SLASHER MONTH: The Last House on the Beach (1978)

Also known as La Settima DonnaTerror and Terror and The Seventh Woman, this is what happens when filmmakers dare ask, “What would happen if we mixed up The Last House on the Left with nunsploitation?”

In Roberto Curti’s Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980, he writes that this film was filled with “a succession of grim, misogynist and exploitative scenes: adolescent nudes, slow-motion sodomizations, vicious wounds, assorted killings.” I list this in case you are wondering why I decided to watch it.

Sister Cristina (Florinda Balkan, A Lizard in a Woman’s SkinDon’t Torture a Duckling) and the girls in her care (Sherry Buchanan from Tentacles and What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, Laura Tanziani, Laura Trotter from Nightmare City, Karina Verlier from Emanuelle In America, Luisa Maneri from Demons 6) are rehearsing A Midsummer Night’s Dream when three thugs, led by Ray Lovelock, show up to hide out from the cops. Of course, they also decide to terrorize everyone and probably kill several of the girls along the way. Can Sister Cristina renounce her Holy Vows and help the girls to escape?

Of course she can.

A movie that takes a disco scene from Eyes Behind the Wall and has a brutal murder occur in full view of a Scrooge McDuck poster, this is the Italian exploitation film in its most undiluted form. Lovelock is a complete scumbag — and sings on the soundtrack — while there’s no way that Tarantino didn’t rip off the ending of this movie for Death Proof.

Francesco Prosperi — who wrote Hercules In the Haunted World — would go on to the next big craze, barbarian movies, making one of the better ones, The Throne of Fire. He also had his hand in a few cannibal films, like The Green Inferno and White Cannibal Queen. He should also not be confused with Mondo Cane director Franco Prosperi.

You can watch this on YouTube or you can try and hunt down the out of print Severin DVD.

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