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Sunburst (1975)

R  |   |  Thriller  |  24 April 1975 (USA)
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Ratings: 3.1/10 from 291 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 8 critic

A couple on vacation in the woods is stalked by a pair of rapists.


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Cast overview:
Peter Hooten ...
Ric Carrott ...
Michael Sutherland
David Pritchard ...
Randy Ralston ...
The Pledge
Susan McCormick ...
The Professor


A pair of college students go on a trip up to the mountains to look for a friend who dropped out of school to find personal fulfillment apart from the norms of American society. Along the way, the couple is warned of dangerous terrain and unfriendly local residents who are not worth the trouble of finding a lost friend. The film stars Robert Englund in the role of the lost friend before he become a household name as the terrifying boogeyman Freddy Krueger. Written by DJ Heinlein

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Very Different Kind of Love Story See more »





Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 April 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Slashed Dreams  »

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Did You Know?


Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 8 (2002) See more »


Theme From Sunburst
Words and Music by Ed Bogas
Performed by Roberta Van Dere
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User Reviews

Sort of a Horror Precursor, If You Will...
24 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A young couple drive to the woods to find an old friend who has decided to live a life in the wilderness. After a kindly man at the local trading post tells them it's dangerous and offers them a knife, they disregard him and his offer. Big mistake! Not long after getting deep in the woods, they encounter two men with devious plans.

I acquired this film as part of a box set of "chilling" movies (which seems to be a mix of horror and mafia movies). How to classify this one I'm not entirely sure. It is not horror in the standard sense: the mood isn't dark, the movie is not really scary and there's no real supernatural force to be overcome. There are two miscreants, but they are quite ordinary in almost every way.

This film has what I think of as three Wes Craven similarities, prior to Wes Craven's career taking off. As such, I consider this to be a horror precursor film, setting the stage for horror movies of the future.

1. The basic plot is not unlike "Last House on the Left" -- two innocent teenagers who come into contact with some violent criminals, and their day is completely ruined from there. "Last House" is far more disturbing and the story continues to a much more horrific ending. Yet, there is something of a similarity here: innocence being overtaken by perfectly human forces. And you will be left a bit disturbed after seeing "Slashed Dreams" unless you're really a pervert.

2. The music is also like "Last House" in that it is very happy and fits the 1970s "have a nice day" image. For most of "Slashed Dreams", the music is appropriate because the couple really is quite happy. But like "Last House", it seems completely contrary to the film once things begin to happen. Like "Singing in the Rain" from "A Clockwork Orange", happy music over a nasty film is very psychologically disturbing.

3. This film has an early appearance by Robert Englund, who would go on to play Freddy Krueger. While Englund is the hero in this movie and not a sadistic bad guy, he is associated with horror for many people -- in fact, I would be hard-pressed to name a role he had outside of horror. But if you want to see him smiling and laughing, here's the film for you.

Despite the low rating, I really do recommend this movie. The main problem is the film is dated and runs very slow -- almost nothing happens for much of the movie. But if you are interested in the history of horror, I think this is something of a missing link. I have to believe this film inspired Wes Craven to make "Last House on the Left" and to later cast Robert Englund. For this to be merely a coincidence would be absurd. So, if you want to see the seeds of Craven, I think you might like this one.

3 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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