I only just heard of this movie today. I watched it just now. The ending- well nothing can prepare you for what happens. You may know it may happen but nothing can prepare you and I ain't someone easily shocked.
I stumbled upon knowledge of this movie through the actress Catherine Burns. She is not well known. But fucking hell she should be. She was nominated for an Oscar for her turn as shy, plump (yes that old chestnut) Rhoda. (I know ..but bare with me).
Last Summer is about ol Rhoda stumbling across three people young like herself, one girl Sandy (who I couldnt stop comparing to what I've heard about Amanda Knox..yes..really) (played by Barabara Hershey, looking may I add quite tanned and different) and the two boys. One of whom played by John Boy from the fricking Waltons! Richard Thomas.
Sandy is their little hottie. She's damaged but her exterior is really what they're there for. Plus she exudes a faux easy sexuality.
This movie is real. And boys are horny. So are girls. We all know this. If I'm truly honest with myself, boys are more like this than Dead Poets Society. Sure they can be honourable but along comes a Sandy and they start thinking with their dicks. Though they certainly have more of a conscience than her..especially the Richard Thomas character and we see glimpses into his maturity but...well, only glimpses.
Rhoda...see the shy plump girls are never just the shy plump girls. She's got a history. A past. She's a character. Rhoda's also got morals..and let's just say Sandy is too far gone, too damaged to have those anymore (girl "needs help") and those two boys let their dicks take over a glimpse of a smidgeon of their conscience.
Have you ever seen The Last American Virgin? Bullshit compared to this movie. (Though the Diane Franklin character in Virgin ..I know her).
Anyway other than Rhoda's annoying voice at times and the odd music, it is as described; Good and dark. I guess you could say a little twisted but that conjures up images of Texas Chainsaw Massacre..and that my darlings is not real but Last Summer is a little twisted in a real way. Yes it's dramatic but I KNOW those boys, they're real, I don't know a Sandy but I have seen glimpses of her in girls and Catherine Burns is outstanding as Rhoda. BUT what makes this movie is the feeling. I know what they're going through and I feel like I'm on the beach with them.
A beautifully directed and horrifically unsettling movie, it's going to stay with me forever.
This link will help you more. I'm not a reviewer as you noticed, so this will make more sense. And I found the user reviews/comments helpful. (The discussion board not so much- boo hiss) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064573/
And this blog http://www.stinkylulu.com/2008/12/catherine-burns-in-last-summer-1969.html but I vomited at the Breslin, Fanning bullshit. (They're amazing but please why mention other actors).