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Awesome: 4.76%
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Sucks: 4.76%

2 reviews, 9 user ratings

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Last House on Dead End Street
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Sex, drugs, and power drills into the eyeball"
3 stars

For a cheap gore film, this flick has had a bizarre history: released in 1977, it rapidly distinguished itself from the common run of trashy horror movies with its highly unusual mix of in-your-face splatter and self-consciously arty flourishes. But what really captured the demented imaginations of gorehounds everywhere was the mystery surrounding the film: all the names in the credits were pseudonyms, and nobody could figure out who the hell made this thing.

Exotic theories about the film's origin ran wild until porn director Roger Watkins (A.K.A. Richard Mahler) stepped forward to claim authorship, and now we have a well-produced two-disc DVD set--never has such a cheap-ass film gotten such a lavish release--of what will probably become the definitive version of LHODES. (Watkins claims on the commentary track that the original version ran three hours(!), but all that long-lost footage is probably lost to history.) Cleaned up and restored, LHODES remains a singularly freaky film, an intense and enigmatic gorefest along the lines of Bloodsucking Freaks (which was made later).

The plot: A skin-flick director (played by Watkins) returns to his trade after a stint in jail, only now he wants to make snuff films--starring his enemies. Very badly dubbed and generally cheaply made, the film exerts an eerie fascination in large part because of its technical defects; whether intentionally or not, the lack of polish contributes a good deal to the film's raw immediacy. It is not a by-the-numbers horror movie; it is unrelievedly dark, bleak, and claustrophobic (nearly the whole film takes place indoors), and it lacks the morbid comedy of the aforementioned Bloodsucking Freaks. And a few scenes are so brain-warpingly weird that you can hardly believe somebody put them on film, the off-the-wall highlight being the sequence in which a man is forced to suck a deer hoof protruding from a girl's pants zipper.

This is not to say that LHODES is well made. Your reaction to this movie largely depends on your tolerance for no-budget filmmaking: bad acting abounds, and the narrative line is sometimes unclear, no doubt due to pre-release cutting.

Definitely not a film for your Aunt Tilly, or even the average John Carpenter groupie, but it's an interesting footnote in horror history. And the surgery scene is really something else....

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6366&reviewer=223
originally posted: 12/27/02 02:36:09
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User Comments

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12/06/07 mr.mike Disturbing: I would bet it was Roth's inspiration for "Hostel" 4 stars
12/02/04 dedhed a piece of horror history 4 stars
4/23/04 Roger Watkins Last House On Dead End Street is one of the greatest movies ever made! 5 stars
4/17/04 Father Merrin Took me ages to track this down & I wish I hadnt bothered! VERY boring & stupid film. Avoid 1 stars
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  02-Oct-1977 (R)



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