THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) Reviews and overview

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‘Can a movie go too far?’

The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American horror film written and directed by Wes Craven (Scream; A Nightmare on Elm Street; The Hills Have Eyes; et al) and produced by Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th). The shooting title was Night of Vengeance and the movie was also released as Krug & Company. The 16mm release title was Grim Company.


The story was inspired by the 1960 Swedish film The Virgin Spring, directed by Ingmar Bergman, which in turn is based on the 13th-century Swedish ballad ‘Töres döttrar i Wänge’. The film was remade into a 2009 film of the same name.


Mari Collingwood (Sandra Cassel) plans to celebrate her 17th birthday by attending a concert with her friend, Phyllis Stone (Lucy Grantham). Her parents (Gaylord St. James and Cynthia Carr) express concern both at the band and Mari’s friendship with Phyllis. They let her go, giving her a peace symbol necklace as a gift before she leaves.

Phyllis and Mari 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 criminals Krug Stillo (David A. Hess), a sadist and serial killer, his son Junior (Marc Sheffler), Sadie (Jeramie Rain), a psychopath and sadist, and Fred “Weasel” Podowski (Fred Lincoln) a murderer.

Before the concert, Mari and Phyllis stroll the streets, seeking someone who might sell them marijuana. They find Junior, who leads them back to an apartment, where they are immediately trapped by the criminals. Phyllis tries to escape, then tries to reason with the criminals to let her go, but their captors subdue and carnally assault her. Meanwhile, Mari’s unsuspecting parents prepare a surprise party for her…


“Unlike Night of the Living Dead or the subsequent Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Last House is not a masterwork of controlled filmmaking but a shaky amateurish effort that veers deliriously (and even stupidly) off tone and off point repeatedly.” Mike “McBeardo” McFadden, Heavy Metal Movies

Buy: |

last house on the left 1979 re-release campaign


Buy Blu-ray + CD:

The Last House on the Left was released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on June 18 (UK) and July 3 (USA), 2018. The limited edition two-Blu-ray set features three versions of the film restored in 2K from original film elements, plus a CD soundtrack.

The cover art was designed by Paul Shipper and the original poster is on the reverse of the sleeve. The set includes a double-sided poster with the artwork, six lobby card reproductions, and a book featuring new writing on the film by author Stephen Thrower.


Disc One:

  • High definition presentation of the uncut version
  • Isolated score newly remastered from original 17.5″ magnetic tracks
  • Audio commentary by podcasters Bill Ackerman and Amanda Reyes (new)
  • Audio commentary with writer/director Wes Craven and producer Sean S. Cunningham
  • Audio commentary with stars David Hess, Marc Sheffler and Fred Lincoln
  • Introduction to the film by Wes Craven
  • Interview with actor Marc Sheffler (new)
  • Interview with wardrobe and make-up artist Anne Paul (new)
  • Never-before-seen interview with actor David Hess
  • Interview with Wes Craven
  • Celluloid Crime of the Century – Interviews with Wes Craven, Sean S. Cunningham, actors David Hess, Fred Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler and Martin Kove
  • Still Standing: The Legacy of The Last House on the Left – Interview with Wes Craven
  • Scoring Last House on the Left – Interview with actor/composer David Hess
  • It’s Only a Movie: The Making of The Last House on the Left documentary
  • Forbidden Footage – Cast and crew of on the film’s most controversial sequences
  • The Road Leads to Terror – Revisiting the film’s shooting locations (new)
  • Deleted scene
  • Outtakes and dailies
  • Trailers, TV spot, radio spots
  • Image gallery

Disc Two:

  • High definition presentation of the “Krug and Company” version
  • High definition presentation of the R-rated cut
  • The Craven Touch – Interviews with Wes Craven’s collaborators, including Sean S. Cunningham, composer Charles Bernstein, producer Peter Locke, cinematographer Mark Irwin, and actress Amanda Wyss (new)
  • Early Days and Night of Vengeance – Filmmaker Roy Frumkes remembers Wes Craven and Last House on the Left
  • Tales That’ll Tear Your Heart Out – Excerpts from an unfinished Wes Craven short
  • Q&A with actor Marc Sheffler from American Cinematheque screening
  • Krug Conquers England – Charting the theatrical tour of the first ever uncut screenings of the film in the UK

Limited edition contents:

  • Six collector’s postcards
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
  • 60-page book featuring new writing on the film by author Stephen Thrower
  • Soundtrack CD featuring the complete, newly remastered film score

Image credits: The Dead Next Door

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