Arrow Video: Parental Vengeance: The Last House on the Left (Remastered) (Limited Edition) (1972)

In 1972, director Wes Craven kicked off his directorial career with the exploitative horror film, The Last House on the Left

With a nearly pornographic feel that's rendered alongside a soundtrack that seems completely disconnected from the subject matter itself, he was out of the gate with a perplexing film that featured mutilation, rape, and violent parental vengeance. Said to be based on true events, The Last House on the Left is a grimy tale that was a precursor to the slasher films that would inhabit the '80s. Although some scenes are hard to watch, Craven showed that he wasn't messing around by launching himself into the horror stratosphere with his freshmen effort. 

Centered on two friends that go to the city to party and score some weed, the girls are abducted and put through a night of hell. When they're brought to a rural area to be disposed of, things begin to change for a band of nasty convicts with no respect for human life. Filmed in a grindhouse style, Craven took numerous chances by releasing such a visceral nightmare tale that truly inhabits the spirit of the post hippie era. Luckily, this new edition by Arrow Video doesn't do much to eliminate the film grain of the original release, which means it still has the old, beat up look that keeps it rooted in the early '70s. 

Sitting down to watch this again after a few years, it's crazy to realize how many horror films were influenced by Craven's work here. Movies like I Spit on Your Grave, Ms. 45, and numerous other vengeance tales were heavily inspired by his work. Made on a modest budget of only $87,000, The Last House on the Left was filmed in New York and Connecticut. Strangely enough, most of the actors had never starred in a film before which gives the movie an even more realistic feel, especially with how innocence is portrayed and lost at the cold hands of the psychotic gang. 

Based on Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, Last House is perhaps one of the most influential horror films ever released. Themes and tropes from this movie have continually been reused for decades, with the eventual release of the direct remake that was way better than average. While the video here doesn't really do much to improve on the original blu-ray release, having three different versions to pick from is a great addition for any collector or horror completist. 

The new Arrow release will hit online retailers and stores on July 3rd. Details are listed below:

• Three cuts of the film newly restored in 2K from original film elements
• Original Uncompressed Mono Audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
• 6 x lobby card reproductions
• Limited edition perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by author Stephen Thrower
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper

• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Uncut Version
• Brand new audio commentary by podcasters Bill Ackerman and Amanda Reyes
• Archival audio commentary with writer/director Wes Craven and producer Sean S. Cunningham
• Archival audio commentary with stars David Hess, Marc Sheffler and Fred Lincoln
• Junior’s Story – a brand new interview with actor Marc Sheffler
• Marc Sheffler in Conversation at the American Cinematheque
• Brand new interview with wardrobe and make-up artist Anne Paul
• Songs in the Key of Krug – never-before-seen archive interview with David Hess
• Celluloid Crime of the Century – archival documentary featuring interviews with Wes Craven, Sean S. Cunningham, actors David Hess, Fred Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler and Martin Kove
• Still Standing: The Legacy of The Last House on The Left – archival interview with Wes Craven
• Scoring Last House on the Left – archival interview with actor/composer David Hess
• It’s Only a Movie: The Making of The Last House on the Left – archival documentary
• Forbidden Footage – the cast and crew of Last House on the film’s most controversial sequences
• Deleted Scene
• Outtakes and Dailies
• Trailers, TV Spot & Radio Spots
• Image Gallery

• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Krug and Company and R-rated cuts of the film
• The Craven Touch – brand new featurette bringing together interviews with a number of Wes Craven’s collaborators, including Sean S. Cunningham, composer Charles Bernstein, producer Peter Locke, cinematographer Mark Irwin and actress Amanda Wyss
• Early Days and “Night of Vengeance” – filmmaker Roy Frumkes remembers Wes Craven and Last House on the Left
• Tales That’ll Tear Your Heart Out – excerpts from an unfinished Wes Craven short