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The Last House on Dead End Street (1977)

 -  Horror  -  May 1977 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 1,263 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 52 critic

After being released from prison, a young gangster with a chip on his shoulder decides to punish society by making snuff films.

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(as Victor Janos)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Watkins ...
Terry Hawkins (as Steven Morrison)
Ken Fisher ...
Ken Hardy (as Dennis Crawford)
Bill Schlageter ...
Bill Drexel (as Lawrence Bornman)
Kathy Curtin ...
Kathy Hughes (as Janet Sorley)
Pat Canestro ...
Patricia Kuhn (as Elaine Norcross)
Steve Sweet ...
Steve Randall (as Alex Kregar)
Edward E. Pixley ...
Jim Palmer (as Franklin Statz)
Nancy Vrooman ...
Nancy Palmer (as Barbara Amunsen)
Suzie Neumeyer ...
Suzie Knowles (as Geraldine Saunders)
Paul M. Jensen ...
Blind Man (as Paul Phillips)
Ken Rouse ...
The Whipper (as Ronald Cooper)
Alan Cooper ...
Young Boy
Howard Neilsen ...
Man on Couch
Doreen Ellis ...
Woman on Couch
Helene Roberts ...
Laughing girl #1
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Storyline

After serving 1 year in jail a guy decides to repay the society by making some snuff-films. Four people are captured, tied up and held as material for his project. One by one they are killed in scenes for the camera. A woman has her limbs sawn of while he keep her concious. Another victim is killed by a power drill. Written by <arviga@online.no>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It Will Scare You To Death See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

At the Hour of Our Death  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Working titles for the film were "At The Hour of Our Death" (visible on the slate during the behind-the-scenes footage of the movie) and "The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell," which director Watkins said was inspired by the Kurt Vonnegut Jr. novel, "Mother Night." See more »

Goofs

At 4.15, the cameraman's shadow is clearly visible on the dead girl's body. See more »

Quotes

Ken Hardy: He don't wanna make movies... He wants to be in 'em.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Shock! Shock! Shock! (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Notorious in its time, reflection changes that notoriety
9 March 2004 | by (Hurst, TX) – See all my reviews

When The Last House on Dead End Street was released on DVD it certainly spelled the end for this film and its legend. Once upon a time Last House was mentioned off handed, it was a film of urban legend made by an unknown director with an unknown cast. Of course any amount of research, made even easier with the rise of the internet, reveals the truth behind this film. Originally the film seemed even more brutal and bleak for its mysterious origins if nothing else. With the release of the DVD all mysteries are solved and the film becomes grounded as an amateur production with a history of cult status. No longer is the film relegated to video pirates selling dark, grainy, and mostly unwatchable copies now it is released in a slick package with all the answers. With all the reputation dispelled the film can be evaluated on its own merit now for most people. My eyes are still glossed by the esoteric appearance of this film and as such I probably give the film more credit than it may warrant. Original in its time and, as mentioned, dribbling in mystery of production the film has its peaks and valleys. The disturbing scenes I had heard about in this film were actually a little flat. Anyone a little older seeing this film now will probably be too jaded or numb due to overexposure to understand what it was about these scenes that was so awe inspiring or offensive. Some of the scenes are shot with a slick zest that shows Roger Michael Watkins knew what he was doing. At points the movie moderately drags as if trying to find its feet and also meanders a bit, but really the plot is straightforward about a man jaded by society directing snuff films and little else. It's really about how much mileage Watkins gets out of this simple set up. There's no protagonist, no one in the film to empathize with, no heroes, and no justice given to the characters unless you count the tacked on titles at the end of the film. Last House on Dead End Street could be retitled A Week in the Life of a Snuff Director. Despite postproduction dubbing, which you have to ignore because focusing on it will tend to annoy, the film rises above many modern genre films. The fact that there is not a single likeable character in the film will keep this movie forever relegated to its cult status. Still indie filmmakers would be advised to check this film out, as it is a true demonstration of what sort of excellence can be reached on virtually no budget. On the same note, any movie claiming a lack of budget as a crutch for a horrible movie would do well to watch this and realize talent, true talent, can overcome budgetary obstacles. What the film lacks in sound quality and easily consumable plot it makes up for in impressive visuals. Some scenes are indeed creepy and disturbing and it is the handling of the camera angles and scene set up. Given the subject matter of the film, most mainstream cinema viewers will ignore any of the film's strengths and focus on the film's shortcomings completely ignoring this as a cinematic representation of what can be done on a zero budget.

Probably the biggest shame is that it appears Roger Michael Watkins became what the character he played despised, a porn director regurgitating the same cinema blandness over and over. I've never seen one of his porn films so they may be different but it's still porn and can't possibly be to groundbreaking seeing how all plot is just to get two or more individuals into compromising positions. It seems dishonor to himself that he went or was forced down this road. Hopefully we'll see a real project from Watkins in the near future. Last House on Dead End Street is an excellent indie project for those with a taste for alternative grue filled cinema. It's at the very least an exercise in guerilla filmmaking that current directors would be advised to see. All the money in the world cannot cover hack work. On the same note, money is only an obstacle to be overcome for a director with talent.


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