Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Don't Go in the Woods - 1981

Another year, another Don't.... movie.  I've covered several of these, and I guess I'm somewhat committed to seeing them all.  Of course, I'm only going by films that have the word in the title, if they are actually called something else and the "don't" is one of the many alternate titles, I "don't" count it.  See what I did there?

Don't Go in the Woods has a little story about it, as do a lot of these movies.  This is one of the many video nasties that existed, banned in the UK for quite an amount of time.  I definitely understand why Night of the Demon would get this label, but this movie was way calmer in comparison.  I remember no real nudity, and maybe a couple bad words.  There is blood, sure, but nothing over the top even by 1981 standards.  Texas Chainsaw was way more jarring than this woods based slasher.

The woods are a ever popular backdrop, probably a lot of people are scared of woods in real life, but I'm not one of them.  However, I'll certainly agree and understand that it's a great setting for a horror movie.  There's a reason it's so popular.  This time, we have....wait, guess!  Guess, come on.  Campers!  Obviously!  Camper friends Peter, Ingrid, Craig and Joanne go off the beaten path for a real backwoods adventure.

We get a few obligatory body racking up scenes before the foursome get butchered.  I especially loved it, because there's 4 of these "disposable death scenes" and each one is explained less.  First, its an ornithologist who's in the woods to watch birds.  Sure, makes sense.  He has a tiny little story and gets butchered after 2-3 scenes of him watching birds.  Then it's a woman and child, she's painting scenery.  This only gets one scene and one small follow up later.  Then it's a couple making out in their parked VW van.  One scene, zero follow up or consequence.  Lastly, the only black people in the movie, who come completely out of nowhere and are killed in approximately 30 seconds.  That last one just made me angry, as it seems like it was cut in solely to up the body count.

Don't Go is a very standard bottom of the barrel scratching horror flick, and it didn't bring anything new to the table.  The killer has literally zero explanation or motivation.  He is some crazy guy, dressed all wonky in animal furs, and his weapons range from machete to sharpened sticks.  We do see he has a cabin up in the woods somewhere, and that leads me to another point about these woods.

Sometimes I hate movies like this because exactly how big are these woods supposed to be?  These guys were out here hiking and camping for DAYS.  Then later, when it's convenient, the obese policeman can walk to the cabin and back to civilization easily in about 30 minutes, it seems.  Also, where are all these deaths in perspective to one another?  For the guys in the VW van, since it's not really an offroad vehicle, where are they that there's a road nearby and yet the killer can easily get to the vehicle and then back to his cabin which is, again, DAYS away?

Well, what did I really expect from the director of The Executioner, Part II and softcore porn film Sex Aliens? This movie was entertaining, however, much like Executioner II.  It teetered that so bad it's good line, had a fun soundtrack, and the characters were SUPER fucking annoying.  Seriously, the amount of times they spend screaming each other's names and making annoying sounds is probably 73% of the film.  That's why I actually remembered their names!  The screeching chipmunk voices of the characters yelling "Peter! Peeeeeeeter!  Peeteeeeeeeeeeer!" is forever ingrained in me now.

Still, 4 stars for being genuinely awful and in a rare feat, so bad it's great.

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