DEATH WEEKEND (1976)
aka The House by the Lake
Article 5064 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by William Fruet
Featuring Brenda Vaccaro, Don Stroud, Chuck Shamata
What it is: Gang of psychos thriller
A dentist picks up a model to take to an isolated house for the weekend, but the couple ends up crossing swords with a carful of psychos, who track them down and terrorize them.
I’ve probably said this before, but if so, I’m going ahead and saying it again anyway; one of my least favorite subgenres of horror is the one in which the movie consists of a small group of people in an isolated area being terrorized by a gang of psychos. For one thing, they usually don’t have much of a story; once the psychos start their reign of terror, what you usually get is a string of atrocities performed by the psychos followed by a string of atrocities performed by their victims in self-defense or revenge, with the subtext usually turning out to be about how thin the veneer of civilization is. They’re manipulative, unpleasant, and rather obvious once you’ve seen enough of them. Well, here’s another one, and though it’s adequately mounted and decently acted, it still doesn’t add anything really new to the mix to make it stand out from the others other than the fact that the female victim is a well-known actress. If you’re partial to this type of movie, I suppose it’s not too bad; if not, it’s just another one to avoid.