The Last House on the Left (1972)

   
Written & Directed by: Wes Craven

Starring:

Sandra Cassel .... Mari Collingwood
Lucy Grantham .... Phyllis Stone
David Hess .... Krug Stillo
Fred J. Lincoln .... Fred 'Weasel' Podowski
Jeramie Rain .... Sadie
Marc Sheffler .... Junior Stillo
Gaylord St. James .... Dr. John Collingwood
Cynthia Carr .... Estelle Collingwood
Marshall Anker .... Sheriff
Martin Kove .... Deputy

Release Dates:
Theatrical: August 30, 1972

*Images courtesy at: www.outnow.ch

Rating:

 

A teenage girl named Mari Collingwood (Sandra Cassel) is celebrating her 17th Birthday with her friend Phyllis Stone (Lucy Grantham) by going out to a rock concert to see their favourite band called Bloodlust.
However, they walk around the city looking for marijuana. A man named Junior Stillo (Marc Sheffler) claims he has marijuana at his suite so they all go up to his suite and a killer cult is in the suite led by a man named Krug Stillo (David Hess) who is an escaped convict and he kidnaps the two girls and is also the parent of Junior as he drugs him with heroin.
They all take the two girls in the woods which is only 100 feet from the Collingwood home where they torture, rape and kill them. Then without realising it, they drop off their dead bodies near the Collingwood's house where they all take refuge not realising they are Mari's parents.
The Collingwood's find out that they murdered their daughter and friend so they seek revenge on them by turning the tables on them.

 

We have a good cheeesy conversation between Mari Collingwood along with her parents John and Estelle about discussing where she's going and the town being unsafe along with their situationjs on her not wearing a bra.
We have a good discussion between Mari and Phyllis Stone hanging out near a river in the woods with a wine bottle and laughing.
We also have good shots on them driving in their car.
There's some twisted shots on Krug Stillo walking by and popping a child's ballooon like you'd wanna hate this bastard as well as his discussion with the others in their cockroach hotel room.
There's a good moment with Junior Stillo acting goofy with Sadie taking a bath and she acts sleazy towards him.
A good shot on Junior waiting around outside and then both Mari and Phyllis coming up to him asking for weed with him acting totally out of it.
We have a good effective moment when the two girls walk into the hotel room and then Junior locks them in with the two of them shocked and startled. You will really cringe imagining if this ever happened to you. It was a perfect psychological moment on the years our parents taught us to never talk to strangers. What's more psychological is that one of the girls pleads to let them go and they won't tell as well as Krug approaching them telling the two saying they must think they're stupid as this looked truly disturbing to watch as well as leaving a chill down your spine as well as a memorable moment on Weasel taking out a switchblade towards Mari when she threatens to scream.
A good shot on Sadie feeling Phyllis' breasts and then Krug taking off her shirt and the nshe spits in his face as well as him slugging her then raping her with a shot on Mari watching which looked disturbing indeed which was a helpless moment. Defientely this moment makes it hard for certain others to watch this situation.
Meanwhile we get campy shots on John and Estelle decorating a cake and preparing for her daughters 17th birthday.
A good camera shot on Weasel carrying down Phyllis down a ladder to their building.
We have a good sick discussion with Krug having sex with Sadie on the backseat of their car along with Weasel talking to them awkwardly.
There's a good sick moment on Krug when he manipulates Phyllis to pee her pants else her friend will be tortured.
We have a good shot on Phyllis and Mari caressing one another in the woods with Phyllis herself crying and Mari trying to comfort her.
There's a corny discussion with two officers talking to John and Estelle about their daughters disappearance which doesn't really fit or any of the other scene's that involved these two officers.
There's great shots on Phyllis running away in the woods with Weasel and Sadie on her tail as you wonder if she will get away.
A great shot on Phyllis acting menacing towards Sadie by smacking a rock against her head as this gives you a great feeling on seeking revenage on this evil bitch.
We have a good discussion between Mari towards Junior to set her free and she has drugs for him by trying to act uplifting before crying again.
Perfect shots on Krug, Weasel and Sadie cornering Phyllis near a graveyard. Has a nice horror touch to the scene with the surroundings.
A good shot on Phyllis being brutally stabbed in the back with her weakly crawling along with camera shots on Krug, Weasel and Sadie staring at her and kicking her along with great menacing shots on Weasel brutally stabbing her. This was a nice psychological horror moment that fans for disturbing horror flicks will enjoy.
A nice a shot on Krug pulling out a cut off arm and dropping it. This was one of the most famous scene's that was seen in this flick adding more and more into the horror story.
A good camera shot on Mari slowly walking into a lake and then a great shot on Krug aiming his gun.
We have good shots at the dinner table with Krug, Sadie and Weasel pigging out on spaghetti and swigging back wine disguised as preachers a the Collingwood house.
John and Estelle aren't too believeable after they find their dead daughter washed up when they're sobbing.
A great scene was a dream sequence between the two of them when they make out they are going to do a mouth surgery to seek revenge on one of the cult members with a terrific camera looking up on them.
We have yet another corny moment by the officers when the try to hitchhike and are picked up by a chicken truck driver but it looks slightly charming. The makers treid to add some comedy to make up for the intense and disturbing moments in the scene but it didn't tickle my fancy at all.
There's a scene with Estelle by making out that she has a lustful thing for Weasel by taking him outside and tying him. Then a great shot on him screaming in pain along with a great shot on her getting menacing by biting off his.... well I won't get into that.
There's many good shots on Krug slugging John and mocking him.
The most intense work of this flick was with Krug when he tells Junior to blow his brains out with his gun. Extremely disturbing stuff.
A nice shot on John walking up a cellar stairs with an active chainsaw and Krug slamming the door with a good shot on the door being sawed open and then attacking this maniac while he's holding a chair to him. This I could bet what inspired Tobe Hooper to use the same elements for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I found this the best moment as it excites you that these bastards are getting what's coming to them.
There's also good shots and moments with Estelle having a battle with Sadie which I enjoyed as well for getting what's coming to her too.
Bottom line: Well this film didn't seem to be a horror film at first but when you see the elements used in it you will think differently as it was kind of a psychological crime horror suspense movie. Back in it's days was a full fledged psycholigal horror though.
It's very intense and disturbing indeed giving out ideas to invent a slasher flick as well as showing youths never to enter a place with someone you don't know cause this can happen to you.
However, the story sometimes weakens as it doesn't do much after the fact these girls are being tortured and killed.
We also have some stupid dark comedy in the film by having two dipstick deputy and sherrif involved and doing a lousy job by finding these two missing girls but again Wes Craven admitted he was drunk while making this flick.
This film was produced by Sean S. Cunningham and of course written and ditrected by Wes Craven who would later become icons for other cult horror films like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street. This film did have some similar Elm Street elements to this flick.
Although this film was bombed by most other critics and wasn't a mainstream film by any means it still reigned as a cult classic along with other non mainstream horror films like My Bloody Valentine, Sleepaway Camp, Silent Night Deadly Night and Demons.

The acting seems pretty good although alot of these cast members remained virtual unknowns. Sandra Cassel (Mari Collingwood) does a good job as a senstive girl on her birthday as she knew how to cry well and get scared. A good reaction on her after she spots her mailbox while being dragged out of a car trunk and then sobs when she is taken into the woods. She does well freaking out when someone pulls out a cut off arm and dropping it.
Lucy Grantham
(Phyllis Stone) does well as the courageous one with a good tough attitude to her part which makes you hope that she will survive. She does well when she is first held kidnapped by trying to convince them to let them go trying not to act freaked out. She shows great shocked expressions after being cornered near a graveyard.
Cult actor David Hess (Krug Stillo) stole the film with his performance as the psychotic killer in the film proving to be truly menacing and intimidating with his part as you'd just wish he was put out of his misery for his evil doings with the innocent teenagers. He does well afterwards when someone pleads to let them go by approaching them telling the two fellow actress' they're not stupid which leaves an impression that he won't let them go as he shows a good slick style and quite intimidating too. He does well by getting aggressive with his onscreen
son after whining about the murders as he was powerful while doing this.His best intense effort with his aggressions and insane attitude is when he manipulates his onscreen son to blow his head off. He for sure came on as a terrific madman.
Jeramie Rain (Sadie) you'd want to smack the crap out of her for being so skanky and nasty too. She was terrific with her part in it. She was terrific with her part in it. She also does great quarter way in her performance by going ballistic towardsone of her fellow actors by telling him to get away from her.
One of the most notable performers in this film was Marc Sheffler (Junior Stillo) as the dimwitted son of the head cult members and looked good by playing an addict showing alot of issues with his character as you could tell he didn't like what was going on but was too messed up to do anything about it. He does well by whining and screaming in his bed about the two girls they murdered in a quarter way through in the story.
We have a supporting role by Martin Kove (Deputy) in one of his first films as a dimwitted dipstick as his part was a little comedic. It was an odd combination as this film was dark.

Lucy Grantham has her top taken off by the cult members.
Sandra Cassel
and Lucy Grantham are stripped down naked in the woods.

A girl is bloodily stabbed and then briefly her guts are pulled out
There's a cut off arm.
A gruesome slit throat
A guy blowing his head off
A killed being devoured by a chainsaw but it isn't too gruesome.

Of course David Hess composed the music for this film as apart from being an actor he's a musician too.
He has great low gruesome bass guitar playing for the appropriate scene's. He also has good flute playing for certain scene's of the wooded areas. There's also great hisiing sounds for the real intense and creepy moments which sounded great as well as high pitched sounds for the stabbing scene's.
He also did all the soundtrack score's for the film but will be remembered for the echoey vocalising on "The Road Leads to Nowhere" along with Steve Chaplan. It was a little too overplayed though.

Krug Stillo: You must think we're stupid right? No, we're not stupid. We might be horny old pigs, but, we ain't stupid.

Krug Stillo: We don't wanna off someone first night out. I mean, it'd be a shame to get this floor all messed up with blood.

Krug Stillo: Piss your pants!
Phyllis Stone: What?
Krug Stillo: I said "Piss your pants"!
Phyllis Stone: You sick mother!

Mari: Junior, do you have a girlfriend?
Junior Stillo: Oh yeah, I got lots of girlfriends just waiting to get me!
Mari: I don't think you do.
Junior Stillo: Well you're right.

Krug Stillo: Listen to daddy. I want you to take the gun, and I want you to put it in your mouth, and I want you to turn around and blow your brains out. Blow your brains out, BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT!