Sandra Peabody Was A “Teenage Hitchiker!” Her Shocking “Last House On The Left” Starts Off Shocktober 2021!

Meet Cult Movie Queen Sandra Peabody!

In my deep dive into cult cinema, I’m always looking for those Actresses who show up in some of the most provocative films of that era.

My “2021 Sex Kitten Countdown” has the story of Sandra Peabody, who starred in one of the most shocking 70’s films ever!

It’s Shocktober 2021!

Let’s begin the month of horror films with one of the most shocking films of the 70’s – by looking at the young star who survived it!

Sandra Peabody was born on January 11, 1948 in Portland, Oregon. She is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, and also attended Carnegie Mellon University – but then dove straight into the deep end of exploitation filmmaking.

She made her motion picture debut in 1970 in this film, which offered “action more explicit than anything from Denmark!”

An even more provocative poster promised all of the things that, at that time, were hard to find in movie theaters: naked bodies and sexual situations!

Sandra was on her way toward a fascinating, if brief, cult film career!

She ended up with a dozen film credits, but her first big role – using the screen name Sandra Cassell – was her most notorious!

“The Last House On The Left!”

This 1972 shocker by Director Wes Craven is regarded as one of the most controversial films of all time.

First, the trailer:

As the trailer sets up, Sandra is celebrating her birthday….first of course, she has to shower to get ready to go out:

She and her friend head into “the big city” where a vicious gang kidnaps them and takes them out to the woods…

This is one of the most graphic, unsettling assault sequences ever, and it stunned audiences, which is why they used the tagline:

“to avoid fainting, keep repeating: it’s only a movie…only a movie…”

This film has been studied air more than many gritty early 70’s shockers, because parallels were made to the atrocities of the Vietnam War that were flooding America’s airwaves at the time…

Also notable is the shocking nature of the revenge scenarios that layout in the film as well…it is very similar to what happened in this notorious shocker:

Actress Camille Keaton starred in this one, and has been very open and candid about her experience making it – you can read all about it here:

Actress Sarah Butler took on the title role in the remake – click here for more on that:

As for Peabody: according to an online bio, Sandra took her Mom to see “The Last House On The Left” and was so upset with what she saw that she walked out!

She had a very rough filming experience, and as for the film itself, she had this to say about Producer Sean Cunningham, who went on to make “Friday The 13th”, and Director Wes Craven, who went on to make “The Hills Have Eyes”:

“I have not seen this film in a very long time, so to recollect it is hard. Wes and Sean did a great job considering the limited amount of money that they had… to pull something together like they did took a lot of work. It was really a work in progress… it changed a lot as we were making it. Last House was pretty advanced for it’s time as far as violence… but now I guess it’s kind of a funny film. I was really upset and horrified when I first saw it.”

Using a pseudonym again, Sandra went on to make this erotic drama:

Sandra plays a young woman who claims that she was involved in a cult whose members were either murdered or committed suicide.

She acted under the name Liyda Cassel before going back to Sandra for her next film, which was this cult 1974 gem:

As you can see, they are promoting the film by reminding audiences of her previous controversial role.

Kathie Christopher is Mouse and Sandra Peabody is Bird – they are a couple of sassy and sexy young hitchhikers who embark on a cross country trip in search of freedom, excitement, and independence.

The lovely ladies use their bodies as currency and encounter a lot of horny men on their journey!

Next up was this wild 1973 comedy:

Here’s the plot: The heads of the National Genital Television Network go on trial to defend their network over one of their highest rated shows: the very adult and very popular “Mating Game!”

Yes, a naked version of “The Dating Game”

And naked it was!

Sandra appeared in one of the fake commercials that airs within the show!

And check out this film – with a terrific tagline!

“They never rub you the wrong way!”

Interesting that she has now gone to her real name – even though the film is as edgy as the ones before!

This is actually the film where I discovered Sandra – because I had posted about it before…check out the two titles the film had a see the trailer and more here:

Ultimately, Sandra dropped out of the cult film world. In the early 1980s, she began an effort to bring child friendly content to cable systems beyond prominent film industry locations such as Los Angeles and New York. In 1990, she wrote and produced the children’s series “Where In The World.”

From controversial shockers to children’s TV, Sandra has had quite a career – bravo to her!

Here’s another Actress who had an extensive career in cult films:

Tara Strohmeier had a great run of 70’s films and you can see them all here:

Sandra also reminds me of another 70’s Actress who dropped out:

Monica Tidwell was a “Yum Yum Girl” – and acted in a slew of 70’s cult films before leaving the business…but she was also a force behind the camera!

Click here to see her story:

And let’s not forget 70’s Actress Rae Sperling:

She only made two drive-in films, but they are classic!

Clcik here to see her story:

If you like these stories, you can go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!

https://jrsploitation.com

Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve seen Sandra’s films!



Categories: 70's Films, Camp Cult Classics, Classic Horror, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites

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7 replies

  1. Interesting. I had no idea the LAST HOUSE girl had such a decent career. I thought she simply faded into obscurity after LAST HOUSE. I had no idea she used other names and had done other things. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of the aspects of these stories that’s interesting to me is to see how someone’s career progresses…some transition out completely, others just move to TV work…either way, trying to give credit for their impact on cult cinema…thanks for reading and commenting, always great to hear from you!

      Like

  2. I know Sandra. She lives here in Oregon and teaches on-camera acting classes to young people. She doesn’t talk too much about her early films, but is still a lovely and very friendly lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing that! I profile a lot of Actresses from that period of cinema…some embrace their credits, but many don’t look back on it that way…I interviewed 70’s British Actress Judy Matheson for an article I wrote in Grindhouse Purgatory magazine – I asked her how she navigated the issue of nudity in her films and she replied: “nothing to navigate. Everyone did it. That’s what cinema was at that time.”

      Like

  3. I remember being lent a VHS copy of LHOTL. I turned it off fairly soon, as I just thought it was plain nasty and pointless. Happy to hear she went on to better things in later life.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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