The Last House on the Left (1972)

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‘Can a movie go too far?’

The Last House on the Left is a 1972 horror film written and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Sean S. Cunningham. The shooting title was Night of Vengeance and working titles were Krug & Company and Sex Crime of the Century. The 16mm release title was Grim Company.

The story is inspired by the 1960 Swedish film The Virgin Spring, directed by Ingmar Bergman, which in turn is based on the 13th century Swedish ballad “Töres döttrar i Wänge“. The film was remade into a 2009 film of the same name.

Mari Collingwood (Sandra Cassel) plans to celebrate her 17th birthday by attending a concert with her friend, Phyllis Stone (Lucy Grantham). Her parents (Gaylord St. James and Cynthia Carr) express concern both at the band and Mari’s friendship with Phyllis. They let her go, giving her a peace symbol necklace as a gift before she leaves.

Phyllis and Mari go to the city for the concert. On the way, they hear a news report on the car radio of a recent prison escape, involving criminals Krug Stillo (David A. Hess), a rapist and serial killer, his son Junior (Marc Sheffler), Sadie (Jeramie Rain), a psychopath and sadist, and Fred “Weasel” Podowski (Fred Lincoln) a child molester, peeping tom, and murderer. Before the concert, Mari and Phyllis stroll the streets, seeking someone who might sell them marijuana. They find Junior, who leads them back to an apartment, where they are immediately trapped by the criminals. Phyllis tries to escape, then tries to reason with the criminals to let her go, but their captors subdue and rape her. Meanwhile, Mari’s unsuspecting parents prepare a surprise party for her…

last house on the left 1979 re-release campaign

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Choice dialogue:

“Piss your pants!”

Wikipedia

Hallmark Releasing trade ad courtesy of The Dead Next Door

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Categories: 1970s

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