Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Last House on the Left- review with spoilers

            Oh yeah this 1972 movie was scary enough to be remade in 2009.  But let me tell you something it’s more scary in the way juxtapose screwball comedy with a rape murder movie.  The music choices are a total weird one too.  I think Wes Craven went to see if he could combine elements of parent’s worst fear with “Smoky and the Bandit”.
Whew! Did you fart?
Young Mari Collingwood starts this exploitation movie off right getting out of the shower and telling her parents she is going out to celebrate her seventeenth birthday by attending a concert with her friend, Phyllis. Her parents express concern at the fact she is not wearing a bra. They let her go, giving her a peace symbol necklace as a gift before she leaves.
Phyllis and Mari have a drink by a river then go to the city for the concert. On the way, they hear a news report on the car radio of a recent prison escape, involving violent criminals by the names of Krug Stillo, his son Junior who seems to be about the same age and his father, Sadie, and Fred "Weasel" Podowski.  It’s an exposition news report and it’s introducing us to the villains who do things like talk about killing, and raping, and getting a fix.  They are smart criminals as you’ll find out.
 After the concert, Mari and Phyllis stroll the bad part of town, seeking someone who might sell weed.  A clever girl might just find a friend with a hook up rather then roam throughout the ghetto for a $20 bag of grass.  They find Junior, who leads them back to an apartment, where they are immediately trapped by the criminals. Phyllis tries to reason with the criminals to let her go and is punched in the stomach and raped. Meanwhile, Mari's unsuspecting parents prepare a surprise party for her while music you might hear at a jamboree is playing. 
This is his O face.
The next morning, the girls in a car trunk and taken to the countryside as the gang intends to leave the state. The car malfunctions right in front of Mari's house while two bumbling cops right out of “Smoky and the Bandit” are in her home talking to Mari's parents about her disappearance. Removed from the trunk, Mari realizes that they are near her own home while she is dragged to the woods. In the woods, the girls are untied, and Phyllis forced to piss herself. Mari and Phyllis are forced to have sex with each other and then Sadie goes down on a weeping Mari.
Phyllis makes a run for it to distract the kidnappers and offer Mari a chance to escape. She is chased by Sadie and Weasel, while Junior stays behind to guard Mari, who tries to convince Junior that her father can help him and give him a fix since he is a doctor who helps junkies, and she gives him her peace symbol necklace as a symbol of her trust.  Phyllis manages to hit Sadie in the face with a rock and runs. She is then cornered, and Weasel stabs her in the back.  Phyllis is then stabbed several times kicked when down.  But as if they couldn’t just finish her off with a quick kill they have to gut her and play with hey guts and then cut off her fucking arm for the hell of it.
Other than this the concert went well for Mari.
Mari is presented Phyllis' severed arm and Krug proceeds to carve his name into Mari's chest. Mari screams at the top of her lungs while the caveman name is marked "Krug" on her chest. Then Krug rapes her. Seconds later Mari, sick from the shock of being raped, vomits and then walks into a nearby lake. Krug shoots Mari and she floats on the top of the lake. Krug, Sadie, and Weasel wash and change out of their bloody clothes.
In their new attire, the gang goes to the Collingwoods' home, masquerading as traveling salesmen. Mari's parents agree to let them stay overnight.  Because that is what people do for complete fucking strangers.  The killers also are asked to stay in Mari’s room so they know they are in the home of the girl they just murdered.  Why wouldn’t they kill the parents too instead of tempt fate?  Clearly the criminal mind is a brilliant one.
Junior exposes their identity when Mari's mother sees Mari's peace symbol necklace dangling around his neck. Later that night she hears them fucking TALKING about killing both the girls and leaving them in the woods.  I know they are probably worked up after a long day but they really got to think out a better strategy since they know these people are the girl’s parents.  
She and he husband rush out into the woods, where they find Mari on the bank of the swamp dead. They carry Mari's body back to the house.  Outside, the mom seduces Weasel into getting tied up, then performs fellatio on him biting his penis off and spits it out.  She leaves him to bleed to death.  Though I wouldn’t think that would kill a person.  Many men I know in politics seem to function with no dicks. 
Inside the house, the dad carries a double barreled shotgun into his daughter's room, where two of the criminals are sleeping. Instead of painting the room with their brains he has setup elaborate traps like a middle-aged Kevin from “Home Alone”.  Krug escapes into the living room slipping on shaving cream and even electrocuting him on one of the traps. He overpowers the doctor, but the criminal is then confronted by his own son, who now brandishes a firearm. Junior threatens to kill his father. Krug psychologically manipulates Junior to commits suicide with the weapon.  I don’t think even Darth Vader was able to literally tell people “Take the gun! Kill yourself!”  
This chainsaw is for trimming those 70s sideburns
Sadie rushes outside where she is tackled by the mom. The two of them wrestle in the leaves. Sadie falls in the pool like a spaz so the mom grabs a knife and pulls Sadie up and cuts her throat open. The dad chases the Krug around the living room with a chainsaw for a long time until he finally manages a killing blow. Finally the police arrive in time to see the carnage.  Where were they?  Well they ran out of gas earlier in the picture and spent the rest of it trying to find ways back to the station in HILARIOUS ways.
Wes Craven is good at what he does.  But clearly he had to work to get there.  This proves it.  This movie has editing and writing so questionable it is a wonder how it even made it into production.  Why does a movie about a teenage rape and murder need comic relief by two bumbling cops?  Why is the music so goofy and upbeat given the subject matter?  Is it worth seeing?  Not in the least.

No comments:

Post a Comment