26 user 39 critic

The House by the Lake (1976)

Death Weekend (original title)
A rich playboy has a large house in the Ontario countryside. One weekend he invites his girlfriend, a fashion model, but on his way to the house he drives past a gang of crazed young men. ... See full summary »


William Fruet


William Fruet
3 wins. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Brenda Vaccaro ... Diane
Don Stroud ... Lep
Chuck Shamata ... Harry
Richard Ayres Richard Ayres ... Runt
Kyle Edwards Kyle Edwards ... Frankie
Don Granbery ... Stanley (as Don Granberry)
Ed McNamara Ed McNamara ... Spragg
Michael Kirby ... Ralph
Richard Donat ... Policeman
Denver Mattson ... Smokey
Al Bernardo Al Bernardo ... Mr. Doobie
Roselle Stone Roselle Stone ... Mrs. Doobie
Elaine Yarish Elaine Yarish ... Campground Girl


A rich playboy has a large house in the Ontario countryside. One weekend he invites his girlfriend, a fashion model, but on his way to the house he drives past a gang of crazed young men. The men find out where the house is and terrorize the couple. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rape | violence | sadist | gang | revenge | See All (26) »


To escape... she'll have to kill! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Despite being described as an "appalling orgy of destruction" by the 1976 August Bulletin the film was passed relatively intact by the BBFC after a personal visit by Brenda Vaccaro to chief censor James Ferman to plead for a certificate. Some of the female examiners on the board described the film's violence as "acceptable, even justifiable" and the only UK cut made to the movie was the removal of the word "cunt". See more »


During the opening car chase, the Camero smashes into an Oldsmobile, smashing a corner of the Camero's front end. Immediately after, the damage is gone. See more »


[first lines]
Harry: It's a great machine, isn't it?
Diane: Yeah.
Harry: When I cut into the super-charger I can get up to 140.
Diane: Wow.
Harry: You can't keep it like that 'cause the fiction will melt the engine like a marshmellow. I never met a woman who was interested in cars more then you are.
Diane: I lived with a guy who was a former driver. For a while. It didn't work out, but he taught me a lot about cars. And I loved it. I really loved it.
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Alternate Versions

The US and English Canadian VHS releases are cut. Missing in action are the following details:
  • An additional shot of Lep on top of Diane as he rapes her.
  • When Diane slashes Runt's throat, there is a graphic shot of Runt's throat gushing blood and an additional shot of Diane as his blood sprays across her chest. The US/Canadian tapes cut from her slashing action to Runt falling off the bed, omitting the gory details.
  • After Diane escapes out the window, there is an additional shot of Runt choking on his own blood while Frankie and Stanley joke outside the bedroom door.
  • When Diane sets Stanley ablaze, the sequence lasts several seconds longer as he runs out of the boathouse in flames.
  • Note that both the French (dubbed) Canadian and Spanish (subtitled) VHS versions were released uncut.
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Referenced in The Hitcher (1986) See more »


Music by Keith Mansfield
APM Music
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User Reviews

It began with a rape... and ended with a massacre!
2 April 2002 | by ray-100See all my reviews

Rich playboy (Chuck Shamata) and his 'supposed weekend fling' (Brenda Vaccaro) embark in some road rage with four thugs. The thugs track them down at their weekend mansion, then a weekend of terror begins.

A well acted and directed thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Not as violent as other similar titles such as 'Last House on the Left', 'Fight for your Life', and 'Late Night Trains' but far more exciting.

A film well worthy of a re-release.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Release Date:

4 March 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The House by the Lake See more »


Box Office


CAD500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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