Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Last House on the Left: Movie Review #4

The Last House on the Left (1972)
I am a huge fan of Nightmare on Elm Street and Wes Craven. As an 80's child, I couldn't help but love Freddy Krueger. I am also a huge fan of digging for obscure films that horror directors made before their big hits. Fully equipped with plenty of blood, violence, drug use, revenge, and even rape, this movie is a must-see - the old school advertisement that instructed you to remind yourself that "it's only a movie" is pure genius. Anything that comes with a warning message is right up my alley. However, I was somewhat let down.

Now I hate to hate on a classic, but I felt like I was watching someone's home videos -- low budget can be alot of fun, but I would have much rathered Craven went the Herschell Gordon Lewis route with his soundtrack. The gore and violence of the film is simply watered down with cheesy circus music and absolutely no suspense. I guess you could consider it a horror movie, although I found myself searching for the horror. Sure, it's terrible what a gang of criminals did to a couple of girls in the woods (and it is supposedly based on a true story) but there was no build-up to the gore at all. I really wanted to be scared but just wasn't.

The movie did, however, redeem itself for a few moments, namely the humor -- the junkie criminal's frog impression (I always have a laugh at drug addicts in films) and the blowjob scene where Momma bites off the guido's you know what. The screwdriver to the front teeth was a nice touch as well, and the brilliant use of the chainsaw toward the end of the film must have paved the way for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 years later. However, I still couldn't help but feel like I was watching a gorier version of I Spit On Your Grave (1978). Check it out because it's a classic, but you won't need to remind yourself that it's only a movie.

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