An entertaining Slasher made solely trying to make some bucks ripping
off the famous entries to the genre, as Friday the 13th
and Halloween. The somewhat bumptious and unlikeable director gives
no love to the genre in the audio commentary and he
underscores that he just was the hired man to do the job. The Arrow
Video moderator guy gets no help at all either in trying to
liven up the stiff and boring audio commentary, and when he tries to
he's immediately met by some smug remark by Grissmer.
But, hey, maybe that's just the way he is and not everyone can be a
funny guy, and he has a short film CV and IMDB shows
that the films he was involved with as a director or producer all were
genre films, horror or thriller, so he must have been a fan.
That the film was purely a commercial project, a "job",
for most of the involved shows as the direction is flat and unsuspenseful,
the acting flat and uninspired too (with some exceptions) and the dialogue
BUT .... 2 persons involved did have some ambition with this film -
1. Special effects man Ed French and 2. actress
Turnable sleeve with pic of Mark Soper
Ed French and Louise Lasser
And they're the reason this film is entertaining to
watch. Ed French really wanted to make some impact and gave it a 100%
to, with a
meager budget create effective and gruesome Gore, and he certainly succeeds
very well, mostly, with this task, and today he's in
Hollywood as a probably very well payed special effects man. He made
his own film and ignored the probably bored attitude from the
rest of the team (with the exception of Louise Lasser).
Louise Lasser, the only known name in this production, the actress gives
an over the top standout performance as the Mom. She
acts in a Method Acting way and it looks like she thought she was acting
in a John Cassavetes film, The Gena Rowlands of The
Slasher. It's delightfully out of synch with the poor acting and direction
of the rest of the movie. She's great and brings stuff to a B
horror slasher i've never ever seen before. As the hysterical mom with
a compulsive need to vacuum-clean, to clean the oven and
to stuff herself with food from the refrigerator whenever she gets nervous.
She also made her "own film" and probably ignored or didn't
even note the lukeworm uninterested attitude from the rest of the crew
(with the exception of Ed French).
This film has a slow pace and is unsuspenseful all through
due to the flat direction and acting, BUT what it certainly has is a
killings. Rivers of blood and gore en masse and Louise Lasser as the
hysterical mom. So, entertaining it was for a genre fan.
The film also has an appropriate synth-score soundtrack almost of the
Claudio Simonetti style .
The film starts in 1974 with a murder at a Drive In
cinema. Two twin boys, Terry and Todd, jumps out of their mother's car,
axe and chops a guy having sex with his girlfriend. Terry is the killer
but he blames Todd, and Todd is the one who's locked into a
Mental Hospital for 10 years. In 1984 Todd escapes and for some unknown
reason Terry suddenly starts on a killing spree with his
machete. One after another they go and the Body Count in this film is
unbelievable as almost everyone dies, but, the Final Girl maybe.
The Blu-ray presents the film in a widescreen 1.85:1
with an english audio 2.0 stero with english subtitles. BR region ALL
region free. Extras: Audio commentary with director John Grissmer, Double
Jeopardy: interview with actor Mark Soper (11 minutes),
Jeez, Louise!: interview with actress Louise Lasser (10 minutes), Both
Sides of the Camera: interview with producer and actress
Marianne Kanter (9 minutes), Man Behind the Mayhem: interview with special
effects man Ed French (also playing Brad in the film)
12 minutes, interview with actor Ted Raimi, Return to Shadow Woods featurette
revisiting the original locations in Jacksonville,
Florida, VHS Opening titles, Behind the Scenes Gallery