Sardu, master of the Theatre of the Macabre, and his assistant Ralphus run a show in which, under the guise of 'magic', they torture and murder people in front of their audience. But what the punters see as a trick is actually real.
Udo Kier is a witch hunter apprentice to Herbert Lom. He believes strongly in his mentor and the ways of the church but loses faith when he catches Lom committing a crime. Kier slowly ... See full summary »
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
Snuff films have been and forever will be a very powerful urban legend. The idea that underground filmmakers kidnap people and graphically murder them on film, then make profits from selling the tapes through the black market is an intriguing one and would help explain the rash of unexplained disappearances every year. But it is also a wholly unbelievable idea. LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET uses this idea to create its horror, most of which is genuine, but it's also hard to call entertainment at the same time.
Terry Hawkins, a drug dealer, is just out of prison. He decides to make a horror film with the help of two sadistic prostitutes, a porno cameraman, and a bestial pervert. His crew kidnap three people and graphically murder them in an abandoned warehouse. That's about it. There's also some S&M, softcore sex, real footage of cows having their throats cut in a slaughterhouse (gross!), and really bad "adults only" footage.
DEAD END STREET was obviously made to cash in on the success of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, which is a much superior film. Yet DEAD END still manages to be as effective as LAST HOUSE in an eerie kind of way. The film itself has a grainy, washed-out look, making it look authentic, has awkward post-dubbing, and a pretty claustrophobic and terrifying set in the old warehouse. Steven Morrison, who plays Terry Hawkins, is also the director under a pseudonym. He does a pretty good job, but nobody else does. The first half of the film is rather dull, but the second half is an endurance test in many ways. There is undying tension in some of the buildup to the gory butchery and the "surgery" scene will no doubt have many viewers turning from the screen in disgust. While the special effects are not top-notch, they are rather believable and the fact that they are overdone on grainy film stock and are badly lit make them all the more effective.
LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET is a film I could never recommend to anyone with a clear conscience. It would be like condemning them to the rack, as this film can be seen as a form of torture. I have no idea why so many people have rated this film a 10 on the IMDB, it's not THAT good, but it something special in the annals of horror. Many people still have not seen it, making it a great triumph for those who managed to survive the viewing. Recommended to those who think they can take it, but believe me, this is really strong, graphic, demented stuff.
22 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?