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The Last House On The Left
To avoid fainting, keep repeating: "It's only a movie, only a movie, only a movie ..."
The good thing is that it will not waste lines speaking about the director. We don’t get you bored with our resume. Because here we have a Wes Craven,unknown at the time but destined for a successful career in the horror mainstream. If you like it or not.
More interesting is the story of this movie, its history, its genesis, its impact on the audience and all that came after.
We must return to Craven, however, that here in 1972 goes around among the studios, and had a great relationship with Sean Cunningham (who later will direct "Friday13th"), but he had never directed anything. Sean, the friend, thanks to the success of his previous film, succeeds in giving the "Hallmark Relasing" a sum for a film. Horror. Here it is. Cunningham producer. Craven director.
Inspired, makes us a little 'afraid to say the comparison to "The Virgin Spring" od Bergman, who also won an Oscar, "The Last House On The Left" is a very low budget film that has the merit to experience into the horror a language a bit 'different, focusing much, indeed everything, on the ultra-violence.
The result is not a horror in the strictest sense of the word, but a "Rape Revenge" movie.
A film that has divided equally critics, which has had success with the audience but that insinuates a doubt: Craven has exaggerated for commercial purposes or for the love of art?
But what's so wrong with "The Last House On The Left"? There is a section of a violent society, with the shadow of Vietnam and the long wave of "Family" of Manson. There is a society “respectable” skeptical versus the youth, but ready to distort their behavior if an affection, the most important, is attacked. And finally there are who represented the law are showed as totally inept. A critique of 360 °, which should not have been pleasant for those who received it.
And as already said, is full of violence, which seems to frighten even the director himself who puts in the middle of the story some comical reliefs.
That's where "The Last House On The Left" does not work. Because if one side goes down hard, in the other diminishes the context.
Some scenes are so drawn or paradoxical. From the victim found by the river still alive but dying a night in the woods (and after all that happens to he) to the revenge reduced to tricks scarcely credible, as the lightning, or fellatio.
If there hadn’t been the presence of David Hess,who also put here an "A" before the surname, we can talk about a total lack of acting. But the good Hess unfairly boycotted by the world of cinema offers exceptional performance, too much even for a film like this for which he also composed the score.
Our impression about "The Last House On The Left" is a movie that doesn’t exploit its potential, perhaps because of the little craft that the two had at the time, perhaps for the excessive power of the idea that did pull the brake to the two authors.
And this is the most important point in this work of Craven, the idea which then generated a series of similar movies that shamelessly copied more or less the title.
The story talk about of Mary who on the day of his seventeenth birthday, can, with the permission of her parents, go in the city with her friend Phyllis.
The two meet, however, Krug and his friends, already widely presented as a union of dangerous criminals escaped from the prison. The two girls end up in the hands of the group. Abused, beaten, raped, they pass a bad night in a house and then the next day, pass worst moment in a forest where the group brings then. Here we touch the madness, with Krug who write his name on the chest of one of the two, but also with the parents of Mary who happened to live nearby and found in their house Krug and friends on which reversed all their revenge , completely changing their worldview.
Not wholly successful, we must said, but certainly an important film for the future works of Craven. Of course you may have noticed that the name of the protagonist, played by the excellent Hess, is Krug, who with some change in the name became the most famous character of Craven’s movies.
And we can say also tha Krueger, has a passion for young people too.
Shot in a month or so, has had several manipulations. The title changed several times during production became almost as what we know as the advertising campaign, which cites "To avoid fainting, keep repeating-it's only a movie ...", which legend says is inspired by a phrase from a joke of a friend of Cunningham.
Changed, reissued, also prohibited because of censorship, especially fierce in Britain, this movie has suffered several cuts.
In the nation of the Queen Elizabeth the Craven’s movie has endured a series of prohibitions and then distributions and then even bans and even sabotage, becoming in every case "cult". Since 2008 it is in free circulation.
In Australia, however it took 34 years before it was accepted. In the US. Not that things have gone very well. The organ of censorship "MPAA" continued to gave an "X" instead, but Craven did not accept it. Cuts here, cuts there, the director came to propose a version with less than thirty minutes. Nothing. Then put everything into again and with a help of a friend, his movie gain an "R". More simple life in Germany where it was even advertised as a "Snuff Movie".
All these changes lead to the result that it is difficult to find a version with all the scenes filmed, according to some sources say. The scenes lacking are a lesbian scene in the woods between the two victims forced to have sex, a nude scene with Mary at the beginning of the story and another with Mary always a victim of violence in the woods. And then you wonder if the actress was terrified while filming.
OriginalTitle: The Last House On The Left
Director: Wes Craven
Alternate Titles: The Last House on the izquierda (Spain, Mexico), Aniversário Macabre (Brazil), Az utolsó ház balra (Hungary), Das letzte Haus links, brutal World (Germany), Grim Company, Krug & Company, Night of Vengeance, Sex Crime of the Century (USA), Kanli tecavüz (Turkey), Krug and Company, Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left (Australia) The Last House on the Left, The Last House on the far left (Italy) La derniere maison sur la gauche (France), while Sun Ostatní lewej Stronie (Poland), to Pánico medianoche, Ultraje to amanecer (Argentina), Rædselsnatten (Denmark), Viasmos'm teleftaio spiti aristera (Greece)
Starring: David A.Hess, Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, Fred J.Lincoln, Jeramie Rain , Martin Kove
Duration: 91 '(Uncut), 64' (.... cutted ...)
Production Company: Lobster Enterprises, Sean S. Cunningham Films, The Night Co.