The Last House on the Left

What more can be said about Wes Craven’s 1972 notorious shocker The Last House on the Left?  It’s a film that has divided opinion for over forty years, banned in the UK and remade as a studio film by Universal.  For those who have been living under a rock, here’s a synopsis.

Best friends Mari and Phyllis have plans to attend a rock concert but on the way they bump into a simple minded fellow called Junior as they attempt to score some weed.  Junior’s father is an escaped criminal named Krug and along with his psychopathic girlfriend Sadie and Weasel his child molesting buddy kidnap the girls and do unmentionable things to them.

Arrow Video have really pulled the stops out for this release and their box set is spread across three discs.  Of course you get the film which has been restored exclusively for this release, an R rated version which is a bit pointless but interesting all the same and an early version of the film (on disc 2) called ‘Krug and Company’ which had a UK showing back in the day.

There’s commentaries including one with the late director whose chat tracks were always good to listen as he was a very intelligent well spoken chap.  Various documentaries with a brand new one ‘The Craven Touch’ which features people who worked with Wes over the years.  A lot of the special features have appeared on previous releases but there’s enough to warrant another purchase especially as the film looks the best it’s ever been.  Oh before I forget on the third disc is the film’s original soundtrack which has been remastered.

It’s all held together in a nice sturdy box complete with poster and art cards in the Blu-ray case.  Whilst I’m not too keen on the new artwork (I’m a purist, I like the original 70’s advertising) you can flip the sleeve over to reveal a variation of the famous film poster with that immortal tagline.

To avoid fainting, keep repeating, it’s only a movie..  only a movie… only a movie.

It’s pretty brutal and at times the tone is a bit wrong i.e. the good ol’ boy cops who look like they have stepped out of a Smokey and the Bandit movie but The Last House on the Left is an important part of genre cinema and should be embraced.  However it’s not for everyone.

  • Starring David Hess  Sandra Peabody  Lucy Grantham  Fred Lincoln
  • Director Wes Craven