Rate/Comment On The Last House on the Left (1972)

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by Ash28M, Oct 12, 2004.

?

Rate/Comment On The Last House on the Left (1972)

  1. 10

    18.2%
  2. 9.5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 9

    16.4%
  4. 8.5

    9.1%
  5. 8

    10.9%
  6. 7.5

    9.1%
  7. 7

    10.9%
  8. 6.5

    3.6%
  9. 6

    5.5%
  10. 5.5

    1.8%
  11. 5

    7.3%
  12. 4.5

    1.8%
  13. 4

    3.6%
  14. 3.5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  15. 3

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  16. 2.5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  17. 2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  18. 1.5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  19. 1

    1.8%
  20. 0

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7,209
    Likes Received:
    834
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Last House gets a solid 8 from me. There are a lot of haters out there for this one, but I really like this flick. It's tense, it's mean, it's downright brutal. Even for those shitty cops, it's still a first rate horror films. I had the pleasure of seeing this on the big screen in the summer, even if it was a cut print (most of the violence was cut, but they kept all the rape in).
     
  2. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,691
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto
    Last House on the Left DEFINITELY falls into the rape/revenge category. There's absolutely no argument. It'd be wrong to compare it to a movie like I Spit on Your Grave but they're BOTH essentially rape/revenge movies. Last House just had more to it, it said something, it had artistic merit whereas I Spit is just crap. Either way, they BOTH fall into the rape/revenge category. I can't even believe there'd be an argument over this. Whether you like its categorization or not, it falls into that category.

    Just like an artistic movement like German Expressionism. You have horror films like Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (although it's debatable whether or not that's horror, the former definitely is) then you have sci-fi films like Metropolis. They're totally different films in context, yet they ALL fall into the Expressionist canon.

    ~Matt
     
  3. msw7

    msw7 Re-animated member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Brigid Fitch, USA
    Shouldn't Straw Dogs (1971) be considered the ORIGINAL rape/revenge film? Maybe it's not as exploitative, but it was a pretty intense example of this theme.

    Was Last House filmed first, but released after (honestly curious)?
     
  4. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,603
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Rape revenge is actually much older than either film. SD & LHOTL just made it meaner.
     
  5. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,079
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Horror
    It's superficial and dismissive to call the film just a rape and revenge film. It's about many more things, in equal amounts to the rape and/or revenge. I don't see one other entry in the horror sub-genre as you all are naming it that the same could legitimately be said for.

    And Angelman, there's a huge difference between Virgin Spring and Last House. VS wasn't even an American film! Much of Last House's relevance is that it's about Americans.
     
  6. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,691
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto
    Well...not exactly. Sure it was told from an American perspective, but it's more to due with the exact time that the movie was released. The Virgin Spring was released in 1960 and is part of the wave of European art films that flooded American cinemas in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. They basically say the same thing, but in very very different ways. The Last House on the Left came out at a time when grisly images of things like Vietnam were actually being shown on the news, and at a time when serial killers (Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, the Zodiac killer) were a stark reality. Craven took those modern issues and brought them together to make Last House. The Virgin Spring takes place in 14th-century Sweden. It's not so much that Craven "Americanized" The Virgin Spring into The Last House on the Left, it's moreso that he modernized it. However, they do both say pretty much EXACTLY the same thing, but in vastly diffferent ways.

    Just like categorizing these films, The Virgin Spring, wouldn't exactly fall into the rape/revenge category (it sort-of does), since it tends to be categorized as a European "art film" because well...that's what sets it apart from other rape/revenge films. A movie like The Last House on the Left, as much as it has artistic merit over a film like I Spit on Your Grave and House on the Edge of the Park, it will never be considered an art film. The Virgin Spring only barely qualifies as a rape/revenge film only because its most overt characteristic is the fact that it is an art film.

    Otherwise, all the other films fall into the rape/revenege category. What you're thinking of is their connotative/signified meaning, and if we classified these films based on their connotative and signified meanings, we'd have thousands upon thousands of genres and sub-genres. There's 4 things you have to take into account here: denotation, connotation, the signifier and the signified. Denotation is what is actually SHOWN (rape, revenge) and its connotation is what gives meaning to what is not inevitably clear (the use of lighting, juxtaposition) it's more the aesthetic. See, with a film like I Spit on Your Grave it's very hard to find the connotative meaning because its stylistics are so poor, you really wonder where the meaning lies, if there is actually any meaning at all. (This is actually what makes I Spit on Your Grave so wonderously terrible.)

    And in terms of the signifier and the signified, the signifier are the WORDS "rape/revenge", and the signified is what it means. it applies more to the DIRECT categorization of these films. It implies that the film indeed will have rape, and inevitably, revenge. This is probably the easiest way of categorizing films, and probably the most accurate. If there was a rape/revenge category in a video store, you'd expect all the films in that section to contain both rape and revenge, and you'd be right in thinking so. When categorizing these films specifically, you do have to look at their denotative meaning, and the reason being is that they all basically have the same type of basic storyline and they're all presented in relatively the same light (meaning they're all exploitation/horror, not interpreted as a musical or something). There is an act of rape at the beginning or towards the middle of the films, followed by an act of revenge by the time the films end.

    To give another example, you can take a simple story such as: A boy and girl fall in love, nobody approves of it, and they both end up dead (the denotative sense). On one hand, you may have Romeo and Juliet (connotative in the way its presented to you) and another you may have a musical like West Side Story. However, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, you can have a shlocky B-movie. In this way, because all three ways of telling this story are so different, connotation has to be taken into consideration. One is an intense drama, the other, while still drama, is presented in the form of a musical. The last, could inevitably be an exploitation film. Since films like Last House, I Spit on Your Grave and House on the Edge of the Park all fall into the genre of exploitation/horror, they're all presented in the same light, and thus their denotative meaning take superiority over their connotative meaning. (They're all rape/revenge films). That is how society has categoried these films, whether it be subconscious, or intentional. Therefore, we can't just classify these films based on one aspect that differs in all of them, just like we don't interpret sentences by just one word apart from another, we interpret the sentence as having all the words put together. Of course Last House is about many more things in equal amounts to the rape/revenge, but that's not all that important when categorizing these types of films.

    And just to clarify things, the difference between denotation/connotation and signifier/signified is that denotation and connotation is what is going on in the image. The signifier and signified is the meaning of the image and what is beyond (the meaning WE give to it).

    ~Matt
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  7. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    10,785
    Likes Received:
    663
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Keene, NH
    I never called it "just" a rape/revenge film, but it is a rape/revenge film. Look, I understand. You disagree. I get it. Still, having a hissy fit and kicking up a shitstorm over something that just so happens to be common public knowledge and consensus, that your stance outweighs every other film critic's, scholar's, and fan's is the height of arrogance and egotism on your part. That Last House isn't a revenge/rape film is one person's opinion. Your opinion, not fact, so please do everybody a favor and stop claiming that it is, okay? You're never, ever, going to succeed in changing the status quo in this manner.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  8. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,069
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Matt you're so smart. :D



    No but really, good reading!
     
  9. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,691
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto
    Just trying to make a point. But thank you. :D

    ~Matt
     
  10. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,603
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I agree with Matt. When I call LHOTL a rape/revenge film I dont mean that to be the end-all-be-all tag. It is just too long to say "70s exploitation film that reflected the social angst and fall out of Vietnam and post-Manson vibe that had something to say about the nature of our selves as well as the shifting cultural paradigms"

    I call it rape/revenge because that is the general tag. I call 2001 a sci-fi movie, even though it is so much more.

    DVD-Fanatic-9, I must admit I am always baffled by the intensity of your opinions. I've argued my share but at the end of the day I don't sweat what other people think too much.
     
  11. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,691
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto
    Wow I MUST say....VERY well-put. You should get a sticker for that. :D

    Yeah, because you'd be a moron to call it anything else LOL. :lol:

    ~Matt
     
  12. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,079
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Horror
    I don't know what my problem is either. But you've got me pegged perfectly. In fact, following reading Maybrick's reply, I got downright physically angry. Though it wasn't at him, necessarily, it wasn't the first time.

    Though I will say that Maybrick outright said in his post that the majority opinion makes something a fact. And that's bullshit. In fact, I'll use Carpenter's The Thing as a piece of evidence. Back when it came out, the majority proved that they didn't like and didn't want to see it. Is that the majority opinion still? Is that Status-Quo anymore??
     
  13. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    10,785
    Likes Received:
    663
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Keene, NH
    No, real "bullshit" is when you put words in my mouth. I never once said majority opinion makes anything a fact. I said it's the general consensus that LAST HOUSE is a rape/revenge film. I don't know if you can see it or not, because it's subtle, but there IS a difference there.

    If you get physically angry at me simply repeating something that's common belief, then you need to take a chill pill. Seriously. Go seek out some psychiatric help and get some medication, because that kind of behavior is just flat out fucked!
     
  14. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,691
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto
    I don't think maybrick really did say that at all. A majority of opinion never makes something fact, but there are exceptions to this. For example, a VAST majority of people would agree that, say, Casablanca is one of the greatest films ever made. (Or in the horror genre, say, Halloween). I'll use Casablanca here because it's slightly less flawed. Anyway, a majority of opinions would agree that yes, it's one of the greatest movies ever made, and to go against that opinion and say "no it's not a good movie" you'd almost be wrong. It's so accepted that it is a good movie that you'd really have no argument in saying it's not a good film. (Like what could you possibly argue against it? What aspects are bad?) It's almost a perfect film, and very recognizably so. In this case, majority rules.

    Same thing with the whole rape/revenge idea. The Last House on the Left is a rape/revenge movie. There's no argument. How could you argue against it, really? Like people have said previously, it features RAPE and REVENGE. It's a sub-genre anyway, and sure it falls under the "exploitation" category as well, but exploitation itself is more a style than a genre. There actually aren't many "genres", there's only really drama/melodrama (which itself is a very BROAD genre), the musical, horror, sci-fi, comedy, the western. Sure there are fusions, but those are pretty much the basic genres. Everything else is either a style (film noir (although that too is highly debated), Expressionism), a type (documentary, avant-garde/experimental) and modes (the "Classical Hollywood System", the European "art film"). Last House on the Left is a rape/revenge film, through and through. Sure it says more than about 90% of the other films in that category, but it's still rape/revenge nonetheless.

    ~Matt
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  15. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,079
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Horror
    You maybe onto something. I don't know anything about people's heads. Much less my own. Could be a lot of things.

    And Matt set me on the right path. Yes it features rape and revenge. But I still say that it's really different than the movies to come out after it. There would be no "rape/revenge" sub-genre of films had Last House not been successful. And it was still Wes's ambition to make it a horror film. That's where I see the difference being.
     
  16. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2000
    Messages:
    4,291
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Hell-as
    7.5 from me.
    It would be 9.5 if the cops were missing.
     
  17. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,603
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    Trophy Points:
    113
    All I'm saying is don't sweat it, ya know? Matt, Mattapooh and I got in a long argument regarding the Beatles a few months back, but at the end of the day I'm fairly certain none of us lost sleep over it.

    And opinion is never fact. Maybe there is "general consensus" but what do you care? If LHOTL is your flick then so be it. I think Armageddon is a great sci-fi movie. What do I care what anyone has to say about it.

    Matt chimes in here about how he hates Michael Bay in 5... 4... 3... 2...
     
  18. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    10,785
    Likes Received:
    663
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Keene, NH
    Exactly. There are a lot of things that are general consensus that I disagree with. For example, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS constantly makes it onto scariest/best horror movie lists. I don't consider it a horror movie, but what can I do about it? Railing about it is pointless. My viewpoint is hopelessly outnumbered. You just have to learn to sit back, take a breath, and silently live with the fact that everybody else in the world is a freaking moron. ;)
     
  19. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,691
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto
    Haha, yeah I don't really give a shit. It was an interesting debate because it didn't get out of hand. But, Misfits > Beatles? LOL come on.... ;)

    Actually, I think Armageddon is one of his better films. I mean there's a few of his movies I liked (Pearl Harbor, Transformers) but I wouldn't call them 'good' films. In general, he's a pretty generic filmmaker, more like a Spielberg clone. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with Spielberg (other than his movies were much better about 20 years ago) but Spielberg's style is distinctive as his own. Michael Bay?? ....OUCH. :eek:

    Yeah I'm with you on this one, that's deatable too. I don't think it's horror either (same with Psycho and The Birds) but yeah I'm not gonna freak out over it. But that's just the thing with genre study.

    There are even film critics and theorists who can't figure some things out because some genres/styles are so hard to define. Like Film Noir, it's very distinguishable, but very very hard to define. Is it a genre or is it a style? Well, that's up to your own interpretaton. Me personally I tend to lean towards the latter. Paul Schrader wrote a great essay about this issue in favor of it being a style but then again, that's just his interpretation. Other people may see things differently but that's just the beauty of having conversations like this. People are different and have different ideas and opinions. Sure I gave that Casablanca example, but that's a rare exception because there are few films that have (or ever will) achieve the status of that film, so you'd be almost wrong to go against it. (Notice how I said "almost" wrong? ;))

    It's when the debates get out of hand that they're no longer fun. Sure there are things I don't agree with and some people say stuff on here that's absolutely ridiculous and at times it makes me angry. But like Angelman said before, it's not something I'm gonna lose sleep over.

    ~Matt
     
  20. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,069
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Schindler's List? Munich?

    Okay, I will admit I haven;t seen Schindler's List, but it is supposed to be really good. Munich was amazing though. Great acting, script, direction, ect. Just an overall perfect movie.
     

Share This Page