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Last House on the Beach (1978)

Studio: Severin

Theatrical Release: April 20, 1978 (Italy)

DVD Release: December 9, 2010

Director: Franco Prosperi

Not Rated

Review by James Klein

Judging from the DVD cover and the title alone, Last House on the Beach is an Italian rip-off on the cult horror film The Last House on the Left. But that isn't to say that this film is bad by any means. Sure, it borrows heavily from Wes Craven's classic but so did other films that have followed like Fight For Your Life, Last House on Dead End Street, I Spit On Your Grave, House on the Edge of the Park, and They Call Her One Eye. Home invasion/rape revenge films have been around since Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring and the Humphrey Bogart film Desperate Hours. While Last House on the Beach has none of the quality film making and performances as those films, it can be said that it does push the envelope in bad taste and knows exactly what it is: a sleaze film that sets out to shock the audience as much as it can. And in that case, Last House on the Beach succeeds.

The film opens with a bank robbery as three men rob a bank, escape from a shootout, and race away before the cops can get to them. The men take refuge at a beach house in the middle of nowhere where a group of young women are living for the time being. They are all actresses and performers who are performing the works of Shakespeare, run by a nun (Florinda Bolkan) who is in charge of the women during their stay.

The Last House on the Beach

Right off the bat, one of the robbers catches a maid trying to escape and after he slaps her around, he takes an iron and smashes her skull in. From there on out, the rapes and violence start to take place in graphic manner as the three men beat and rape pretty much everyone in sight. Even though one of the robbers seems more stable and sensible than the other two, even he rapes the nun at knife point. All of the men in the film are malicious and evil while the women are the innocent victims. I am not sure if this was director Franco Prosperi's purpose to make the two gender's so black and white.

Last House on the Beach

Last House on the Beach is not for everyone. The plot is simplistic, the violence and nudity is extreme, and some of the acting is laughable. I couldn't help but bust out over a couple of lines of dialog that seemed out of place or just plain misogynistic such as "The bitch was naked!" or "This is a real gun and it fires real bullets." I call this a "White Castle" film: It's cheap and not good for you but it sure tastes delicious. Last House on the Beach is an action packed, sick, gross out film that is fun to watch and at times unintentionally funny. I had a ball watching it and despite its rather juvenile depiction of a home invasion, I was still amused and entertained.

Last House 2

Severin's DVD looks and sounds great. I had no problem hearing the dubbed dialog and the picture quality was much better than I expected. The colors are rich and the print is in good shape. Aside from the Italian and German trailers, there is an interview with actor Ray Lovelock who talks about his career and the making of this film in particular. I found the interview a bit dull as there isn't any juicy stories to tell about the making of Last House on the Beach, it seems that everyone got along and had a good time while making the film.

Last House 3

For fans of 70's Euro-sleaze, home invasion films or movies with ample amounts of nudity, check out Last House on the Beach.

Last House

[Rating: 3.5]

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