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On her 17th birthday, Mari (Sandra Cassell) goes to New York City to
visit a rock concert with her friend Phyllis (Lucy Grantham).
Unfortunately, they have the idea to buy some dope from Junior (Marc
Sheffler), who invites them into his appartment - where the girls meet
escaped convicts Krug (David Hess) - incidently Junior's father - and
Weasel (Fred J.Lincoln) and their friend Sadie (Jeramie Rain) ... and they
want to have a fun time with the two girls, which means raping and
After the quartet had a bit of fun with the girls in the
city, they decide to take them to the country (in the trunk of their car),
where they further rape and torture them and humiliate them by forcing
them to have lesbian sex and pee their pants. Finally, the two girls make
escape attempts and are each one killed ...
Incidently, the whole affair
took place only a few hundred yards away from the house of Mari's parents
(Richard Towers, Cynthia Carr), and after the baddies have killed the
girls, they actually seek abode at their house, without at first knowing
who they are. Mari's parents, despite being worried sick about their
daughter, put Krug and gang up for the night, and only eventually, by
listening in on them, they learn who they really are ... and decide to
have revenge, bloody revenge.
First, they pick on Junior, the weakest of
the gang who's on cold turkey, and they hook him up with methadone to get
him over to their side, then Mari's mum takes Weasel to the outside,
promises him wild sex, ties him up (as part of their sex-game), then
gives him a blowjob ... that ends in biting his dick off. That done she lets
him bleed to death and goes on to defeat Sadie in a duel to the death.
dad meanwhile tries to get Junior to shoot Krug, his own dad, but Krug has
teh stronger will and forces Junior to shoot himself. Then Krug and daddy
go one-on-one and Krug seems to soon win the upper hand ... until daddy
picks up a chainsaw and ultimately saws Krug up.
The inefficient country
police (Marshall Anker as sheriff, Martin Kove as lame-brained deputy)
arrive only after the ordeal's over to pick up the pieces ...
Craven's first feature Last House on the Left already shows the
director at the top of his game: The film, quite obviously inspired by
Ingmar Bergman's Virgin Spring,
is a clever mix of visceral horror, carefully placed shocks and elaborate
suspense sequences, all in the context of an entertaining if controversial
story - that sure enough is not to everybody's liking -, carried by a
directorial effort slick enough to obscure the film's low budget while not
being glossy or superficial. Add to this a decent cast, first and foremost
David Hess in his screen debut as scary as ever, and you've got one hell
of a film.
Interestingly, during his long and very uneven career, Craven
only rarely made other films as powerful as this one.
Recommended - but
surely not for everyone.