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The Last House on the Left (1972)

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  • The Last House on the Left (1972)



    Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.
    I figure with the recent discussion and the upcoming release by Arrow, this movie deserves its own thread. However, I'm going to cheat and repost what I wrote elsewhere:

    I decided to spend the evening re-watching all the special features on the MGM blu-ray as well as listening to the two commentaries for the first time. I always ignored the commentary by Craven and Cunningham thinking they would come off as droll, but damn if it isn't a fun listen. Craven especially is just cracking jokes left and right. The commentary with Hess, Lincoln, and Sheffler isn't very informative (you can get the same stuff from the featurette on the disc) yet it's enjoyable enough as three guys shooting the breeze together.

    Oh, it wasn't actually Lucy Grantham that was disowned by her parents although she did this film along with several adult films prior to anger her father who happened to own Hershey's or Nestle's Chocolate. Jeramie Rain says in the featurette that after the film came out, she returned to her hometown in West Virginia where her parents were so ashamed of her for making the movie, they disowned her for a year.

    I think this movie is a case where I prefer the American poster art to the multiple foreign versions. Not that they're bad, but the U.S. poster above has that look of a snuff film which fits the movie despite having a picture Phyllis on it.
    People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."

  • #2
    While I enjoyed the remake (from 2009) and think the remake is solidly written and directed, I do not think the remake beats the original.

    What does everyone think about the remake?

    Comment


    • #3
      I haven't seen the remake since it came out, but from what I do remember, is that it felt like a modern horror movie. By that, I mean it looked and felt like something typical for the time in its lighting, acting, and directing. Everyone involved had experience. That doesn't mean it's bad, but that little sets it apart.

      As far as comparing it to the original, it falls drastically short in my view. The original feels raw and gritty because it was by a producer and director with nearly zero experience and a group of actors in which the one with the most experience starred in porn. That energy was, again, raw. The acting of Sandra Peabody was genuine because she truly was terrified of the other actors to the point she ran away from the set. It's a cheap film and it shows, but all of that works in its favor and more so when it comes to that grainy visual which looks like any documentary you'd find on CBS News at the time.
      People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."

      Comment


      • #4
        I like both, actually. That being said, it took me a long time to watch and, more importantly, accept the original.

        By the age of 13, Wes Craven had become my favorite horror director. I was already a huge "Nightmare on Elm Street" fan by that time and when "Scream" came out, it not only surprised me much like the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street" did, but it also exceeded my expectations. I started exploring Wes Craven's body of work: "The Serpent and the Rainbow," "The People Under the Stairs," to name a few. Those titles were easy to find. And then, one day, while browsing the Internet, I read an article, in Portuguese, about "The Last House on the Left." I still remember the first paragraph: "this movie is not entertaining, this movie is brutal and unpleasant to watch, do not watch it." The author of the article was a horror buff, a renowned critic of horror movies, someone whose favorite film was, allegedly, "Cannibal Holocaust." His article depicting the movie terrified me. When I was in my early-20s, though, I felt equally scared and fascinated about "Last House on the Left." A friend got me a DVD... the audio was in Italian, but the DVD had Spanish and French subtitles. I can understand Spanish. Besides, I knew what the movie was about, I had seen plenty of photos, I knew the story, the script. Did I watch the movie? No. At least not in its entirety. When the girls are kidnapped... "nope, sorry, this is too much for me, I cannot watch this vile movie."

        Time progressed. I moved to the United States to pursue my graduate education and started collecting and curating DVDs. During a trip to Walmart, I found the original LHOTL on DVD for $5 dollars. Because finding the movie always felt so difficult, I bought it... and, for the first time in my life, I watched the movie. It was brutal, but it didn't feel as brutal as when I attempted to watch it for the first time. Perhaps, that was due to the fact that extremely brutal movies, such as "Saw" and "Hostel," were defining horror as a genre in that particular era. Thus, I was able to watch the original LHOTL without feeling so repulsed by it. Au contraire, I felt that the film deserved the recognition that it still gets. Wes Craven captured the anger that most Americans felt in the 1970s (Nixon, Watergate, Vietnam) and turned it into a film. Eventually, there was a screening of the movie at my university and I attended it and I felt that the movie, ultimately, made a statement about violence, anger, and deception in America in the 1970s.

        The remake came out and I remember enjoying it much like I enjoyed the remake of "The Hills Have Eyes," with the exception that the "The Hills Have Eyes" remake is definitely superior to the original, whereas the remake of "Last House on the Left," despite being solidly written and directed, is not as raw and gritty as the original.

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        • #5
          I certainly agree with everyone about the hard gritty feeling of this film. LHOTL and I Spit On Your Grave were 2 of the most shocking films I had ever seen when I was a kid. There is one gripe I do have about the film and its the two Smokey and the Bear style bumbling cops who are looking for the girls. If I remember correctly there was some ridiculous music playing during their scenes and one of them was the bad trainer from Karate Kid! It just seems so out of place in a film that is otherwise so grim and depressing.

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          • #6
            I like to think the events of this movie is what lead Martin Kove's character to learn karate and become a Cobra Kai badass.
            People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mrmojo View Post
              I certainly agree with everyone about the hard gritty feeling of this film. LHOTL and I Spit On Your Grave were 2 of the most shocking films I had ever seen when I was a kid. There is one gripe I do have about the film and its the two Smokey and the Bear style bumbling cops who are looking for the girls. If I remember correctly there was some ridiculous music playing during their scenes and one of them was the bad trainer from Karate Kid! It just seems so out of place in a film that is otherwise so grim and depressing.
              I actually thought that the score and songs felt a bit misplaced, but now I think otherwise. They didn't have much money to spend. David Hess (Krug) composed the score and the soundtrack. He is actually a very good performer. "Wait for the Rain" is a beautifully written autumnal song. I don't know how it did not become a hit back then.

              Comment


              • #8
                What's this "tits" business?
                People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tits? Where? I heard 2 of the cast members from Last House on the Left are going to be at Frightmare in Dallas in May.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Everything always happens in Texas. When is Kansas going to get a shot?!
                    People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This looks incredible.

                      http://www.rockshockpop.com/forums/c...-The-Left-The&

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My first reaction would be to say that the picture looks too grainy; however, as some videophile colleagues have taught me, removing the grains would mean loss of quality.

                        "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" gained a beautiful release with a 4K restoration and, surprisingly, I do not own it.

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