Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Flashbacks: The Last House On The Left 1972

The Last House On The Left 1972
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven
Starring Sandra Cassel, Lucy Grantham, David Hess, Fred Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler, Martin Kove, Richard Towers and Cynthia Carr

When many genre fans thin 70's horror films and in particular the extreme ones. The Last House on the Left is one that immediately comes to mind. Along with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre it is one of the benchmarks of the modern horror film. It is definitely a polarizing film, people either love it or hate it, and I am proud to say I love it. IT is just such a raw film and every time I peruse it, I feel dirtier than the last time I saw it. Very few films can get that reaction out of me, only other one I can think of off the top of my head is Cannibal Holocaust. Every time I see the rape and brutality that is shown in this film I still grimace and wince. I also think the moments of levity in the film are there for a reason. It is showing us that life is peppered with good moments and horrible moments and that is just the way life is. It is a sobering philosophy, but anyone who has really lived knows and agrees with this statement very well.
The plot basics are this, Mari (Cassel) has just turned 17 and is going out to see a concert and have a good time with her friend Phyllis (Grantham). Her parents try to talk her out of it but she won't listen and she goes out anyway. While she is out in the city with Phyllis they try to score some marijuana and meet Junior (Sheffler), this leads to them coming up to his hotel room and being captured by his father (Hess) and his gang Sadie (Rain) and Weasel (Lincoln). They are humiliated and attacked and then driven to the woods near Mari's house and are brutally attacked and raped there, and are eventually killed after one tries to escape. After Krug and the gang kill the girls, they come to a house which is Mari's parents, and soon it becomes clear that they killed their girl so they make plans and set traps to get their revenge for their little girl that ends badly.
This movie is a powder keg, every time I view it the film always hits me like a shotgun blast in the face. Craven has never been a finer director than in this film I believe. His control is tight and the film has a grainy documentary type feel to it. His writing is great too, you really get to feel Mari's character and the base evilness of Krug and his cohorts. The acting is great, especially Hess as Krug he just seeps sleazy and evil out of his pores. I thought Towers and Carr as the parents were great to watch too, as the story unfolded and their demeanor changed it was amazing to watch. The effects in the film are great for such a low budgeted film especially the intestine playing scenes. I also loved the music which was composed and sung by David Hess. It really brings a melancholy feel to all the proceedings. This is a great film, but it is not one that gives you good feelings after watching it, you always feel unclean afterwards.
This one gets 5 out of 5

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