posted 00/00/2008

Directed by:
James Bryan

Jack McClelland ... Peter
Mary Gail Artz ... Ingrid
James P. Hayden ... Craig
Angie Brown ... Joanie

Country: USA
Runtime: 82 min
AKA: Don't Go in the Woods... Alone!

There are some movies that you hear about for years. They almost become legendary. For some reason or another they have become landmarks of the horror genre, and for other reasons they have become lost to time. Only those who have gotten a chance to see it, and sing its praises, keep the film from disappearing into that void of misfit movies. This movie, Don't Go in the Woods is one of those films, my friends. Looking like a seventies grindhouse product, this 1981 film directed by James Bryan, is an exercise in sheer disappointment.

The plot is as simple as can be. Four dumbass campers, two guys and two girls, go into the woods (which we already know by the title is a bad idea) and get hunted and killed by a reject from The Hills Have Eyes. There is a police subplot in there somewhere, but that's lamer than the rest of the movie, so I will leave it out. The killer dresses in furs and wears jewelry on his face, which is supposed to make his massive girth even more fearsome. The cast of victims are insufferably annoying and extremely unlikable in all respects, and even at 80 minutes, the film feels WAY TOO LONG!

Lets get technical for a minute. The film is grainy as shit, which would have worked for a better film, but here it just looks like a student project, which it was not. The sound is the worst, though. The whole film sounds dubbed, like a bad Kung-Fu flick, and the tone of voice for one of the actors (while he screams "I'm sorry" to a poor, innocent camper he accidentally stabbed) is enough to want to stab butter knives into your ears to dull the aching throb.

There is not much blood, but there is some. Not the splat-tastic stuff we have become accustomed to with Friday the 13th and other, better crazy-in-the-woods films. The actors are (and I really don't know how to put this lightly) unattractive, which doesn't help make the film more realistic (like it helped Gone Baby Gone), it just makes me hate it a lot more! I have no idea why this movie gets the praise and support it does. There is nothing worth recommending here, there truly isn't. However, it is available on DVD now, which is how I got a chance to see it. If you feel like being a completist and want to see every obscure horror flick out warned, DON'T GO INTO THE WOODS!

- Jose Prendes


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