The Last House on the Left

The definitive post-Manson generation-gap horror film, The Last House on the Left still remains, forty years on, one of the most offensive and off-putting cinematic experiences in the world. The non-porn feature film directorial debut of Wes Craven (the only director who, love him or hate him, has managed to redefine the entire genre at least once a decade), this gritty early exercise in suburban Connecticut guerrilla filmmaking stars David Hess, who’s completely amazing as the ringleader of a mentally defective band of grimy assholes who stumble upon easy prey: a sixteen-year-old girl looking to score some grass, who unwittingly leads them to back her parents’ backwoods home. Cue some legendary face-ripping horrendousness, by way of Bergman’s The Virgin Spring funneled through late Vietnam-era social malaise! Since its 1972 release, the revenge genre has gone through numerous permutations (including I Spit on Your Grave and Ms. 45), though the wrenching feeling evoked by the end of Craven’s film has never really been duplicated. Essential viewing for Nasties fanatics.
Dir. Wes Craven, 1972, 35mm, 84 min.

Watch the trailer for “The Last House on the Left”!
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