Death Weekend

Overview

William Fruet directed this tense Canadian rape-revenge thriller which attempted to capitalize on the success of Wes Craven's Last House on the Left 1972. The film concerns a vacationing couple, Harry and Diane Chuck Shamata and Brenda Vaccaro, who are terrorized in a remote house on a picturesque lake. Don Stroud leads the quartet of vicious psychos who break in and attack the pair, and when Harry is revealed to be a bit of a wimp, Diane takes matters of revenge into her own hands. Vaccaro and Stroud give much ...
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Overview

William Fruet directed this tense Canadian rape-revenge thriller which attempted to capitalize on the success of Wes Craven's Last House on the Left 1972. The film concerns a vacationing couple, Harry and Diane Chuck Shamata and Brenda Vaccaro, who are terrorized in a remote house on a picturesque lake. Don Stroud leads the quartet of vicious psychos who break in and attack the pair, and when Harry is revealed to be a bit of a wimp, Diane takes matters of revenge into her own hands. Vaccaro and Stroud give much better performances than the material requires, and although Fruet's film is hardly as excoriating as its predecessor, it is altogether more polished.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Despite its exploitation film premise and lurid title, Death Weekend isn't the shock machine one might expect - in fact, it is a surprisingly intelligent affair. Unfortunately, the film tries to have it both ways by mixing serious drama and gritty thrills and as a result it doesn't satisfy either one of the audiences it is trying to court. Writer/director William Fruet's desire to make this a serious film undermines the very elements that would make it compelling: he overloads the story with self-conscious messages about machismo and class differences that work against the film's plot instead of allowing these messages to work as thematic shadings that support the plot. At the same time, long stretches of screen time are devoted to the tribulations that the villains put the protagonists through and their improvisational quality lacks the tension necessary to make these moments suspenseful. As a result, the pacing lacks the consistency needed to allow the drama to build and the moments that should be gut-wrenching lack any kind of spark. Despite these problems, Death Weekend benefits from skillful cinematography by Robert Saad and earnest performances from its leads: Brenda Vaccaro brings plenty of strength to her role as the resourceful heroine and Don Stroud's believably creepy performance as the frustrated 'angry young man' protagonist gives the role an intelligence that many actors might overlook. However, these well-realized elements can't overcome the film's rather confused nature and Death Weekend can only be termed an interesting misfire.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/9/2012
  • UPC: 799975712291
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Source: Desert Island Films
  • Time: 1:27:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brenda Vaccaro Diane
Don Stroud Lep
Chuck Shamata Harry
Richard Ayres Runt
Kyle Edwards Frankie
Don Granberry Stanley
Ed McNamara Spragg
Richard Donat Policeman
Michael Kirby Ralph
Denver Mattson Smokey
Al Bernardo Mr. Doobie
Technical Credits
William Freut Director, Screenwriter
William Fruet Director, Screenwriter
Don Carmody Associate Producer
John Dunning Executive Producer
Gary Flanagan Asst. Director
Erla Gliserman Costumes/Costume Designer
Daniel Goldberg Sound/Sound Designer
Joe Grimaldi Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Hannah Stunts
Debra Karen Editor
Debbie Karjala Editor
Jean Lafleur Editor
Andre Link Executive Producer
Dwayne McLean Stunts
Tony Parmalee Special Effects
Ivan Reitman Musical Direction/Supervision, Producer
Robert Saad Cinematographer
Roy Forge Smith Art Director
John Stoneham Stunts
Paul Taylor Sound/Sound Designer
Jess Wayne Stunts
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