Don’t Go In The Woods – 25th Anniversary
Edition (1981/BCI Eclipse DVD)
C+ Sound: C Extras: C Film: C
the Horror films of the 1970s, the “teens out alone in the middle of nowhere”
film is now the most abused, clichéd low budget production any idiot can make,
but a few decades ago could still be interesting, sincere and ambitious. James Bryan’s Don’t Go In The Woods (1981) is far from the best of these films
from their original cycle, just before the 80s “slice & dice” silliness
kicked in, but as compared to the ever-embarrassing Blair Witch Project, is professional, competent filmmaking.
graphic stabbings that were once daring are dated and actually can bee seen as
“the good old days” in this era of torture porn (started by Saw, Hostel and paved by the shallowness of Blair Witch) and does have some interesting moments, but is just
not a good film overall. Despite that,
there is enough here to see it if you are curious. It is an independent 35mm production and the
makers are at least trying, which cannot be said about 99% of such films made
today. That is enough reason to
celebrate and anniversary, even if it is not a lost gem.
X 1 color image shows its age, but was shot on 35mm film, was shot soft mate
for 1.85 presentation and its independent origins give it some uniqueness. Color is on the consistent side, but detail
is an issue despite how good this would look on film. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its limits
and some of it was taped on the old audio cassette tape format (aka four-track)
on location. Extras include a talk show
segment (15 minutes long) that is amusing, two audio commentary tracks with
Bryan (the second has him joined by Deron Miller of CKY and star (and now
casting director) Mary Gail Artz) and stills.
- Nicholas Sheffo