Tuesday, September 16, 2008

LAST HOUSE ON THE BEACH


From director Franco Prosperi who gave us classics like Addio zio Tom, we get this riff on the whole Last House On The Left.
Sister Christina (Played by Florinda Bolkan, of Lizard In A Woman's Skin and probably best known around here as Flavia in Flavia The Heretic) takes girls in her charge up to a remote house where they are rehearsing A Midsummer Night's Dream. Then three bank robbers show up when their car breaks down and the sadistic games begin. Sprinkled liberally with lots of rape and nudity, the film really doesn't cover any new ground. There are a couple of slow motion scenes that pop up for no real good reason and play stupidly in the process.
The climax comes super fast and all is wrapped up in a nice neat bundle at the end. The even end the film with the same shot they used to start the film. I liked that part because it was like the entire incident was incidental in comparison to the ocean and the seagulls that fly over it. It seemed to trivialize the murders and rapes and the situations of mankind in comparison to the bigger picture. Another disjointed thing, at least for me, was the repeated habit of people speaking to one another and the scenery changing in he process. And I don't mean like they are moving while they are talking. An prime example would be one of the robbers (Ray Lovelock) is speaking to one of the girls on the beach. She says her line, the shot switches to him and the scene has obviously changed locale. He responds to the question even though it is obvious that they are now on the balcony overlooking the beach. No time has passed in the question and response, but they have moved a good 500 yards. Weird, huh? If it was done on purpose, Bravo, but I have the feeling it wasn't. Some of the film looks like it was edited with a chainsaw with some truly awful cuts where you can tell the film didn't match up properly from shot to shot.
Does that make it a good film overall. No, not really, but Severin must be commended for bringing the film to light and in such a gorgeous print. While the film does nothing to rise above it's sub genre it is a prime example of cinema of it's time and deserves to be preserved and watched at least once.

2 comments:

Robert Monell said...

The only one of these LAST HOUSE ON THE L clones I like to watch is THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK, mainly because of David Hess and a good cast and direction.

I really liked the funky score for BEACH and Florinda Bolkan's performance. Is this a port of the R2 Release which had the same Lovelock interview but also had the soundtrack on CD?

Douglas A. Waltz said...

I think it is the same one, Robert. That's a guess on my part, but it sure sounds the same. No soundtrack disc which would have made this release ten times better.

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