HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Final Terror, The Don't go in the woods!
Year: 1983
Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: John Friederich, Adrian Zmed, Ernest Harden Jr, Lewis Smith, Rachel Ward, Daryl Hannah, Akosua Busia, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Metcalf, Cindy Harrell, Irene Sanders, Richard Jacobs, Donna Pinder, Jim Youngs, Lori Butler
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Horny forest rangers Cerone (Adrian Zmed), Zorich (John Friederich), Hines (Ernest Harden Jr.) and Boone (Lewis Smith) are especially pleased when sexy ladies Margaret (Rachel Ward), Windy (Daryl Hannah) and Vanessa (Akosua Busia) join them for a camping trip in the woods. Their driver, unhinged fellow ranger Eggar (Joe Pantoliano) is less than pleased however, especially when the group venture into an area he insists is off-limits. Sure enough when group leaders Mike (Mark Metcalf) and Melanie (Cindy Harrell) indulge in some skinny-dipping sex they meet a sticky end at the hands of a shaggy, disheveled, knife-wielding killer. Lost and terrified in the woods, the surviving rangers try to escape back to civilization but are hunted by the relentless maniac.

Filmed under two different working titles including Three Blind Mice (which the cast perform in a sing-along on the bus) and The Creeper, The Final Terror eventually made it to theaters and home video under a bewildering array of alternate titles such as Angst, Campsite Massacre and The Forest Primeval. Shot in 1981 but unreleased for two years, it is a rare quality slasher film sadly lost amidst the glut of Friday the 13th clones and sequels spewed out throughout the early Eighties. Even so the film earned a modest cult reputation on the strength of the talent both in front of and behind the camera. By the time it played cinemas ensemble players Rachel Ward and Darryl Hannah were established stars while the likes of T.J. Hooker's Adrian Zmed, Joe Pantoliano, Lewis Smith, The Wanderers' (1979) John Friederich and National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) veteran Mark Metcalf (who went on to play vampire lord 'The Master' on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and co-star with Ward in hit mini-series The Thorn Birds) went on to long careers in film and television.

An undeniable A-list gloss elevates The Final Terror above routine slasher fare. Co-produced by American International Pictures founder Samuel Arkoff and his son-in-law Joe Roth, later a hugely influential producer and occasional director recently behind a slew of major blockbusters at Disney (e.g. Alice in Wonderland (2010), Maleficent (2014)), the film was the sophomore outing for former D.P turned director Andrew Davis who also handled the excellent cinematography. Davis went on to graduate from efficient Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal vehicles to more accomplished action and thriller fare, most notably The Fugitive (1993) although his finest film remains the eccentric Disney comedy Holes (2003). Here he makes unsettling use of the beautiful Redwood forest that is both impressive and oppressive. The opening sequence cleverly contrasts the region's sylvan beauty with bursts of sudden violence as images of cute deer frolicking in the forest prefigure a motorcycle crash after which the rider and his leggy girlfriend meet a nasty fate.

Made with intelligence and skill rather than relying on excessive gore to hold our attention, the film sustains its tense and eerie mood for the most part. Though saddled with the usual stupid false scares, lunkhead pranksters and skinny-dipping, dope-smoking, sexual escapades punished with gruesome deaths one expects from the film deftly sidesteps the misogyny that mar many slashers. In its place there is an underlining twisted semi-homophobic tension centered around the degenerate Eggar who is introduced fondling and threatening the shirtless male rangers in their bunk beds. Too often typecast as an Italian-American mob type, Pantoliano is highly convincing as snarling, repressed sadist Eggar. With the high caliber cast performances and characterization are head and shoulders above other efforts in this genre. Yet the script co-written by Jon George, Neil D. Hicks and Alien (1979) and Total Recall scribe Ronald Shusett proves less thematically nuanced than it initially seems.

Early on, in a nice touch, Boone spins a campfire yarn that turns out to reveal the true origin of the murderer yet the plot does not expand on this in any way. Avoiding such slasher staples as nudity (that sound you hear is all the Darryl Hannah and Rachel Ward fans grumbling) and gratuitous bloodshed (most of the killings occur off-screen) yields something of a mixed blessing. With the exception of the bravura finale the anemic set-pieces prove what an effects maestro like Tom Savini brings to the table. In place of the usual dumb teenagers The Final Terror presents smart, capable twenty-somethings who despite some friction function intelligently as a group, savvy enough to camouflage themselves, improvise weapons and steer a raft down raging river rapids yet still vulnerable enough to be taunted and toyed with by the malicious maniac. While the finale fumbles the Deliverance (1972) style social commentary about savagery lurking inside seemingly civilized folk it is still tense and effective. In many ways The Final Terror's chief virtue is competence rather than originality or innovation which probably says more about the ineptitude of most Eighties slasher films.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1409 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: