Sep 17, 2008

The Last House on the Beach

Sprouting from the ashes of Wes Craven's godforsaken hit The Last House on the Left was a slew of ripoffs and cash-ins in an attempt to snag some of the profit for themselves. Any man with a camera and a cast of a couple women willing to take their shirts off can make one of these films. It's that easy. The Last House on the Beach is directed by the man behind Mondo Cane and its direct sequel as well as the notorious Africa Addio and Goodbye Uncle Tom.

The formulaic plot stays stand still; not fearing any backlash for fitting the cookie cutter mold of every one of these films and features a band of criminals taking refuge in a house under the supervision of a virgin's den. This time, they twist the turns wider and sharper when they make these women religious and includes a nun. Part nunsploitation - part rape/revenge, all evil.

The plot works within itself really well and produces a very calming atmosphere when it wants the illusion to be present. The killers allow the females to play on the beach and sleep in peace which creates this false sanctity. These perpetrators can play nice and flip flop your emotions as you question your doubts and doubt your questions.

One scene in particular is when Walter finds a tube of lipstick. As he raises the compound out of the tube, this harmony escapes his eyes. It seems to be the soul of a sexually confused man. That is, until he dons a powdered face and lipstick in an incredibly eerie scene where he rapes a young teenager. I'm pretty desensitized to rape in film so this didn't really shock me at all or present anything new. That is, until a virgin was raped to death with a large stick.

The Last House on the Beach is superior to the bland film that is The Last House on the Left. There might be a House on the edge of the park or on Dead End Street or any other diagonal direction, but it still proves a challenge to create a film that surpasses its own limitations on this battlefront of exploitation. I personally felt this film could have been a bit more graphic though. Shout-out to the fine folks at Severin Films for the rarest EuroTrash.


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