Wes Craven’s first legit film, Last House on the Left (he shot some porno loops when he first started), is one of the meanest, most unpleasant films you’ll ever see. Could a remake be as nasty? It’s easy to look at Alex Aja’s remake of The Hills Have Eyes and say yes, but that original was never as borderline sociopathic as Last House, a movie that was banned in the UK until the 21st century.
We’re going to find out how nasty a Last House remake would be – Rogue Pictures is financing the film, which will start shooting in early 2007. The remake will have the same plot as the original: three girls are raped and murdered by some douchebags who later unwittingly seek shelter in one of the girls’ parents’ house. The father figures out who these guys are and begins delivering bloody revenge.
Last House isn’t as unremittingly cruel as I Spit on Your Grave, but the film’s R rating is almost literally a joke – it was self-applied by Craven and producer Sean Cunningham when the film hit the drive-in and grindhouse circuit. That happened a lot in those days – the makers of cheapie exploitation films would just slap the R on their posters. I can’t imagine the rape stuff getting through today’s MPAA, though. And what’s a rape revenge film without the rape?
Craven says that pretty much all of his films are up for remakes, including Shocker, bizarrely enough. I would be surprised to find that that film was up for anything, including a rental over the weekend. "I’m far enough removed from these films that the remakes are a little like having grandchildren," Craven said. "The story, about the painful side effects of revenge, is an evergreen. The headlines are full of people and nations taking revenge and getting caught up in endless cycles of violence.” I love it! The Hills Have Eyes had a political subtext added and now Craven thinks all the cash-in remakes of his films will have it. I hope he sells Shocker as a Dead Man Walking type movie. Actually, I hope he remakes Dead Man Walking as The Serpent and the Rainbow II.