Arrow Heads Vol.

Few movies are as notorious in the annals of cinema as Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left, which recently got Arrow Films’ deluxe Blu-ray special edition treatment. The grindhouse reimaging of Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring originally began its life as a porno, and may have lost the hard-core sex, but it made up for it by delivering some of the most gut-wrenching violence ever committed to celluloid. The gritty rape/revenge film that took the drive-in circuit by storm not only signified Craven as a force to be reckoned in the horror genre, but set the bar for sex and violence in film that few would even attempt to touch, even to this day. While many would riff of the film’s title, plot, and tagline in an attempt to capitalize on the film’s success, nothing comes close to the original.

For those that haven’t seen Last House, it’s the story of Mari Collingwood, a beautiful young woman who decides to brave New York City on her 17th birthday to see her favorite heavy metal band Bloodlust. When Mari and her friend attempt to score some weed they fall into the clutches of a gang of recently escaped fugitives led by the charismatic and terrifying Krug (David Hess). The two girls are kidnapped by his gang, who leave New York in an attempt to flee to Canada, when their car breaks down in the countryside. It’s here both girls are brutally raped and murdered by the gang. But as fate would have it, the car broke down not far from Mari’s home, where Krug and company seek refuge from the girl’s worried family. When Mari’s parents realize who their new house guests are and what they’ve done, this pushes them over the edge as the film plunges into an unparalleled descent into madness.

What makes the film so effective, to the point that footage was passed off as an actual snuff film, is the amateurish documentary style and its cast of non-actors who are shockingly compelling in their roles. It was Craven and his cast’s sheer lack of experience that allowed them to craft something so original and so shockingly effective. This is also in part how the film handles violence. The violence in Last House is ugly, visceral, a guttural scream trapped on film. Not only does the camera never look away, it stares at the acts committed with an almost voyeuristic gaze. Why the violence is so heartbreaking and distressing to us as an audience is Craven does his due diligence making sure that we are fully vested in Mari before she crosses paths with Krug. We as an audience can relate to our heroine because we have all taken a walk on the wrong side of the street, or gone to the rough part of town. It’s just that Mari was unlucky enough to try and score weed from Junior.

Last House here is presented in a newly restored in 2K scan from original film elements, completely uncut. Given the film’s subject matter, it was no surprise the film was heavily censored on its initial release, or just outright banned in some countries. Even the drive-ins that supposedly ran the film “uncut” were known to have exorcised some of the film’s more gruesome or explicit moments before screening it for an audience. The film presented here is properly framed compared to the previous MGM Blu-ray release where the image was cropped down slightly around the edges. Given the film was shot on 16mm and was a very low budget affair, it is what it is at this point. The HD format only highlights some of the limitations of the production, which given the subject matter only enhances the grindhouse vibe. Arrow includes three versions of the film here (the uncut version gets its own disc), while the Krug & Company and R-rated cuts of the film share a Blu-ray.

The pink area is the image area cropped from the MGM release of LHOTL

As far as extras, this film collects everything from the previous packed MGM Blu-ray and DVD, adding even more special features to sweeten the deal for collectors. For fans who have been collecting the Argento Arrow special editions, Last House is a similar package containing two Blu-rays and a soundtrack CD along with a poster, postcards, and a limited edition 60-page perfect-bound book. For those that pony up for the limited edition, it’s a solid double dip that provides a truly comprehensive presentation of the film. The only thing that would have made it any more complete is if it came paired with a copy of David A. Szulkin’s long out-of-print tome Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left: The Making of a Cult Classic. That said, the package here is still incredibly insightful and digs deep into not only the film and how it came to be, but also its legacy and how it not only kickstarted Wes Craven’s career, but that of Sean S. Cunningham. who would later create the Friday 13th franchise.

Say what you will about the film, the legacy of Last House is undeniable, and the film still packs a punch. Even for the film’s detractors who think it possibly goes too far, when it comes time for the film to serve up its vengeance it’s both glorious and cathartic for the audience to finally see those get their due. It’s the saving grace for the film that it makes sure the violence flows both ways as we see Krug and his gang pay for their transgressions. Culling together every version of the film commercially available, with a bevy of extras both new and old, Arrow has yet again crafted a release that is both for the collector and the fan. It’s a completely comprehensive collection that, given the source, should be the final time you need to pick this film up, because I can’t see this film looking any better than it does here or anything else really added to the conversation with the untimely passing of both Hess and Craven, who are the heart and twisted soul of this film.


  • 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
  • 6 x collector’s postcards
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Limited edition 60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by author Stephen Thrower
  • Soundtrack CD


  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Unrated Version
  • Isolated score newly remastered from the original 17.5″ magnetic tracks
  • Brand new audio commentary with 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
  • Archival introduction to the film by Wes Craven
  • Still Standing: The Legacy of The Last House on the Left — archival interview with Wes Craven
  • 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
  • Scoring Last House — archival interview with actor/composer David Hess
  • It’s Only a Movie: The Making of Last House in the Left — archival featurette
  • Forbidden Footage — the cast and crew discuss the film’s most controversial sequences
  • Junior’s Story — a brand new interview with actor Marc Sheffler
  • Blood and Guts — a brand new interview with makeup artist Anne Paul
  • The Road Leads to Terror — a brand new featurette revisiting the film’s original shooting locations
  • Deleted Scene: “Mari Dying at the Lake”
  • Extended Outtakes and Dailies, newly transferred in HD
  • Trailers, TV Spot, and Radio Spots
  • Image Galleries


  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Krug & Company and R-rated cuts of the film
  • The Craven Touch — a 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 — unfinished short film by Wes Craven
  • Q&A with Marc Sheffler from a 2017 screening of the film at The American Cinematheque
  • Krug Conquers England — archival featurette charting the theatrical tour of the first ever uncut screening of the film in the UK


  • CD featuring the complete, newly remastered film score
Previous post BLAST & CRAZY SIX: An Albert Pyun Blu-ray Double Shot From MVD Marquee
Next post SEARCHING: High Tech with Taut Action