Last House on the Left and Farewell Uncle Tom – Detroit Dateline 10-11-72
This seriously is in the “You can’t make this stuff up” files of 70’s Cinema. Two of the most controversial and talked about films in the history of Exploitation made their stop in the Detroit area on Oct. 11, 1972. Last House on the Left would turn into one of the most played and imitated films of the decade and beyond while the Mondo Cane team’s look at the history of American slavery was shoved away after it’s first runs before the VHS scene (or the Import/Grey Market/Bootleg VHS scene in the US) created an interest that led to the great Blue Underground presentation on DVD, but both made their mark in film history. Plus, it was Ladies’ day at the Palms!
In the Early 70’s, Mr. Smiley Face was a Pop Icon, but after viewing these films, you can say that reality kicked him in the nuts, sucker punched him in the gut, and left him for dead on the side of the Bubblegum Road littered with stuff like the road map to “get back to the garden”. There were a lot of films that seriously gave you a shock, but these two raised the level and dared you to top them. Plus, they actually made you think through their sensationalism, plus in the case of Farewell Uncle Tom know how powerful Movie Soundtracks can get through to Riz Ortolani’s classic score.
Last House… was Distributed by Hallmark (seriously NO relation to the card company!), and the company’s huge catalog of Horror ad Sleaze had plenty of perfect fits for double and triple bills. Cannon carried Farewell Uncle Tom, and I could see the company possibly try to hide it away when the company changed into the slick 80’s Movie Machine under the Golan and Globus era as many of it’s 60’s and 70’s films were moving to the world of VHS tapes found with ease at the Mom and Pop store, although it thankfully ever went away.
sadly Roger Watkins would have to wait years to see his Made in the Winter of 72-3 epic to be released because The Cuckoo Clocks From Hell would have fitted in perfectly in ’73 as much as it did in the last days of Exploitation and the first days of VHS as The Funhouse/Last House on Dead End Street.
Only one Music Break here, and you know it has to go to the master of Mondo Music (and more…).
10-20-72 and already an icon of 70’s Cinema.
10-27-72 – Just to let you know, it played for three weeks at the Palms.
10-27-78, Detroit – The Three Houses of Hell that I think made it’s first appearances in 1976 and played for years.