Straight after a bank robbery, the criminals set out to find a safe place to hide in. They find a secluded beach house, and as they enter it they arrive in the middle of an all-girl rehearsal of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". They stick to their plan and use the house as a hide-out, but have to keep the girls in order.
"Last House on the Beach" is one of those films to surf the "Last House on the Left" wave (or rather, "The Virgin Spring" wave) and actually not sucking while doing it. For every good rape/revenge/exploitation film made in the 70's, a handful of boring ones were made as well. Those are not the titles people talk about today, of course. "Last House on the Beach" isn't completely unknown but definitely not on the top of forum discussions either so I figured because I had bought it a few years back maybe I should check it out and give it a little review.
The movie doesn't have rape/revenge as its main plot as many of these films do, but rather it's a hostage situation where some bank robbers invade a house after a big robbery to hide. The house (on the beach) is filled with women who are using the house to practice for a Shakespeare play, with Sister Christine, a nun, watching over them. A pretty foxy nun, too!
Where a film like "The Candy Snatchers" (since I watched it yesterday it was a good reference point) had a lot of turns and was always changing the focus of the film, "Last House on the Beach" pretty much stays the same through-out, showing little-to-no development in terms of a plot. They are situated in a house, keeping girls as hostages, and that's that until the ending. Sure, some rape/attempted rape scenes, some violence, but nothing that changes the film's path. This isn't unusual for an exploitation movie (and yes, this is much more exploitation than "The Candy Snatchers" is) but usually they build up to a pleasing revenge in the end, whereas this one has a revenge that barely counts as that.
It does have some good violent scenes such as a woman being raped with a wooden cane, and another one being killed with a steam iron. These aren't graphic as they cut before it happens but I think they still made for good kill scenes. The sleaze is there too but it gave a sense of not being enough. There were a lot of scenes of them just hanging out in the house and after a while I just wanted a rape fest. Maybe I'm a scumbag. But at least the women look good and we do see them naked.
One thing I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did was the fact that the one woman was a nun. Usually there's just a bunch of boring babble included whenever a Christian character is in a film like this but for this film it really worked. I don't know if it simply made the character development more interesting in a movie where character development was rare, or if it simply worked as a typical "innocence" thing, but the fact remains.
I can't sing praises for "Last House on the Beach". It's exactly what you expect it to be and definitely doesn't come off as one of the worst rip-offs of the main titles of the genre. At the end of the day it's violent enough, sleazy enough, and the women look good enough. That was all I needed with this film, and it offered just that. A more developed plot could've been wished for but I doubt it would've made sense to change it up too much. A recommended watch for fans of exploitation, that's for sure. There are so many bad ones out there getting attention that I can only hope the majority of your sleazy bastards have seen this one already.