Last House on Dead End Street (1977)

Produced & Directed by roger watkins
cinematic releasing corporation

This early faux snuff film (initially screened under different titles in 1973 and 1975) is a chore to sit through, honestly, mostly due to the dialogue and the “experimental” camera usage. The story of a ne’er-do-well jailbird who decides to become an auteur filmmaker, and to utilize, uh, excessive realism – either to show up pretension in the movie world or just because people are jerks and deserve it, man – Last House boasts recurring scenes as well as at least one scene that goes on for way too long. Even for a fairly short film, elements of this one drag. The lead actor/director’s performance is eerily reminiscent of Meat Loaf’s as “Eddie” in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, however, and if people still use “samples” in their music or multimedia, one of his repetitious rants would make a great one.

Why did I watch this movie?

Historical interest in the genre(s) of faux snuff films and exploitation movies.

Should you watch this movie?

If you have an interest in this fascinating subcategory or you enjoy student films, sure. The (long) scene of supposed middle-class decadence is also a hoot.

Highlight and low point

The notorious kill scene that led to the whole “snuff” allegation is fantastically over-the-top. (For one thing, it utilizes a hand saw.) I chortled as it unspooled even as I found it somewhat difficult to understand how anyone might have been confused as to whether it was REAL. Red paint is red paint, ya know?

Rating from outer space: C-

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