Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Last House on the Left

Last House on the Left (1972)

Written and Directed by: Wes Craven
Starring: David A. Hess, Fred Lincoln, Richard Towers, Cynthia Carr, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler, Sandra Cassell, Lucy Grantham

I'm still pretty tired and grumpy, which is probably too bad for this movie, although it does mean I'll be finished faster.

Wes Craven's infamous debut takes the plot of Virgin Spring (as we all know), removes all the interesting bits (and Max Von Sydow. Dammit!) and turns it into a festival of nastiness which makes The Hills Have Eyes look like a Sunday picnic.

Two teenage girls get abducted, tortured, raped and eventually killed by a couple of escaped convicts and their buddies. The convicts then make the mistake of hiding out in the house belonging to one of the girls' parents. Ha, losers. Meanwhile, two hapless police officers bumble around the countryside.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against movies depicting scenes of graphic torture for eighty minutes. This movie wasn't terribly well acted or written, but that's forgivable.

What is truly unforgivable, what totally ruined the movie (not that it had any chance of becoming my favourite movie anyway, but it might have been more meaningful) was that fucking music.

And that fucking comic relief. It was fucking annoying. But mostly the fucking music. It completely undermined the whole movie, making it seem so silly and pointless.

I'm sure that was the whole point, combining goofy music with horrible images, but for me it didn't really work right. It just seemed tacky and tasteless (again, nothing wrong with being tasteless. Tackiness, on the other hand, is a major offense, though not to be confused with cheesiness. Cheesy is good. Tacky is not).

Most of Wes Craven's movies are pretty tacky, but most of them maintain a certain degree of charm or something. I dunno. I don't have too big a beef with his work.

It didn't really help that I watched this right after Virgin Spring which was an unbelievably intense and shocking film, where as this one just seemed kind of... lame. A little bit.


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