Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring David Hess, Sandra Cassel, Lucy Grantham, Fred J. Lincoln, Marc Sheffler
Directed by Wes Craven
Despite its age Wes Craven’s 1972 shocker The Last House on the Left remains one of the hardest movies in our genre to sit through. Not because it’s bad; in fact, it’s excellent. It’s the sheer brutality of the film’s events that makes it so unsettling. MGM/Fox have obviously recognized this movie’s impact and rightful place in the hierarchy of our genre, and as a result they’ve given this film the DVD treatment it rightfully deserves.
Last House tells the story of two young girls who, against their parents wishes, decide to head into the city to catch a rock concert. In the Seventies, man, concerts needed to be seen with various party favors to fully enjoy them. In this case said favor is pot. The quest for herb leads our two delicate beauties directly into the sleazy world of Krug (Hess) and his equally crazed and dirty friends. Once Krug and the Gang (also the name of a failed disco act) have our chicas gripped firmly in their clutches, our duo is beaten, stabbed, eviscerated, and raped — although not exactly in that order.
Unfortunately for our homicidal lowlifes after their dirty deeds are done, they accidentally decide to take shelter in the home of one of the slain women. It’s not long before mom and dad find out what these cats have done, and when they do … it is not pretty. Not pretty at all.
This is a true product of its time. Gritty, sleazy, dirty, and demented, The Last House on the Left is just as powerful today as it was thirty-six years ago.
So what of the supplemental material? Is there a reason to double-dip? Well … isn’t there always? For those of you who didn’t import the three-DVD Last House set from the UK, you are in luck. Nearly all the features included here have been culled from that release.
Yep, it’s all here. The highly entertaining Celluloid Crime of the Century featurette that features interviews and anecdotes from all of the principals, Hess’ Scoring Last House featurette which has the actor discussing his inspiration for the score he created for the film, the lesbian rape sequence, etc. We even get one of the commentary tracks from the UK set with David Hess, Marc Sheffler, and Fred Lincoln. If you haven’t heard this yet, it’s worth the price tag of the disc alone. It’s stellar.
So the question beckons — is there anything at all new? There sure is: the Still Standing: The Legacy of The Last House on the Left featurette. But make no mistake; this is just a marketing tool for the remake. Nothing more. Sigh.
Fans hoping for oodles of new Last House stuff will surely find themselves disappointed, but for those of you who never bothered with the import release, you’ll find yourself in a state of filthy nirvana. If you fall into the latter category, double-dip away without hesitation!
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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