Visuals / Camera
Pacing / Editing
Entertainment Value / X-Factor
Mood / Atmosphere
It's only a movie..... or is it?
A man named Terry Hawkins was fresh out of prison and looking to make some quick cash after serving about a year for drug charges. His desire for making films seems to be the way to go. He had made stag films in the past, but never could sell them. He repeatedly says in the movie, that people just want something more. So he tries his hand at making snuff films.
A man named Terry Hawkins was fresh out of prison and looking to make some quick cash after serving about a year for drug charges. His desire for making films seems to be the way to go. He had made stag films in the past, but never could sell them. He repeatedly says in the movie, that people just want something more. So he decides what that “more” could possibly be. So he rounds up some of his friends and he decides to make snuff films. So the group lures unsuspecting folks to a condemned old abandoned building to start the show.
Last House On Dead End Street directed by Victor Janos in 1972-73, but wasn’t until 1977 that it got it’s official release.
Much can be said about this obscure, very rare horror movie. It has raised quite a bit of controversy as well as had a shroud of mystery to it as well. Not much was known about the individual who directed this bloody gem. As everyone involved used pseudonyms for their casting credits, even the director himself!
The actual name of the director, writer, producer and starring role, was a man named Roger Watkins. Watkins died in 2007, but not before he eventually made it known that he was indeed the man behind Last House On Dead End Street! Why the secrecy? Well, one could speculate on that. Many had believed that the films murders were actually real after viewing it. But those rumors only add to the legend of the film itself.
The film is not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. Content included in this film include decapitation, many forms of realistic torture including a woman being tied to an operating gurney and sliced many times on her face while still conscious, her legs being sawed into until she passes out. Her legs are then removed from her body and then her killers awaken her with smelling salts so she can see that her legs were sawed off and removed. She then goes into a hysterical screaming panic and they continue on with their “operation” so to speak. She eventually dies of course during the removal of her body organs. All of this is done in very graphic detail might I add. Watkins admitted that he was strung out on amphetamines during the making of this movie. No shit!!!
I personally thought the film was quite graphic at times. The movie starts out very slow I think. It can even be boring at times too. But the graphic moments of torture and sheer horror make up for it in the end. The film can be so convincing at times that it’s no wonder people started to think this film was actually a real snuff film. I have to admit, it even crossed my mind a few times.
If you are into these types of exploitative horror films you shouldn’t be disappointed with the gore aspects of it. There are actually several versions of the film and a couple of alternate titles it goes by. One being “The Cuckoo Clocks from Hell”, which is believed to have a running time of a whopping 175 minutes! It is also known as “The Fun House”! Another alternate title is alleged to be “At the Hour of Our Death”. But of course the one most people are familiar with is “Last House On Dead End Street”, which was released by the now long gone super rare VHS label Sun Video!
From a horror collectors point of view, this film is almost impossible to obtain. Unless you can get a bootleg of it. I have seen some pretty convincing bootlegs, VHS cover and all. So be sure you are not getting ripped off. The Sun Video release of this film has been sold on eBay for an outstanding amount of money for no less then $500.00!!! If you can snag it for less then that, consider yourself very lucky. I personally know a collector that sold one for around $550.00 and he told me that the buyer had a maximum bid of $900.00 that he was willing to pay for it.
So when it comes to getting this movie in its official Sun Release form or any other form for that matter, you better have the big bucks to lap out for it, because you will be up against major players in the world of horror collecting. Finding this under it’s alternate titles is just wishful thinking. At one time, even the bootlegs were being sold for no less then $100.
But all is not lost! Barrel Entertainment released this film on DVD some time ago. It is out of print and expensive as well to get. But it’s a 2 disc release with plenty of gems and a booklet to go with it. You will have better luck finding that, then the Sun Video release. It is also much more reasonable in price.
In closing, I would recommend it to anyone that has a taste for this kind of gore and exploitation. It’s been a film that was shrouded in mystery for many years and has a back story of all kinds of tales. The mystery it’s self could be used to make a good horror film alone.
There is plenty out there to read up on it if you choose to do so. If you are lucky enough to ever see it, keep a barf bucket near by if you have a weak stomach! Just tell yourself….”It’s Only A Movie”.
Or is it?
Roger Watkins A.K.A: Victor Janos
This trailer doesn’t do the movie justice…