the girl who lived next door to the Colfach’s and they couldn’t have made a better choice. So in a sentence you could say that Susanne is a testament to an amateur filmmaker who certainly left his imprint with this small masterpiece and finally has been presented in the best shape it’s ever looked.
But Susanne isn’t all fun-fun-fun with fast cars, boozing, dancing and fucking, but also pretty harsh in the way it presents the heavy shit that can come in it’s wake – as said the main reason for Kit Colfach making the movies - and further more it has a lot of that great Scandinavian melancholy as it shows the way Susanne’s mindset deteriorates. But rest assure as soon as she picks up the baby from the hard tarmac, inches away from the screeching car tires, she breaks the circle and realises that she has the chance to give her child everything that she didn’t get from her parents in those opening scenes. Love, affection and attention, all good stuff that she’ll eventually get back as you reap what you sow here in life.
There’s a lot of American Driving Education scare tactics vibe to the movie, and that’s a conscious move on behalf of the Colfach’s as they wanted the movie to act as a stern warning to the youth of Sweden. Don’t Drink, Don’t Drive and definitely Don’t Fuck. Seems like their mission failed, as the Swedish Sin Boom would erupt just a few years later!
Enclosed on the disc as supplemental material you’ll actually find Blindbock – the forty minute short that was made before Susanne and if possible, Blindbock is even grimmer in it’s uncompromising warning to the dangers of racing motorbikes... and the consequences, portrayed once again through Colfach’s unique operating room footage. We may have a new contender in the epic question of who started the splatter niche here – or even the Mondo; because this is one sick puppy that hit the scene almost a decade before H.G. Lewis made his claim to fame or Jacopetti, Cavara and Prosperi unleashed the horrors of Mondo Cane.
The gimmicks that the yanks – especially the magnificent William Castle - used for exploitation movies – the old “nurses standing by, for patrons who may faint” tricks where a reality for Susanne, there where nurse’s where on standby to reassure patrons that there would be medical attention available if the movie proved to strong for them. During screenings of Blindbock a grand total of 25 people fainted during a screening of the movie in Örebro – a record undoubtedly unchallenged by anything that came after Susanne in any part of the world.
Fullframe 4:3, colour.
Swedish dialogue, with optional English Subtitles. A long desired addition to KlubbSuper8’s releases.
This disc is so packed that it's almost a crime. There's a wonderful audio commentary track with the star of the piece, Susanne Ulfsäter and her daughter Lotten Sundgren, a Swedish Movie Journalist. The commentary which leads to some hilarious moments as Sundgren on more than one occasion taunts and pokes fun of her mother’s participation and partial nudity in the movie. All done with the most sincere love and respect of course, but it’s definitely a unique and informative commentary that ranks amongst the most entertaining ever put on disc. Top marks to the KlubSuper8 team for that one. There’s also Blindbock and a second short –Take it Easy, a kiddie’s safety flick that boasts a catchy song to sing along to during the finale. If you have knowledge of the Swedish lingo, stick the disc in your DVD-Rom because there are a lot of fun bonuses on the disc for you to mooch around in, and a neat booklet for Swedes who enjoyed the commentary track to dive into.