Last House on Dead End Street
Written & Directed By: Roger Watkins
“I’m directing this fucking movie!”
Sure, there are literally hundreds of cult films out there but very few of them could be accredited with delivering it’s intent. LHODES is one of the few horror films to maintain the hype of its voracious violence and counterpoint this with its rarity, and it’s fan ship. Also one of the few films to contain surreal Antonin Artaud inspired set pieces (another film containing such set pieces being Lucio Fulci’s Masterpiece The Beyond). Artaud being the originator of the “Theatre of Cruelty” (this “Theatre” being a play on violence where humans are presented as primitive animals and where violence is presented to clense the audience of violent thought). The heights of this Cruelty being outstanding (dismemberment), equating Cruelty with humiliation with the hoof of a deer. A dream to be watched with open eyes but with empty stomachs.
“I’ll show ‘em all what terry Hawkins can do”
Plot: Terry Hawkins (played by the director Roger Watkins who delivers a near-perfect performance of realist madness) has just been released from prison for drugs. Once being let loose upon society he swears to make films that “no one’s every seen before”. Promptly Terry sets on films by gathering a buddy cameraman and two prostitutes to do his bidding. Terry quickly meets his connection, which is a well to do homosexual socialite, the socialite is having a party where only the aristocrats are guests. The socialite has them entertained with a bizarre S & M display of perversity, but the guests (his clients) need more.
“Nobody’s into sex anymore”
What follows is harrowing, as Terry, the cameraman, and the two whores kidnaps the aristocrats and several other people and subject them to some of the audacious forms of torture to ever be captured on film. As Terry and cohorts “perform” in ritualistically carved masks all while their atrocities are being filmed. And through the catalyst of violence this film then leads us (the viewer) into a new dark world where pure madness takes hold over sound. This dark world manifests itself as a place of Surrealist limbo as out of place mantra’s echo forever in this world as well as the screams of the victims.
“Terry is the answer, his virgin bride all be natural.”
A true “Theatre Of Cruelty” where every character is drawn from the depths of filth weather drugs, prostitution, or porn. Terry and company being the true “rebels” of this dirty society. Like the natives of Deodatio’s Cannibal Holocaust enacting their all-powerful vengeance in the most vicious form possible.
“We’re all vampires”
LHODES crosses many boundaries, the sheer audacity of its approach could be taken as an attack against the mainstream and it’s wholesome approach at keeping the audience happy. Attacking the audience with a pure form of nihilism, surrounding them without a single moral character but a world of violence. Roger Watkins made a film (while lacking proper sound, and filming on 16 mm with mostly friends in the cast) riddled with bleak, depressing, and at the same time disturbing sequences of horror possibly never to be outdone. Gripping while tacky, twisted yet retaining the ethic of an off Broadway play, a true masterpiece of the Grind house. A bold films that fuses trash, porn, art, horror, and the myth of snuff. An experience that not be soon forgotten. LHODES will leave you staring at the end credits in awe.