It’s such a bummer I have to put (1972) in the title of this post. It isn’t like Last House on the Left is some classic film - just look at the trailer to see the sub-porno levels of production value and acting - but it used to be a benchmark film. A movie you watched to prove you could handle the nastiest, most vile, most awful (in content and form) moviemaking imaginable.
I guess that in the almost 40 years since its release Last House has lost some of its power to shock, but it’s still far creepier and nastier than the remake, which is like what you’d get if Vanity Fair did a photo spread on rape/revenge films.
The trailer for the original Last House, like the poster above, includes the film’s amazing and enduring tagline: “To avoid fainting, keep repeating: It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie…” That’s from back when they knew how to sell films!
One last thing: the film’s R rating didn’t come from the MPAA. Director Wes Craven threw it on there himself. You gotta love the old days.