Harry (Chuck Shamata) is a wealthy dentist who is taking model Diane (Brenda Vaccaro) up to his place in the country. Harry told Diane that there was a big party happening at his place over the weekend.
On the drive up to place Harry lets Diane drive his convertible. They encounter four hoodlums driving in their car and the hoodlums want to race. A chase ensues but the hoodlums end up driving off the road and crashing their car. Harry takes over driving and takes them to a gas station where he leaves his car and takes a station wagon to the his house. The house is a big mansion by a lake.
Once they arrive Harry spends his time spying on Diane and then trying to get her to pose nude for pictures. When she refuses she finds out that Harry lied to her and there is no party. Meanwhile the hoodlums lead by Lep (Don Stroud) are driving around the backwoods looking for the car. They find it at the gas station where they trick the gas station attendants into telling them where Harry and Diane are.
Lep and his crew arrive and start harassing Harry and Diane over the damage to Lep’s car. Harry gives a stack of money and Lep decides that he and the boys are going to stay the weekend. That’s just the start of trouble.
Death Weekend aka The House by the Lake is in the same vein as Straw Dogs except it ends up being Diane who has to all the fighting back. Director William Fruet started off his career by writing scripts for movies like the Canadian classic Goin’ Down the Road. The film became infamous when it was seized in the U.K. as part of the video nasty up roar in the 1980s.