Saturday, September 24, 2011

Video Nasties: Don't Go in the Woods

Okay, fine- I won't!  Today's film is one of the more oddball Video Nasties, as it was practically made to get on the list.  The film is about a mysterious man who lives in the Woods and kills anyone who goes in there.  It's a lot like First Blood, although it predates the film by a year...but was made 9 years after the book.  On the plus side, it's better than Hell's Trap.  Interestingly, this First Blood rip-off was made before the film, while that one was made after.  Unlike that Stallone film, however, this crazed vet has no back-story.  He just goes around killing people and never talks.  Oh good- I hate it when characters have depth!  Is this film more than just a bunch of deaths with a randomly-inserted morality lesson at The End.  No, not really...but keep reading anyway.  Ignore your friends when they say...
A bunch of hikers go out in the Woods.  Damn you, Blair Witch- you won't claim these people (or Jeffrey Donovan's career)!
This freaky-ass dude is the killer.  You know this because he spends the first half of this movie wandering around the woods and killing random people- not even touching the main cast yet.
For example, this random lady- who somehow made it onto the poster- is just painting a portrait in the Woods with her baby and is killed.  To give the crazed killer some credit, the baby is left alone.  To take away the crazed killer's credit, the baby is left alone.
After a lot of pausing and running, the group gets whittled down.  The 'I'm the Leader' guy- who drops the title line- dies first and his lady friend meets a grisly end trying to find him.  Don't go in the Cabin...alone.
In the 'morality play' part of the film, the remaining two campers leave the safety of the Hospital to take out the killer.  It's a tough fight, but they do it...and keep doing it...and you can probably stop now.
In the Epilogue, we see that the baby is still left alone out there.  This shock ending is muted quite a bit by the fact that the Police are clearly going to just comb the Woods for the bodies now and find him/her!  The End.
I told you that hiking was dangerous.  The plot of this movie is...well, barely-existent.  Don't get me wrong, I kind of liked the movie.  Aside from the hikers and their interactions- which feel fairly genuine most of the time- the film is just about random people who show up, say a line or two and die.  Seriously, that's the depth they get!  In fact, the film even credits them as 'Victims' and most of them don't have names- just titles like Lady Artist and Tourist at Falls.  I guess if you're making a low-budget film and want to get all your friends involved, you either do this or making a zombie film.  With all of that said, the movie is pretty good as it feels gritty without being overly-dark (well, most of the time).  More importantly, a lot of it feels real.  Oddly, the goofiness of some of the random kills takes away from this, rather than adding to it like you'd imagine.  For example, they keep cutting to this guy pushing his wheelchair up a hill.  Finally, he gets to the top, looks out over the horizon...and is instantly decapitated.  Is it funny in a dark way?  Yes.  Does it feel a bit out of place?  Yes.  If you want a Video Nasty with less overt gore and a depressing nature, check this out.  It's weird, but kind of fun (in spite of its flaws).
Next up, a Spanish film about a man who goes too far.  By the sixth time he does it, you lose sympathy.  Stay tuned...

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