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The House by the Lake (1976)

Death Weekend (original title)
A rich playboy has a large house in the countryside. One weekend he invites a fashion model. On his way to the house, he drives past a gang of crazy young men. The men find out where the ... See full summary »


William Fruet


William Fruet
3 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Brenda Vaccaro ... Diane
Don Stroud ... Lep
Chuck Shamata ... Harry
Richard Ayres Richard Ayres ... Runt
Kyle Edwards Kyle Edwards ... Frankie
Don Granbery ... Stanley (as Don Granberry)
Ed McNamara Ed McNamara ... Spragg
Michael Kirby ... Ralph
Richard Donat ... Policeman
Denver Mattson ... Smokey
Al Bernardo Al Bernardo ... Mr. Doobie
Roselle Stone Roselle Stone ... Mrs. Doobie
Elaine Yarish Elaine Yarish ... Campground Girl


A rich playboy has a large house in the countryside. One weekend he invites a fashion model. On his way to the house, he drives past a gang of crazy young men. The men find out where the house is and begin to terrorize the couple. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rape | violence | sadist | gang | revenge | See All (26) »


So Private You Can Do Anything You Want...ANYTHING! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

4 March 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The House by the Lake See more »


Box Office


CAD 500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Fruet said the inspiration for the road-attack opening of the movie was based off of an actual event he was involved in. Fruet and a friend were once driving the back roads of Alberta, Canada when they were harassed by a car load of drunken thugs that tried to wreck them. The event inspired Fruet to write Death Weekend. See more »


During the opening car chase, the Camero smashes into an Oldsmobile, smashing a corner of the Camero's front end. Immediately after, the damage is gone. See more »


[first lines]
Harry: It's a great machine, isn't it?
Diane: Yeah.
Harry: When I cut into the super-charger I can get up to 140.
Diane: Wow.
Harry: You can't keep it like that 'cause the fiction will melt the engine like a marshmellow. I never met a woman who was interested in cars more then you are.
Diane: I lived with a guy who was a former driver. For a while. It didn't work out, but he taught me a lot about cars. And I loved it. I really loved it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The US and English Canadian VHS releases are cut. Missing in action are the following details:
  • An additional shot of Lep on top of Diane as he rapes her.
  • When Diane slashes Runt's throat, there is a graphic shot of Runt's throat gushing blood and an additional shot of Diane as his blood sprays across her chest. The US/Canadian tapes cut from her slashing action to Runt falling off the bed, omitting the gory details.
  • After Diane escapes out the window, there is an additional shot of Runt choking on his own blood while Frankie and Stanley joke outside the bedroom door.
  • When Diane sets Stanley ablaze, the sequence lasts several seconds longer as he runs out of the boathouse in flames.
  • Note that both the French (dubbed) Canadian and Spanish (subtitled) VHS versions were released uncut.
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Referenced in Video Nasties: Draconian Days (2014) See more »


Music by Keith Mansfield
APM Music
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User Reviews

One of the better Last House knock offs.
28 August 2010 | by Corpus_VileSee all my reviews

A sleazy lothario dentist has brought a chick to his country retreat, under the false pretense that there's a party, when he really just wants her to be his next conquest. She's none to pleased on hearing this and an argument ensues. However, their argument pales when they are menaced by a quartet of scuzzy degenerates, who proceed to turn their weekend into a nightmare...

Death Weekend is a misleading film, in the sense that any fan of exploitation will probably feel short changed, as in regards to content, it's pretty tame indeed.

A film more interested in character exploration, it also takes its time to build to its effective and tense climax.

I went into Death Weekend expecting a nasty exploitative shocker but what I got was a solid enough well made film in its own right.

A recommended film for those seeking something just a little bit more offbeat, but again, exploitation fans should be aware that this will not be what they're expecting, and some may be underwhelmed by its slow burning style and tame content. I quite liked it overall though, and found its climax fairly gripping. A solid enough revenge film overall, and worth checking out.

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