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A deluxe 2-DVD set for THIS movie.?! ANYthing is possible!
Sir Grand Citizen | Earth | 11/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""L.H.O.D.E.S." is a true oddity, a film that really shouldn't work, a shoddy piece of amateurish garbage that manages to somehow be genuinely creepy.
The story is simple: Sleazy guy released from jail is determined to "show them something they never even imagined before!" (ie. make snuff movies), and he uses his foes as 'stars' in his `movie' to do just that.
But what makes this movie work so well are the unexpected touches... the references to the Manson murders... the ritualistic swapping of masks... the genuine confusion in the victim's eyes as they are readied for sacrifice...
It's a movie that has a long history, and - truth be told - the history of "L.H.O.D.E.S." is almost more interesting than the movie itself! Luckily, BARREL ENTERTAINMENT have identified that, and have seen fit to include a plethora of extras which give the full story on this creepy little film, the full background, the release-history... everything!
Extras on this 2-DVD set include:
* 20 min. of outtakes (which, quality-wise, look about 1000x better than the released film! Go figure...)
* Full film commentary by the director and Chas. Baulen (he of Deep Red Magazine fame)
* A short segment of the director on the Joe Franklin show
* A theatrical trailer (which is a non-sensical teaser featuring NOTHING whatsoever to do with the actual film!)
* a photo-gallery
* a 60-minute (!) radio interview with the director back when he was finishing-up the film
* 3 short films from the same director (no audio on these, ONLY director commentary)
* A series of phonecalls to and from the director regarding the creation of this film
* A very good 38-page booklet featuring interviews with the director, stars and crew.Overall, a great package filled with lots of amazing background stories; the extras on this set really makes the purchase of this oddball movie quite worthwhile.
I had seen this movie previously back in the mid-90's, and had considered not picking-up this DVD at all given that I wasn't that blown-away with the flick. I must say, however, I'm glad I did. Few DVDs are this thorough in giving the veiwer the WHOLE story, from pre-production right through to botched-releasing. It's a fascinating story.
I mean, who could have EVER guessed that Francis Ford Coppola would have had ANY involvement in this movie ...!!!!!"
A no-budget movie- and it adds to the fear...
Scott Jeune | kerhonkson, ny | 02/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, if you're even looking this one up you probably know more about this than I could tell you. But let me tell you then about how I reacted to this film. For the first twenty minutes or so I was sitting there thinking 'what is this crud' and for the last twenty minutes I was scared out of my skull. A disturbing little film to this day, it originally ran just under three hours with the title "Hell of the Cuckoo Clocks", but a few years later it would become the film you see here. The lack of anything like a budget actually adds to the snuff film ambience, giving you a film that you need to shower off afterwards. Made by Roger Watkins, whose literature background went instead for something that was more postmodern than your average horror flicks playing at the time, and whose leanings therefore create an even more disturbing sense by the fact that there is no barometer for points of reference to other horror flix, leading this film to be Believable. Literate, angry, topical... Cross the Findlays with Ed Saunders, and this is probably what you'd wind up with. Not pretty but not stupid. Those looking for a good kitchy B movie should go elsewhere; this one's got a kick like a mule."
Stellar DVD, mediocre movie
man_invisible | Dork, PA | 12/30/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Last House on Dead-End Street" has been given a miraculous facelift by Barrel Entertainment, and the 2-disc set boasts a lot of entertaining supplements (yes, better and more entertaining than the actual film). My opinion of the movie hasn't changed, though--it's shallow, amateurish, and the characters are downright obnoxious; its supposed extremities (as far as violence is concerned) are nowhere near some of the Euro-horrors of the late-'70s/early-'80s ("Zombie," "House on the Edge of the Park," etc.). The movie originally had a 3-hour running time under the title "The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell", but was chopped down to 78 by inept distributors and retitled "Last House on Dead-End Street." On the commentary track and at various other points, writer/producer/director Roger Watkins pulls no punches in slamming the distributors and the film itself. Indeed, the film does feel like the sample of something bigger (but probably not better--I can barely tolerate the movie at 78 minutes). The Criterion-style treatment is the main attraction in this package: we get 4 short films by Watkins, a collection of 40(!) phonecalls made before and during the making of LHoDES, a very amusing documentary short on Watkins (circa 1988), interviews, a still gallery, etc. There's a lot to like here, to keep even a half-fan like myself entertained. However, I think the film's cult status was based primarily on its extreme rarity on home video, but now that Barrel has remedied that, I think its buzz as a video nasty will wear off once people discover what a pedestrian effort it really is. LHoDES (the film) can't be considered much more than amateurish, but the DVD is spectacular...almost making this garbage look like gold. (By the way, Chas Balun is extremely obnoxious.)"
I was honestly expecting more...
El Smoksta | ILLINOIS | 05/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"From what I've heard, this film was somewhat of an urban legend. Now, granted, I was in diapers when LHODES was originally released. Though, to me, this film, even though many thought it was a real snuff film, seemed tame in comparison to others that came before. Those films, which certainly beat LHODES in shock are Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave. It does, however, have some very disturbing elements to it. The dubbing is off throughout the entire film and the quality is pretty bad. The cruddiness of the the transfer and sound certainly add to the "experience", I just was expecting more in the shock department. If anything, it's a film that's resurfaced to put an end to the mystery. I just wish I would've seen it many years ago, perhaps then I would appreciate it more. It's certainly worth a view for those interested in something OUT THERE, and the extras on the DVD from Barrel are top notch. 3 for the film, 5 for the DVD."
greg clarke | dublin Ireland | 08/23/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is certainly an odd one......
First of all if you like myself have been trying to track this one down the dvd is a must, the extras alone warrent the purchase as most of the mystery surrounding the film is solved.As for the film, its very nasty but the first 45 mins are quite disjointed and a little slow. The last 30 minutes are something else alltogether with all the gore you can handle. The transfer is poor and very grainy but this does not take from the film, it compliments the locations and the sleazy tone of the film."