The Last House on the Left (1972)
Two suburban teenage girls are raped and murdered by a gang of psychotic convicts led by Krug (David Hess) while they attempt to flee to Canada. Car trouble finds the gang spending the night at the home of one of the girls’ parents. The parents discover the killers and wreak vengeance. This film was the first foray into the horror genre for two names that defined modern horror films. The film was written and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Sean Cunningham. The tale of rape, murder and vengeance was filmed in Westport, utilizing the homes of Sean Cunningham’s friends and family.
The Prophecy (1979)
A lumber mill dumps mercury into the Ossipee River at Mary’s Bend. Now hideous mutations are appearing in the local fauna. EPA investigator Robert Verne (Robert Foxworth) rescues a mutated cub from fishing nets. Now a very angry, very large mother bear mutant is looking for baby bear, regardless of who she has to eviscerate to find him in John Frankenheimer’s tale of eco-terror.
A Cape Cod town is menaced by a shark with a preference for tourists as the Sheriff (Roy Scheider) must battle both the shark and a mayor who won’t close the beaches on the 4th of July weekend, regardless of the body count. The 1974 novel by Peter Benchley located the shark-terrorized tourist town of Amity on Long Island. For the 1975 film version, director Steven Spielberg moved Amity to an island off the coast of Massachusetts, using Martha’s Vineyard as the primary filming and Edgartown for downtown scenes.
In the Mouth of Madness (1995)
Director John Carpenter pays homage to both H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King as a private detective (Sam Neill) is hired to investigate the disappearance of horror writer Sutter Cane. Cane has been missing for months along with his latest manuscript and the publisher would like both back in New York. The investigation leads to the town in New Hampshire that is supposedly a fictional creation of Sutter Cane
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Three suburban witches (Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon) conjure up a handsome stranger only to discover that this latter-day devil (Jack Nicholson) may be more than a match for their magicks in suburban Rhode Island. John Updike’s 1983 novel was also made into a Cameron Mackintosh produced musical in 2000.
Dr. Cook’s Garden (1970)
Dr. Cook is the only doctor in Greenfield Center, revered by all in his idyllic little town. Those that disrupt the status quo have a habit of dying unexpectedly. The made-for-TV movie starring Bing Crosby as the benevolent mass murderer was adapted from a 1967 Broadway play by Ira Levin starring Burl Ives. Establishing shots were filmed in Woodstock, VT