The Last House on the Left (1972)

USA, 1972
82m (Australia (video), USA (cut version))/84m (USA – unrated version)/85m (Japan)/91m (Canada)
Super 16mm (blown up to 35mm), colour, 1.85:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by Wes Craven who was making his directorial debut 1In the documentary Inside Deep Throat (2005) Craven claimed that he’d made “many hard core X-rated films” though it’s not clear whether he actually directed any or worked on them in other capacities. The film proved hugely influential and a number of similar films – many from Italy – followed over the next few years. In the UK, the film was one of the “video nasties” and has proved troubling to censors around the world. It was remade in 2009.

Plot Summary

A gang of violent criminals, led by the appalling Krug Stillo, escape from prison and hide out in a New York apartment. They lure in two teenage girls with the promise of drugs and abduct them. Out in the woods, they humiliate, rape, murder and mutilate the girls, then find themselves seeking lodging in the home of one of their victims. When her parents realise what the gang has done, they prepare to take bloody revenge…

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Wes Craven
© 1972 The Night Co.
Sean S. Cunningham Films Ltd. present a film from Lobster Enterprises
Produced by: Sean S. Cunningham
Associate Producer: Katherine D’Amato
Written by: Wes Craven
Director of Cinematography: Victor Hurwitz
Film Editor: Wes Craven
Original Music by: David Alexander Hess, Steve Chapin *
Sound Mixer: Gary Leibman
Costume Design: Susan E. Cunningham
Wardrobe & Make-up: Anne Paul
Special Effects: Troy Roberts
Locations: Long Island, New York, USA; Westport, Connecticut, USA; West 87th Street, New York, USA; 21st Street, New York, USA; Redding, Connecticut, USA

Cast
Sandra Cassell [real name: Sandra Peabody] (Mari Collingwood)
Lucy Grantham (Phyllis Stone)
David A. Hess (Krug Stillo)
Fred Lincoln (Fred “Weasel” Padowski)
Jeramie Rain (Sadie)
Marc Sheffler (Junior Stillo)
Gaylord St James [real name: Richard Towers] (Dr John Collingwood)
Cynthia Carr (Estelle Collingwood)
Ada Washington (Ada (driver of chicken truck))
Marshall Anker (sheriff)
Martin Kove (deputy)
Ray Edwards (mail man)
Jonathan Craven [kid with balloon] *
Anthony J. Forcelli [ice cream store clerk] *

Alternative Titles

La Derniere maison sur la gauche – France
Grim Company – US 16mm title
Krug and Company – early title
The Men’s Room – alternative title
Mondo brutale – West Germany
Night of Vengeance – shooting title
Ostatni dom po lewej stronie – Poland
Sex Crime of the Century – shooting title
La ultima casa a la izquierda – Spain
L’ultima casa a sinistra – Italy

Remake
The Last House on the Left (2009)

See also
Antefatto (1971)
Asylum of Satan (1971)
Jungfrukällan (1960)
L’ultimo treno della notte (1974)

Extracts included in
The American Nightmare (2000)
The Evolution of Snuff (1977)
Mad Ron’s Prevues from Hell (1987)

References

Periodicals

  • Castle of Frankenstein no.20 p.45, 46
  • Cinefantastique vol.3 no.1 (Autumn 1973) p.35 – review (by David Bartholomew)
  • Film Comment vol.14 no.4 (July/August 1978) p.51 – illustrated review (Guilty Pleasures by Roger Ebert)
  • Filmfacts vol.15 no.24 (1972) pp.655 – 657 – illustrated synopsis, credits
  • Image et Son no.327 (April 1978) pp.21-22 – review
  • Is It Uncut? no.4 pp.12-15 – illustrated review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.49 n583 (August 1982) p.178 – credits, review (by Kim Newman)
  • Starburst no.44 p.59 – review
  • Take One vol.4 no.3 (January/February 1973) p.33 – review
  • Video Week 5 January 1987 p.8 – note (about the banning of the film)
  • Video World June 1982 – note
  • Video World July 1982 – note

Books

  • 100 American Horror Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.119-120
  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.252 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig pp.227-228
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.257-258
  • Educational Institutions in Horror Film: A History of Mad Professors, Student Bodies, and Final Exams by Andrew L. Grunzke p.13
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.251
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.370
  • The Highway Horror Film by Bernice M. Murphy p.42
  • Hoffman’s Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.210 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.220
  • Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer’s Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay p.4
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.209-213 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.244-245 – credits, review
  • The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies: An A-Z Guide to Over Sixty Years of Blood and Guts by Peter Normanton pp.289-292
  • Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990 by Brian Albright pp.184-185
  • Retro Screams: Terror in the New Millennium by Christopher T. Koetting pp.69-80; 385 – illustrated essay; credits
  • Terror Tracks: Music, Sound and Horror Cinema by Philip Hayward (ed) p.187
  • Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani p.43 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left: The Making of a Cult Classic