Heidi (Alice Lucy) is kidnapped by government troops following the public execution of her boyfriend, who has been breaking the law by manufacturing his own cheese. Taken to a women’s prison, Heidi discovers that the President (Casper Van Dien) is experimenting with cheese in a bid to create supertroopers and take over the world. Refusing to eat the cheese, Heidi formulates an escape plan so she can exact her revenge.
‘Mad Heidi’ certainly lives up to its title and it’s a film that has been in the making for several years. Crowd-funded, the film aims to be the first Swiss exploitation movie ever made and it’s clear that the writers and directors had only fun on their mind when they created it. As you can tell from the short plot description in the first paragraph of this review, ‘Mad Heidi’ doesn’t take itself seriously and it’s wildly unhinged.
Heidi unwittingly becomes a pawn in President Meili’s plan to take over the world through the cheese he produces, which is the only cheese legally allowed, and she’s plunged into a nightmare world where being lactose intolerant can kill you. In prison, Heidi watches as the other women are force fed cheese to make them stronger, and then pit against each other in wrestling matches. It’s actually hard to tell whether the film will put you off cheese for life or make you feel hungry for a bit of cheese!
Honestly though, you won’t really choose to watch this for the story. You’ll be more likely interested in the gore, violence and gratuitous nudity that is rife throughout the film. ‘Mad Heidi’ certainly pays homage to the exploitation movie, and it makes the most of its budget. The film does deliver some hilariously graphic gore scenes and its final act amps things up in a way that’ll satisfy fans of this kind of movie.
The acting is a little all over the place. Alice Lucy plays her role mostly straight, which is interesting given the rest of the cast chew the scenery. Casper Van Dien has focused his career on these kinds of films the past few years and sporting a dodgy Swiss accent, he clearly had a lot of fun with the role of President Meili. Max Rüdlinger as Kommandant Knorr, the President’s willing foot soldier, finds plenty of moments to steal the scene and his performance is purposely wildly over-the-top.
‘Mad Heidi’ was a little too bonkers for me. I appreciate what the film-makers were trying to do, and to be fair to them they pulled it off, but I struggled to care about the characters or what was happening. This is the kind of film that will easily find a cult following but it’s unlikely to appeal to a mass audience. While there’s plenty going on in the film, it never feels particularly cohesive and the over-the-top style won’t be to everyone’s taste. If you’re looking for some mindless fun, you’ll probably enjoy ‘Mad Heidi’.
Cast: Alice Lucy, Max Rüdlinger, Casper Van Dien, David Schofield Directors: Johannes Hartmann & Sandro Klopfstein Writers: Sandro Klopfstein, Johannes Hartmann & Gregory D. Widmer Certificate: 18 Duration: 92 mins Released by: Swissploitation Films