Columbia Pictures | Release Date: October 6, 1978 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
59
METASCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 11 Critic Reviews
Positive:
5
Mixed:
5
Negative:
1
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60
In Parker's hands, Billy's story has become a virtuoso horror show-an exercise in emotional manipulation designed not merely to arouse chills but to turn the audience into avengers. Despite the remarkably controlled, honestly conveyed performance of Davis, Billy finally seems far less vivid than his prison friends-Randy Quaid's highly combustible American roughneck, the superb John Hurt's strung-out English junkie. Parker captures their camaraderie well, but he fails to convey any sense of day-to-day prison life-so keen is he to get to the assaultive highlights. [16 Oct 1978, p.76]
40
Screenwriter Oliver Stone and the director, Alan Parker, have subjected their Billy (Brad Davis) to the most photogenic sadomasochistic brutalization that they could dream up. The film is like a porno fantasy about the sacrifice of a virgin. It rushes from torment to torment, treating Billy's ordeals hyponotically in soft colors -- muted squalor -- with a disco beat in the background.