IMDb > The Last House on the Left (1972)
The Last House on the Left
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The Last House on the Left (1972) More at IMDbPro »

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The Last House on the Left -- Two girls are tortured and left to die after they become captives of four prison escapees.  The merciless criminals end up in the house of one of the girls and the mother tortures and kills them.

Overview

User Rating:
6.0/10   25,553 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Wes Craven (written by)
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Last House on the Left on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 August 1972 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
WARNING: Not Recommended for Persons Over 30! See more »
Plot:
Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped by a gang of psychotic convicts. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A bit over-hyped, but fairly good and certainly important historically See more (457 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Sandra Peabody ... Mari Collingwood (as Sandra Cassell)
Lucy Grantham ... Phyllis Stone

David Hess ... Krug Stillo (as David A. Hess)
Fred J. Lincoln ... Fred 'Weasel' Podowski (as Fred Lincoln)
Jeramie Rain ... Sadie
Marc Sheffler ... Junior Stillo
Richard Towers ... Dr. John Collingwood (as Gaylord St. James)
Cynthia Carr ... Estelle Collingwood
Ada Washington ... Ada
Marshall Anker ... Sheriff

Martin Kove ... Deputy
Ray Edwards ... Postman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jonathan Craven ... Boy with Balloon (uncredited)
Anthony J. Forcelli ... Ice Cream Store Clerk (uncredited)
Steve Miner ... Hippie Taunting Deputy (uncredited)

Directed by
Wes Craven 
 
Writing credits
Wes Craven (written by)

Ulla Isaksson  earlier screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Sean S. Cunningham .... producer
Katherine D'Amato .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
David Hess  (as David Alexander Hess)
 
Cinematography by
Victor Hurwitz (director of cinematography)
 
Film Editing by
Wes Craven 
 
Costume Design by
Susan E. Cunningham 
 
Makeup Department
Anne Paul .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Larry Beinhart .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yvonne Hannemann .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Jim Hubbard .... sound
Gary Leibman .... sound mixer
 
Special Effects by
Troy Roberts .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Dick Donovan .... gaffer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Anne Paul .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Steve Miner .... assistant editor (as Stephen Miner)
Chris Lamie .... colorist (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Steve Dwork .... production assistant
David Miner .... title designer
Steve Miner .... production assistant
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Grim Company" - USA (16mm release title)
"Last House on the Left" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
Runtime:
84 min | Germany:64 min (heavily cut) | USA:91 min (original cut) | USA:82 min (R-rated version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:X (original rating) | Argentina:18 (re-rating) | Australia:RC (original rating: 1987) | Australia:R18+ (re-rating) (2004) | Canada:R | Finland:K-18 (self applied) (2002) | France:16 | Germany:16 (heavily cut) | Iceland:(Banned) | Ireland:18 (cut UK version) | Italy:VM18 | Malaysia:(Banned) | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:(Banned) (original rating) | New Zealand:R18 (re-rating) (2004) | Norway:(Banned) | Norway:16 (DVD rating) (2005) (self applied) | Singapore:(Banned) | South Korea:18 | Sweden:15 (uncut) | UK:18 (re-rating) (2008) (uncut) | UK:18 (re-rating) (2002) (cut) | UK:(Banned) (1974-2002) | USA:R (heavily cut) | USA:X (original rating) | USA:Unrated (uncut) | West Germany:18 (cut) | West Germany:(Banned) (uncut)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Fred J. Lincoln has stated on numerous occasions that he considers this film to be the worst movie he ever did.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: During the dinner scene Krug asks "Mind if I smoke?". When he exits the scene, the candle he used was extinguished and in the next scene it was still lit.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Postman:[to dog] Hello, Cassie! Hiya, girl! Hello, there! Now, let's see.
[looks through mail]
Postman:Ah, it looks like Mari's getting cards from half the civilized world. Mari Collingwood. Mari Collingwood. Mari Collingwood. You'd think she's the only kid to reach the age of 17. Of course she is probably the prettiest piece I've ever seen.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Nutcracker (2001)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Road Leads to NowhereSee more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the Krug & Company Cut and the Uncensored Version?
Why isn't the forced lesbian scenes in any release?
Is it true that an alternate cut was released on VHS?
See more »
107 out of 148 people found the following review useful.
A bit over-hyped, but fairly good and certainly important historically, 9 July 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

While I think that people tend to get a bit hyperbolic when they talk about The Last House on the Left, I do think it's a fairly good film, especially given what the filmmakers were trying to do and considering their lack of experience, the era and the budget. Also, despite a filmic precursor, it just may be the earliest example of the horror subgenre of "brutal, realist tragedy" (that's more a description than a name, but I haven't spent much time trying to come up with a catchy moniker). However, it has flaws that would be difficult to overlook in a "distanced" (rather than "objective" or "unbiased", neither of which I think are possible) assessment of the film.

The story, although claimed as true, is an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's Jungfrukällan (aka The Virgin Spring, 1960). Roughly, it is the story of Mari Collingwood (Sandra Cassel). We see Mari at home with her almost-hip parents. Mari is about to head out to a "Bloodlust" concert in New York City with her new friend Phyllis Stone (Lucy Grantham). Mom and dad are harassing her about her clothing, which is thin enough to show off a bit of flesh, but they're not so un-hip as to make her change. Meanwhile, we learn from a radio that four convicts--"murderers, dope-pushers and rapists"--have just escaped from prison. At the same time, director Wes Craven slowly reveals the quartet--Krug Stillo (David A. Hess), Junior Stillo (Marc Sheffler), Fred "Weasel" Podowski (Fred J. Lincoln) and Sadie (Jeramie Rain). They're holed up in a New York City apartment. Sadie seems to be group property, and that causes some tension. It is suggested that they look for a couple more women. Mari and Phyllis end up at the wrong place at the wrong time. They're kidnapped, and mayhem ensues. But there's a twist that arrives when the convict's car breaks down in an ironic location.

"Frightening", "disturbing", "sick" and various other terms are frequently employed when describing Last House on the Left. Since I find no films scary, I can't vouch for the first term, but the other two would perhaps apply proportionate to how many horror films you regularly watch, and just what kinds of horror films. If you're not used to the genre in its grittier and gorier post-1960s instantiations, you'd likely find The Last House on the Left shocking. If you've seen a large number of films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Cannibal Holocaust (1980), Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) and so on, don't pay too much attention to the hype. You're not likely to be very disturbed by anything you see here.

That doesn't mean that you'll not enjoy this film. After all, it has been a major influence on the films mentioned above--there is even an important chainsaw scene here. That's especially remarkable when we consider that it was only Craven and Producer Sean S. Cunningham's second film. They had been approached by a consortium of exhibitors who said that they wanted "something as appalling and exploitable as Night of the Living Dead (1968)".

Maybe largely by accident, Craven and Cunningham (along with others, such as assistant producer Steve Miner, who later became much bigger "names" in horror--between these three, we have the helmers of a number of films in the three major 1980s/1990s franchises--Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street) happened upon an unusual cinema vérité style that made the horrific situations depicted seem much more immediate and real. Combined with occasionally graphic and always intense situations of violence and control, the final effect is akin to watching a home video/snuff film. In fact, it was promoted as such in some areas, and the effect was disturbing enough in its time that the film initially received an X rating and was banned for many years in some locales.

But again, focusing on that amounts to hype now, and shouldn't be taken too seriously, lest it lead to inflated expectations. Just as surprising on a first viewing is that The Last House on the Left has an intermittent goofy sense of humor and a "groovy" attitude that is firmly mired in the early 1970s. The two policemen are really comic relief characters (and very funny at that), but there is also a lot of humor surrounding the criminal quartet--this almost becomes a "black comedy" at times. These sensibilities even extend to the music, which has a frequent hillbilly edge and lyrics that supply ex-positional material. Surprisingly, Hess, who plays Krug, wrote the music.

Despite the simplicity of the story and the fact that the 2002 MGM DVD release is the "most complete cut ever" according to Craven, there are problems with the story, whether due to the script or the editing. Too many segues between major plot points are "jumpy". The chase(s) through the woods seems a bit random. It's not very well explained how the convicts end up at a home looking as they do. Two characters find another who was missing, and it seems more like a dream sequence because of its arbitrariness, and so on.

But overall, the story is effective enough. Although many subtexts can and have been read into the film, the most interesting theme to me was that it's largely a "tragedy of happenstance". Craven seems to be expressing a strong belief in chance and coincidence and focusing on the dark side of it. Under that reading, we can maybe excuse some of the narrative jumps more easily.

Although there are a number of similar films that I think are better than The Last House on the Left, including Ruggero Deodato's House at the Edge of the Park (aka La Casa sperduta nel parco, 1980)--also starring Hess in a similar role, curiously enough, this is a must-see for serious horror fans because of its historical importance.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Last House on the Left (1972)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Ok for a 14 year old? jackie121467
Can someone explain to me how this is 'horror' bungee316
This is by far the worst I've ever seen man_with_a_van
how the bloody bleep..... olyoshi
Continuity error DHD99
my mother!!! miserychick5
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