One woman’s laudably candid attempt to understand her crush on The Last House on the Left‘s rapist-in-chief — whose real life accomplishments might surprise you:
When the villains die at the end of Last House (as with many of those rape-revenge movies, as they’re known), it’s not just poetic justice: it absolves the viewer from any illicit pleasure they’ve derived from the film thus far.
Righteous violence—violence that we can root for—restores our confidence in our instincts, reminds us that we’re moral, even if our minds harbor a few Beetlejuice sandworms that prod us toward grimy horror flicks.
Likewise, Onscreen Hess’s ridiculous qualities make me feel better about finding him sexy. I’m never totally in his thrall, I’m never rooting for him, and I’m always glad when he’s dead.
And when the film is over, and I remember that Hess was not Krug Stillo but rather a handsome actor and family man, I regain faith in my ability to separate weird id stuff from feelings and beliefs that belong in the world.