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The House by the Lake (1976)

Death Weekend (original title)
A rich playboy has a large house in the countryside. One weekend he invites a fashion model. On his way to the house, he drives past a gang of crazy young men. The men find out where the ... See full summary »

Director:

William Fruet

Writer:

William Fruet
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Brenda Vaccaro ... Diane
Don Stroud ... Lep
Chuck Shamata ... Harry
Richard Ayres Richard Ayres ... Runt
Kyle Edwards ... Frankie
Don Granbery 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
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It was Thanksgiving weekend. Diane had nothing to be thankful for... she was just trying to stay alive! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The House by the Lake See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer/director William Fruet actually based the film off of a true story that took place in Canada. The crime that inspired it involved a dentist whose home was invaded by thugs he had angered, just like the plot of the film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Turkish I Spit on Your Grave (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Wanderlust
by Keith Mansfield
APM Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'It was Thanksgiving weekend, and Diane had nothing to be thankful for...'
28 December 2005 | by Nightman85See all my reviews

Solidly-done, low-budget thriller from Canada is a great tale of survival.

In route to their weekend get away, a woman and her gentleman friend anger a gang of thugs and end up paying for it.

Death Weekend is a little known thriller, which is a shame since it's a good entry in the vengeance/exploitation genre. While Death Weekend isn't as violent or disturbing as Last House on the Left (1972) or I Spit on Your Grave (1978), it does possess a powerful tension and makes for a pretty strong watch. Director William Fruet gives this film tight action and dark, suspenseful atmosphere. It does have the occasional burst of shocking violence - especially during the terrifically intense climax.

The films two stars are a strong point as well. Brenda Vaccaro is great as a victim trying to survive. She is an excellent actress and shows it well in this film. Also excellent is villain Don Stroud. Stroud has a powerful kind of presence in this film as the ruthless, but not unattractive leader of the gang.

Death Weekend is a nicely edgy shocker that deserves a wider audience. For thriller, exploitation fans it's worth finding!

*** out of ****


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