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The Last House on the Left (1972) - Blu-ray Review

5 beersThere goes the neighborhood!  That’s what happens when horror itself crashes a couple’s evening when they discover that those they’ve invited in are responsible for their daughter’s grisly demise.  And then, thanks to writer/director Wes Craven and producer Sean Cunningham, Hell itself descends upon the guests.  Oh, yes, there will be blood.  It is a story about the clash of two families; two social classes, if you will, set knee-deep in the era of Vietnam and, as you can guess, it is explosive as hell.    

The Last House on the Left is one of writer/director Wes Craven’s very best films.  He cut his teeth making pornographic films, but this film – an exploitation gem – would be the first to carry his name.  It might be his first horror film but that definitely does not show.  There is a confidence to the gruesome events of this story that is usually not present in debut films.

"The Last House on the Left is a very disturbing flick; it is also dead on in its delivery and its acting."

Interesting to note, though, that there is also a lot of comedic bits included in this flick, too.  People tend to overlook that, choosing instead to focus on the heinous and the horrific acts against two teenage girls at the hands of a very dangerous motley crew of hooligans and the swift revenge that follows.{googleads}

Mari (Sandra Cassel) and Phyllis (Lucy Grantham) start Mari’s birthday by attending a concert.  They wander through the crowd looking for a little weed.  What they find instead is a junkie named Junior (Marc Sheffler), Krug (David A. Hess), Fred "Weasel" Podowski (Fred Lincoln), and Sadie (Jeramie Rain) and this group of sadomasochists have plans for them.  Yes, it’s as awful as it sounds and, as the night leads into the very next day, it ends with their untimely deaths.

But this sick and twisted exploitation flick isn’t finished.  The girls’ deaths – with one being one of the saddest on-screen deaths I’ve ever seen – are haunting but they are quickly avenged by Mari’s calm and collected parents, Estelle (Cynthia Carr) and John Collingwood (Gaylord St. James), who turn out to be pretty damn resourceful.  These prude parents turn into nasty killers.  While Estelle bites off one man’s dick, John goes after the head honcho; and through it all Craven’s camera doesn’t pause on the gore or let up on the intensity. 

The Last House on the Left is a very disturbing flick; it is also dead on in its delivery and its acting.  The film might be a low budget affair and it might feature amateur actors, but everyone nails their performances, this includes the heroin addict whose tragic story – at the hands of a very abusive father (and the ringleader of the group) – might just give you the biggest pause of all. 

The Last House on the Left (1972) - Blu-ray Review

From electrified doorknobs to epic battles with chainsaws, The Last House on the Left is a true (and disturbing) American classic B-movie.  Craven might have wanted to escape the horror genre immediately after its release, but it was too late.  The impact of this film was way too great; everyone was talking about how much they either loved it or hated it.  Everyone agreed, though, that it was sick, sick, sick.  And now, thanks to Arrow Video’s EXPANSIVE blu-ray set of Craven’s film, complete with THREE cuts of The Last House on the Left and a whole new bevy of supplemental materials, fans get to see it in a whole new light.

For Craven, there was no escape from The Last House on the Left.  Fortunately, we are trapped in the same situation…by choice. 


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The Last House on the Left (1972) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
84 mins
: Wes Craven
Wes Craven
Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess
: Horror | Thriller
A chilling blend of American Graffiti and Psycho.
Memorable Movie Quote: "It rests on 13 acres of earth over the very center of hell."
Theatrical Distributor:
Hallmark Releasing
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 30, 1972
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 3, 2018
Synopsis: 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.


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The Last House on the Left (1972) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow
Available on Blu-ray
- July 3, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; three-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Found on the first disc, fans get three commentaries: a brand new audio commentary by podcasters Bill Ackerman and Amanda Reyes, an archival audio commentary with writer/director Wes Craven and producer Sean S. Cunningham, and another one with archival audio commentary with stars David Hess, Marc Sheffler and Fred Lincoln.




Special Features:

This 3-disc limited release from Arrow Video is loaded with lots and lots of goodies.  Fans get three cuts of the film newly restored in 2K from original film elements, lobby card reproductions, a double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork, reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork, and a limited edition 60 page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by author Stephen Thrower.



  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Unrated Version
  • Isolated score newly remastered from the original 17.5" magnetic tracks
  • 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
  • Image Galleries



  •  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



  • CD featuring the complete, newly remastered film score


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The Last House on the Left (1972) - Blu-ray Review