The Last House on the Beach (1978)

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This shameless knockoff of Last House on the Left even goes so far as to repeat the detail of having the theme song performed by the lead villain. Florinda Bolkan (Non Si Sevizia un Paperino) plays a nun who takes the teenage girls in her care to a remote house where they rehearse A Midsummer Night's Dream. Ray Lovelock and a pair of thugs show up, brutally raping and terrorizing the girls -- killing one by raping her with a cane -- until Bolkan renounces her teachings and seeks bloody revenge. Utter nonsense, but AC/DC and Roxy Music are on the soundtrack, so it isn't a complete waste. Director Franco Prosperi is best known for co-directing Mondo Cane and Africa Addio. Sherry Buchanan (Dr. Butcher, M.D.) co-stars with Laura Trotter. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Horror
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 wide
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Critic Reviews for The Last House on the Beach

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Audience Reviews for The Last House on the Beach

½

A nun with teenage girls in her care in a remote location - is there any way that this WON'T turn into a grimy horror film? Thugs turn up and things get sleazy fast, which is definitely part of the fun with exploitation fare like this. I don't think it'll win anyone new over to this style of film, but as far as it goes it's worth a peep for those who know what they're getting into. Rental?

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant
½

As it title indicates, Last House on the Beach is one of the numerous ripoffs of Wes Craven's 1970s rape-revenge/exploitation classic Last House on the Left. Surprisingly, many of this "ripoffs" are great films in their own right. Craven's own film is a remake of Ingmar Bergman's classic The Virgin Spring, which in turn is based on medieval Swedish ballad. Hence, the basic story of a gang who preys upon innocent young women and then meet their fate because of their misdeeds is centuries old, but it still maintains its power to shock even today when we watch the recent remake of Last House on the Left. Unlike Aldo Lado's brilliantly torturous Night Train Murders, Last House on the Beach does not directly ripoff the story of Last House on the Left--Lado's film merely transposes the story to a train ride through Europe. Instead, Prosperi's Last House on the Beach follows a gang who rob a bank and then hide out in beach house full of beautiful young women from a Catholic school who are under the care of an equally attractive nun. Thus, Prosperi's film fuses the sexual violence exploitation film together with the nunsploitation genre. Of course, rape, murder, and revenge ensue from the basic premise of the film, but what is impressive is the style that Prosperi brings to the film. The major rape scene of the film is not overly graphic like those from something like I Spit on Your Grave, but Prosperi makes it almost unbearably ferocious to watch by mainly using close-ups of the characters' faces. As he alternates between the primal, animalistic visages of the rapists and the horrified faces of the onlooking nun and the girl being raped, he creates a space of absolute emotional horror by forcing us to contend with both the feelings of the victims and the perpetrators. Like other films from the genre, Last House on the Beach is not for the squeamish or easily offended, but it is a minor gem that will be enjoyed by fans of exploitation and extreme Italian cinema.

Al Miller
Al Miller
½

As it title indicates, Last House on the Beach is one of the numerous ripoffs of Wes Craven's 1970s rape-revenge/exploitation classic Last House on the Left. Surprisingly, many of this "ripoffs" are great films in their own right. Craven's own film is a remake of Ingmar Bergman's classic The Virgin Spring, which in turn is based on medieval Swedish ballad. Hence, the basic story of a gang who preys upon innocent young women and then meet their fate because of their misdeeds is centuries old, but it still maintains its power to shock even today when we watch the recent remake of Last House on the Left. Unlike Aldo Lado's brilliantly torturous Night Train Murders, Last House on the Beach does not directly ripoff the story of Last House on the Left--Lado's film merely transposes the story to a train ride through Europe. Instead, Prosperi's Last House on the Beach follows a gang who rob a bank and then hide out in beach house full of beautiful young women from a Catholic school who are under the care of an equally attractive nun. Thus, Prosperi's film fuses the sexual violence exploitation film together with the nunsploitation genre. Of course, rape, murder, and revenge ensue from the basic premise of the film, but what is impressive is the style that Prosperi brings to the film. The major rape scene of the film is not overly graphic like those from something like I Spit on Your Grave, but Prosperi makes it almost unbearably ferocious to watch by mainly using close-ups of the characters' faces. As he alternates between the primal, animalistic visages of the rapists and the horrified faces of the onlooking nun and the girl being raped, he creates a space of absolute emotional horror by forcing us to contend with both the feelings of the victims and the perpetrators. Like other films from the genre, Last House on the Beach is not for the squeamish or easily offended, but it is a minor gem that will be enjoyed by fans of exploitation and extreme Italian cinema.

Al Miller
Al Miller

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