Cynthia Carr

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Last House On The Left (1972) Review


Good
It has one of the most unusual filmic foundations for a horror film. It's actually based on Ingmar Bergman's Academy Award winning film The Virgin Spring. It also has one of the movies' most memorable ad campaigns. Teens in the early '70s still hear the haunting tagline -- "To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie... It's only a movie...'" -- in their deepest, darkest nightmares. And as with many examples of early post-modern macabre, Last House on the Left is part exploitation, part exercise in frustration, and just a tad overhyped as to its ability to scare.

When birthday girl Mari Collingwood (Sandra Cassell) and her Manhattan friend Phyllis Stone (Lucy Grantham) head out to see Bloodlust in concert, they plan on a simple celebration. Unfortunately, they are kidnapped by a group of insane killers while trying to score some pot. Locked in the trunk of a car and carried out into the woods, there are systematically tortured, raped, and murdered. After cleaning themselves up, hoodlums Krug (David Hess), Junior (Marc Sheffler), Sadie (Jeramie Rain) and Weasel (Fred J. Lincoln) then show up at the Collingwood home. There, they are taken in by Mari's doctor dad (Richard Towers) and doting mother (Cynthia Carr), the couple not knowing that the foursome is responsible for their daughter's death.

Continue reading: Last House On The Left (1972) Review

Last House On The Left Review


Terrible
Awful, awful, bloody, and awful. Did I mention awful? This early Wes Craven low-budget slasher flick plays to every cliche in the horror book, with a gang of escaped criminals ("dope dealers") marauding across a quiet forested neighborhood. Of course they come across two naive girls who need to be carved up, but when they encounter one of the girl's families in the titular house, the tables get turned. No matter, this movie stinks to high heaven -- never mind the idiot critics who claim it to be "art" that preys on your primal emotions. Banned in three countries on release... probably more because of its quality than its horror content.
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