Pizza Shlock! Ingredients: gore, vomit and tumor-pus
If you look at the international title of this low-budgeted Italian flick, you automatically expect this to be throwback to the gritty and disturbing rape/revenge exploitation thrillers of the 70's, and particularly of course Wes Craven's "Last House on the Left". If you then watch the film, you'll have to conclude it's much more reminiscent to that other Wes Craven milestone of the 70's; namely "The Hills Have Eyes". But what truly surprised me here actually was that "Last House in the Woods" is one of the goriest, most sickening and distasteful recent horror films I've seen in months! During the first half hour or so, writer/director Gabriele Albanesi apparently still tried to serve some personal style and ambitious structure, but then the whole thing just turns into a non-stop nasty and absurdly over-the-top shlockfest. In the middle of a relationship crisis, young couple Aurora and Rino are assaulted by a trio of drug-addicted thugs on a remote forest road. They're about to gang-rape Aurora when a middle-aged couple drives by and comes to the rescue. At the couple's house, hidden deep in the woods, Aurora soon realizes she's in even deeper trouble as her hosts have the nasty habit of kidnapping people and serve the flesh to their cannibalistic 7-year-old son. If this isn't quite unhinged enough for you yet, there's another duo of freaks loose in the woods one has a disgusting tumor in his neck and the other a half rotten face and an outrageously insane climax involving a child that got lost in the woods during the intro of the film. "Last House in the Woods" is badly acted, incoherent and senseless and honestly doesn't feature any aspects that qualify as original or surprising. Still, this is guaranteed fun to watch if only for the gore and unusually high level of depravity. Moreover, in spite of the obviously very restricted budget, the makers nevertheless managed to engage Italy's most prominent and gifted special-effects guy for their film! Sergio Stivaletti is literally a wizard with blood & gore effects. He worked with Italy's greatest horror directors of the 80's and 90's (Dario Argento, Mario Bava and Michele Soavi) and already even directed two excellent but shamefully underrated himself ("The Wax Mask" and "Three Faces of Terror"). Thanks to Stivaletti, "Last House in the Woods" is a real treat for sick puppies like myself, with an overload of slit throats, bitten throats, disembowelment, amputations, chainsaw murders, close range head shots, stabbings Shall I continue, or will you purchase the DVD already?
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