Can a movie go too far? The Last House on the Left(1972) definitely pushes that boundary. Wes Cravens directorial debut grossed over 3 million dollars on an $87,000 budget but was heavily censored for its controversial violence and was banned in some countries. The film was banned in the UK in 1982 and was so until 2003 when a censored version was released, the uncut version would be approved and released there in 2008. Many different versions of this film have been released over the years and even the uncut one we have today is still missing a few scenes. Wes Craven claimed that disgusted audience members would demand that theatre projectionists destroy the film or even try to steal it on several occasions and theatre projectionists themselves would just cut up the film while watching it because they were so offended. Have you ever seen this film? Are you a fan? Or is it too much?
These are some of the things that were said about this film upon release.
“ How can anybody produce such filth and how can anyone even act in it?”
“ The Last House on the Left has to be the worst piece of trash that has ever been put on the screen! I thought movies were designed to entertain people, but that one is guaranteed to give you not only an upset stomach, but an upset mind!… on getting up to leave, we were so disgusted that we didn’t even think to get our money back. Our immediate concern was to get out.”
“ Sometimes I think it was a terrible film to make, other times I’m glad I was that angry […] I have to be honest, even for me now it isn’t a pleasant film to watch but I genuinely felt I portrayed what it actually felt like to kill somebody for real. The killing is absolutely heartless, the protracted violence was very human to me. I wanted to make a statement about violence and American movies at the time. You must remember that I made the film at the time when people were watching villages being burned on the news as they ate their dinner.” – Wes Craven (1982)