The Last House on the Left (1972)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Sadistic Horror  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Robert Firsching

Horror master Wes Craven's powerful debut was this controversial low-budget remake of Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (1959). One of the more brutal rape-revenge films, it is unflinchingly explicit in its depiction of the vicious abuse and slaughter of two teenage girls at the hands of a Mansonesque gang of criminals. The revenge segments are no less shocking, including a murder by bucksaw, a throat slashing, and an oral castration. The acting is amateurish and the cinematography is bargain-basement, but something in the almost documentary-like nature of the film makes it devastating nonetheless. Along with Night of the Living Dead (1968) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), it is one of the early classics of graphic horror.