'The Last House On The Left: Limited Edition'
(David Hess, Marc Sheffler, Jeramie Rain, Amanda Wyss, Fred Lincoln, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray + CD / R / (1972) 2018 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.
Blu ray Verdict: It's interesting to see how Wes Craven's directing career first started off, with this movie. It's a true '70's exploitation flick, that shows that Craven already was pretty much at ease within the genre, even early on in his career. He handles the theme well, even though the movie also has some unbalanced elements in it.
As far as exploitation flicks go this movie is a real great one within its genre. It has a pretty good look and feel over it, that is required for the genre. Despite its obviously low budget the movie really isn't cheap looking, at least not compared to most other similar genre movies I have seen.
It features all of the right ingredients you could expect from a movie like this and it has a pretty simple but nevertheless fine and effective concept. It's a story that is far from likely but who cares really. In these sort of movies a story is more like a secondary thing and it's only purpose is to provide the movie with the usual exploitation movie ingredients.
[Spoiler Alert] - This is how it all plays out: On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Mari Collingwood (Sandra Cassel) tells her parents that she is going to the concert of underground band Bloodlust in New York with her friend Phyllis Stone (Lucy Grantham).
She borrows the family's car and heads with her friend to a dangerous neighborhood in the city. Meanwhile, the sadistic and cruel escapees Krug Stillo (David A. Hess) and Fred 'Weasel' Podowski (Fred Lincoln) are hidden in a hideout with their partners Sadie (Jeramie Rain) and Krug's addicted son Junior Stillo (Marc Sheffler) after killing two guards and one shepherd in their runaway.
The two girls seek marijuana near the theater and meet Junior that offers some Colombian grass to them. They go to his apartment and are subdued by the criminals that rape Phyllis. On the next morning, they hide the girls in the trunk of their convertible and head to Canada.
However, they have a problem with the car's rod and they stop on the road close to Mari's house. When Phyllis tries to escape, the gang stabs her to death and shots Mari after humiliating and raping them.
They seek shelter in Mari's home, but during the night, her mother overhears a conversation of the criminals telling that they have killed her daughter. She tells her husband and they plot a scheme to revenge the death of their princess.
So, as you might well be able to determine yourselves from that rundown, the movie is a bit of an unbalanced mix when it comes down to it's different elements. On the one hand it's an exploitation movie with thriller/horror elements to it, while in the other the movie also tries to throw in some quirky humor, which doesn't really strengthen its more exploitation like elements. The movie just feels a bit too unbalanced at times.
Its violence and torturing sequences are all handled well - indeed, I'd go as far as saying they were done with true skill. It's one of the things that makes this movie better than most other exploitation flicks from the glorious '70's. Also it's second halve, that is pretty insane, is what makes this movie a great watch, especially if you are into the genre.
Also included is a brilliant remastering of the original soundtrack score for 'The Last House On The Left,' done by Stephen Chapin and David Alexander Hess (who also played the main antagonist, Krug). It's a timeless sound from start to finish, for the genre, and still today makes me smile.
Chapin wrote all the incidental music for the movie; he also did all the arrangements and orchestration as well as all the contracting and producing musicians. The music is particularly notable for being heavily contrasted with the events on screen. Something that is severely lacking today. This is a brand new High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the Special Features of:
Three cuts of the film newly restored in 2K from original film elements
Original Uncompressed Mono Audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
6 x lobby card reproductions
Double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
Limited edition 60 page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by author Stephen Thrower
DISC ONE [BLU-RAY] – THE UNRATED CUT
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Unrated Version
Isolated score newly remastered from the original 17.5" magnetic tracks
Brand new audio commentary by podcasters Bill Ackerman and Amanda Reyes
Archival audio commentary with writer/director Wes Craven and producer Sean S. Cunningham
Archival audio commentary with stars David Hess, Marc Sheffler and Fred Lincoln
Archival introduction to the film by Wes Craven
Still Standing: The Legacy of The Last House on The Left – archival interview with Wes Craven
Celluloid Crime of the Century – archival documentary featuring interviews with Wes Craven, Sean S. Cunningham, actors David Hess, Fred Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler and Martin Kove
Scoring Last House on the Left – archival interview with actor/composer David Hess
It's Only a Movie: The Making of The Last House on the Left – archival documentary
Forbidden Footage – the cast and crew of Last House on the film’s most controversial sequences
Junior’s Story – a brand new interview with actor Marc Sheffler
Blood and Guts- a brand new interview with makeup artist Anne Paul
The Road Leads to Terror - a brand new featurette revisiting the film's original shooting locations
Deleted Scene - Mari Dying at the Lake
Extended Outtakes and Dailies, newly transferred in HD
Trailers, TV Spot & Radio Spots
DISC TWO [BLU-RAY] – THE KRUG & COMPANY & R-RATED CUTS
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Krug and Company and R-rated cuts of the film
The Craven Touch – brand new featurette bringing together interviews with a number of Wes Craven’s collaborators, including Sean S. Cunningham, composer Charles Bernstein, producer Peter Locke, cinematographer Mark Irwin and actress Amanda Wyss
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 Marc Sheffler from a 2017 screening of the film at The American Cinematheque
Krug Conquers England - archival featurette charting the theatrical tour of the first ever uncut screening of the film in the UK
DISC THREE [CD] – 'THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT' ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK
CD featuring the complete, newly remastered film score