Friday, October 02, 2020

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 2: Last House on the Left

When I started to watch Last House on the Left (the original, 1972 Wes Craven version), I got the distinct impression I actually had seen it before. Watching the whole thing, some scenes definitely resulted in some disturbing deja vu, but I really don't know if it's because I had seen it before, or because I had merely watched some scenes before.

I'll admit I've long conflated Last House on the Left with I Spit on Your Grave in my mind. Both are low budget rape revenge flicks, and I have distinct memories of Siskel and Ebert, on their original show, singling out one of them. Turns out it was I Spit on Your Grave. (Roger Ebert actually gave Last House on the Left a positive review.) Below is the episode of Sneak Previews in which they talk about "Women in Danger" movies, better known as Slasher films.

Now, I find it a little hard to believe Roger Ebert could be against something like Friday the 13th and OK with Last House on the Left, but then again, he had about a decade between the two. Maybe by the time Friday the 13th came out he was just plum over these kinds of movies. 

And I kind of get it. I've had MORE than a few decades of viewing, and at this point in my life, watching something like Last House on the Left is just...depressing. I think it's the overall low-budget, and weird shifts in tone that do it. It feels like a 1970's porno at times (and in fact one of the actors had a career in porn) but instead of a happy ending you have castration. And after watching this one (perhaps again?!) I know for sure that I will never, ever watch I Spit on Your Grave

Assuming I haven't already, and simply erased it from my memory.

Last House on the Left is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.


Bob Johns said...

I'm not a fan of Rape Revenge films and have skipped the Last house and I spit on your grave for years. I can't bring myself to watching them. But to pick on when a stranger calls I draw the line I love that flick. I might have to sit and watch the whole show seems kind of interesting.

Rain said...

Yeah, I think Siskel and Ebert were weirdly selective in their choices of movies to condemn. That confusion rears its head again in an upcoming film I'll be featuring. Stay tuned!

Barbecue17 said...

I watched this a few years ago since it's long been considered a horor classic. It definitely feels like a very skeezy, grimy movie. It's interesting, no doubt, but at times quite disturbing. It really does shift tones like crazy, though. That's the thing about it that stood out the most to me.

Rain said...

The tone shifting is definitely weird. The whole "bumbling sheriff and his partner" thing is just so out of place!