Last House on Dead End Street

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Last House on Dead End Street
LastDeadEndStreet.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Roger Watkins (as Victor Janos)
Produced by Roger Watkins (as Norman F. Kaiser)
Written by Roger Watkins (as Brian Laurence)
Starring Roger Watkins (as Steven Morrison)
Ken Fisher (as Dennis Crawford)
Bill Schlageter (as Lawrence Bornman)
Kathy Curtin (as Janet Sorley)
Pat Canestro (as Elaine Norcross)
Cinematography Ken Fisher (as Alexander Tarsk)
Edited by Roger Watkins (as Brian Newett)
Distributed by Barrel Entertainment (DVD)
Release dates 1974
1977
Running time 78 minutes[1]
90 minutes[2][3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3,000

Last House on Dead End Street is an American exploitation-horror film. The film has an interesting release history; it was reportedly made in 1973 and, according to the director, was released in 1974 as The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell, before being released under its now-known title in 1977. The story concerns a disgruntled man, recently released from prison, who takes out his anguish by making snuff films. The film's title is derived from the controversial Wes Craven film The Last House on the Left, which was released nine months earlier in 1972.

The true identity of pseudonymous director Victor Janos was largely unknown until Roger Watkins claimed on Internet message boards in 2000 that he had directed the film, a claim subsequently confirmed. Barrel Entertainment released a double-disc DVD in 2002.

Plot[edit]

Terry Hawkins (Watkins) has just been released after spending a year in state prison on drug charges. He wants to get into filmmaking, and claims he previously made pornographic films that he was unable to sell. Hawkins believes audiences want something more, so he decides to make snuff films. Victims are lured to an abandoned building; there they are murdered in elaborate ways for the films, including by decapitation or receiving a power drill to the head. Hawkins is complimented on how realistic his films look.

Cast[edit]

  • Roger Watkins (as Steven Morrison) as Terry Hawkins
  • Ken Fisher (as Dennis Crawford) as Ken Hardy
  • Bill Schlageter (as Lawrence Bornman) as Bill Drexel
  • Kathy Curtin (as Janet Sorley) as Kathy Hughes
  • Pat Canestro (as Elaine Norcross) as Patricia Kuhn
  • Steve Sweet (as Alex Kregar) as Steve Randall
  • Edward E. Pixley (as Franklin Statz) as Jim Palmer
  • Nancy Vrooman (as Barbara Amunsen) as Nancy Palmer
  • Suzie Neumeyer (as Geraldine Saunders) as Suzie Knowles
  • Paul M. Jensen (as Paul Phillips) as Blind Man
  • Ken Rouse (as Ronald Cooper) as The Whipper
  • Alan Cooper as Young Boy
  • Howard Neilsen as Man on Couch
  • Doreen Ellis as Woman on Couch
  • Helene Roberts as Laughing girl #1
  • Nora Tucker as Laughing girl #2

Background[edit]

In late November 2000, a user posting on fabpress.com as "pnest" claimed to be writer, producer, director and editor of the film, Victor Janos. This user was later revealed to be named Roger Watkins.[1] He claims the entire film was made in 1973 in a building in Oneonta, New York called Old Main.[4][1]

Watkins has said he was high on amphetamines while making the film and that only about $800 of the $3,000 budget was spent making it, while the remaining $2,200 was used to buy drugs.[5] Watkins died in March 2007.[1]

Release[edit]

Watkins claimed the film was originally released as The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell in 1974, and caused theater riots in New York City and Chicago, the latter of which's theater was claimed to have been burned down.[4]

The film was later released in 1977 under its now-known title Last House on Dead End Street.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

AllMovie wrote "This notorious exercise in low-budget gore is poorly edited and photographed, but its catalogue of horrors and a genuinely nasty tone make it worthwhile for fans of sick cinema."[2] Eric Campos of Film Threat wrote "It's not only the intense gore contained within these 78 minutes that has led many to label this film as the most vile ever made, but it's also the drab, dreary settings and the assortment of malcontents you're forced to put up with if you want to make it to the other end of this ride. Nothing that has to do with this film is happy or light and the film itself, even though presented nice and clear on this DVD, appears to be covered in dirt."[1] Anton Bitel, writing for Film4, called the film "dirt cheap and deeply flawed, but still worth enduring, for even if the deaths are faked, there's a real enough intelligence behind it all."[3]

A negative review came from TV Guide, writing "This vain attempt to combine splatter with a commentary on the viciousness of the movie business fails miserably on all counts."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Campos, Eric (29 October 2002). "Film Threat – Last House on Dead End Street (DVD)". Film Threat. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Firsching, Robert. "Last House on Dead End Street – Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast – AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Last House on Dead End Street – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Kerekes, David (1 October 2002). "Last House on Dead End Street". Headpress: 72–73. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Insert for Last House on Dead End Street DVD. 2002. Barrel Entertainment.
  6. ^ "Last House on Dead End Street Trailer, Reviews and Schedule for Last House on Dead End Street | TVGuide.com". TV Guide. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 

External links[edit]