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Overall Rating
2.08

Awesome: 8.33%
Worth A Look: 16.67%
Average: 8.33%
Pretty Bad: 8.33%
Total Crap58.33%

1 review, 6 user ratings


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Don't Go in the Woods
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by Jack Sommersby

"Don't See the Movie"
1 stars

Granted, one doesn't go into something like this expecting award-worthy components, but it's so listless and boring you'd be better off attending a Menudo concert.

Though it has a good deal of competition, Don't Go in the Woods is by far the absolute worst slasher flick to take place in the wilderness, with such piss-poor craftsmanship and shoddy writing that it leaves its competition a thousand miles in the dust. One needn't be priggish in resisting this abominable sloth, only possessive of a few brain cells and a film sense equivalent of an Edward D. Wood; rarely have a mere eighty minutes of screen time been this excruciating, but when you find yourself looking at your watch every few minutes and gauging your upchuck factor every few seconds, you know you're subjecting yourself to akin to a non-Novocained root canal. The setting is the Utah woods where a group of hikers find themselves terrorized and systematically picked off by an initially-unseen assailant who (or what) has a preference for sharp instruments, and the set-up is so carelessly established that the movie seems to have started at the fifteen-to-twenty mark -- you think you've started the DVD on chapter three rather than chapter one. But these characters are so ill-defined and sporadically incorporated into the proceedings you're likely not to have an inkling who they are as individuals -- you expect to find them listed as Extras during the closing credits. Detrimentally devoid of an iota of the wit and suspense of the two best of this subgenre, Tony Maylam's The Burning and Tom McLaughlin's Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI, Don't Go in the Woods has all the verve of an industrial-training video and all the tension factor of an insurance seminar. This is Garth Eliassen's first screenplay and could've easily been reproduced on the back of a matchbook (I doubt there's more than seventy lines of dialogue), and the director, James Bryan, with something titled Boogievision on his resume, is incapable of composing a shot or staging a sequence to save his life (the juxtaposing is unbelievably clunky in establishing where one character is in relation to another, rendering the spatial logistics a big fat zero). When the killer is revealed to us, it's in the pathetic form of a mangy-looking mountain man wearing dirty camouflage clothing, wielding a long spear, and loudly emitting a growl that sounds like an inebriated Okie; about as frightening as a fly on a drinking glass and exuding all the menace of a doodlebug, he makes for one egregious antagonist. Then again, the closest there is to a hero is an obese/obtuse sheriff whose policing skills ranks right up there with the Keystone Cops. We even get a wheelchair-bound character thrown into the mix late in the game, though why such a person would be hiking in the woods is something to be consulted with a Oija board. And the jerky handheld camerawork that's supposed to give the movie "momentum" instead gives us reason to seek out the nearest bottle of Dramamine. No nudity, little gore, Don't Go in the Woods manages to best Kirk Alex's catastrophic Lunch Meat as the bottom rung of this subgenre.

For those who care, the DVD offers up a good deal of special features.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4230&reviewer=327
originally posted: 05/17/14 00:43:42
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User Comments

11/22/13 mr.mike A few good kills and little else. 3 stars
11/04/06 Jason Jahns low budget hackfest with minimal story/character development. Needless to say, a classic 4 stars
10/14/05 Darren O Sometimes has a cheesy charm that gets sunk by it's numerous amateurities. 2 stars
3/15/05 tatum Don't Go Watching This Junk 1 stars
11/13/00 dominic thompson brutal aimless joy killing ,awesome!! 5 stars
11/13/00 Kevin Lewis Great low-budget movie, the story is not that bad, great music!! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Aug-1981 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  James Bryan

Written by
  Garth Eliassen

Cast
  Jack McClelland
  Bruce Carradine
  Mary Gail Artz
  James Hayden
  Angie Brown
  Ken Carter



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