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 apartment - 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 ...
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 yet very disturbing 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, yet at
times crude enough to give the on-screen goings-on some immediacy. Add to this a
competent cast, first and foremost
David Hess, as scary as ever in his screen debut, and you've got one hell
of a film.
Interestingly, during his long and uneven career, Craven
only rarely managed to make another movie as shocking and disturbing as
Recommended - but one might need a strong stomach.