02 January 2008

The Forest

The Forest
a.k.a. Terror In the Forest
United States - 1982
Director – Donald M. Jones
Prism Entertainment, 1983, VHS

I thought this was going to be a bad attempt at Deliverance, and it has a tenuous grasp of that, but The Forest is really kind of it’s own confused catatonic creature.

A couple hiking in the woods are menaced by some shadows and noises, the woman insists on walking in front, and soon the man is gutted by an anonymous hand wielding a giant silver Bowie knife. Shortly thereafter the woman gets the same treatment. Two buddies are driving home from somewhere to LA while bitching about the traffic and their damn feminist wives, with whom they later exchange taunts and insults around the dinner table. The end result is a dangerous plan to go camping. Foiled by car trouble and what appears to be a primitive attempt at hillbillyism, the men are delayed and arrive at the trailhead late. The ladies, far ahead, are prepared to set up camp just in time for one of them to get slashed by the old Bowie knife hand, now attached to a dirty trucker guy bent on eating some girl-meat.

The guys meanwhile, get lost in the dark and happen upon a well provisioned cave and some friendly children who turn out to be ghosts. What? Moments later the kids dad, trucker cannibal guy arrives and, after sharing some of his fresh “doe” meat with the guys, unleashes, much to my chagrin a stupid long origin story and exceedingly bland dialogue all of which elicits much groaning.

Searching for the ladies the next morning, the guys talk a lot more, walk around a bunch and talk some more and split up. And finally, the surviving woman uses the child ghost informants to find their father and mercifully, bring about the not even within the context of this garbage believable end of the movie.

The best part of this movie is definitely the cover art, which looks genuinely, and deceptively menacing. The contents are another story entirely. A hodgepodge of generic genre stereotypes cast haphazardly in the mold of a slasher film. The result is a string of essentially nonsensical location set pieces set to original evil forest themed rock songs and held stiffly together merely by the presence of several dull and despicable recurrent faces.

Hey look, somebody improved the cover art.

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