UPSTATE NEW YORK: Last House on Dead End Street

Strap yourselves in, for even the most hardened cinemagoers will meet their match in this epic dose of creeped-out heaviosity — one which rarely, if ever, screens on 35mm anywhere in the world. The cinematic equivalent of a ‘70s private-press proto-doom metal album, Last House oozes wrongness out of every pore. The threadbare plot involves a venomous, Danzig-like, leather-jacketed ex-con (played by director Roger Watkins, who freely admits he crafted the movie during an extended meth binge) who lures his cohorts into filming snuff movies in an abandoned building. Strange rites ensue, involving Greek tragedy masks, power tools, animal limbs, and other niceties. Last House’s mystique was first built solidly upon its phony production credits and murky visuals — and what continues to set this film apart is its suffocating existential dread, creating the feeling of a sinister, odorous stranger breathing heavily down the back of your neck for an hour and a half. Last House is clearly Watkins’ attempt to create an offense to God, country and the universe itself — so come join us, and see how close he actually got!
Dir. Roger Watkins, 1977, 35mm.