Of Apples & Oranges …
Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris” and Wes Craven’s “Last House on the Left,” both released in 1972, are benchmark films, for very different reasons.
Comparing them through one rating system would be an exercise in futility. “Last Tango” works because it’s brilliantly acted by Brando and says something fundamental about the human condition; the original “Last House” remains a cult sensation because it’s terrifying and subversive … and, yes, finally cathartic.
Comparing one to the other makes no sense. Cutting-edge exploitation demands to be judged by its own criteria: Did it make me cower in my seat? Did it exploit primal/Brothers Grimm fears — of abandonment, death, outsiders or “the other”? Was it a roller-coaster rush I’d recommend to friends?
Obviously separate categories and rating systems are called for.
Midnight Spookers — affectionately named for the Saturday-night fright extravaganzas of the ’60s — is dedicated to the best in independent horror and science fiction.