When: Fri., Oct. 21, 7 p.m. 2011
"To avoid fainting, keep repeating, 'It's only a movie ...'" Rarely has such hyperbole proven as accurate as the original tagline for 1972's The Last House on the Left, Wes Craven's directorial debut. Sure, the story had its roots in classic folktales and had been adapted before as Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, but audiences of the 1970s still weren't prepared for the sheer brutality of this story of a group of criminals who rape and murder a pair of girls, only to be terrorized themselves by one of the girls' parents when they unknowingly take refuge at their home.
The film was acclaimed by such critics as Roger Ebert, but others found it a bit much to take, and it was only released uncut in the U.K. in 2008 (there was also a remake, but let's not talk about that). If you like your scary movies genuinely terrifying and disturbing, by all means check this one out—though I most likely won't (and the Carolina Theatre's Jim Carl admits he avoided programming this for 13 years). It's paired with 1980's Invasion of the Flesh Hunters, with John Saxon as a Vietnam vet who starts craving human flesh. Now that's more my cup of meat! The double feature starts at 7 p.m.; tickets are $8. —Zack Smith