Sardu, master of the Theatre of the Macabre, and his assistant Ralphus run a show in which, under the guise of 'magic', they torture and murder people in front of their audience. But what the punters see as a trick is actually real.
When you go into the woods today, you're in for a big surprise. When you go into the woods today you're not going to believe your eyes. But it ain't no "teddy bear picnic". Three girls discover that two men are willing to do anything to impress Mother and what impresses Mother is watching her son commit acts of rape and murder. Now these women are prisoners and lowered to pawns in the game of checkers between two dim wits and their Maniac Mommy and the question becomes, can any of them escape, alive? Written by
Charles Kaufman, in the director's commentary, said that a very ironic thing happened during filming: an actress who played one of the victims and one of the actors who played a son hit it off and starting dating when not filming - even though his character terrorizes and brutalizes her. Concerned that neither would be able to project the sense of terror needed, Kaufman asked them to postpone their relationship until after the film wrapped. They complied. See more »
The TV that Abbey drops on Ike's head is obviously empty, with no working parts in it. See more »
Ike, you better bolt that door good tonight.
Ma, there's nobody out there...
Now you just do what I say! Queenie's out there, I just know it.
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One of hundreds of grade-b exploitation shockers cranked out during this period; falls under the sub-category of rape and revenge films after Last House on the Left. This one has better acting and character development, but it's the addition of the crazy Mom character to the typical depraved psycho routine that makes this movie creepy and disturbing. The two brothers are scary slapstick rapists; "Can she spend the night with us tonight, Mom?" Next morning Mom asks "Where's your friend?" The boys tell her "She don't feel so good..." and they all laugh like it's Leave it to Beaver! ("they raped her to death..." my date said when we watched it in the theater back in the 80's.) This movie is also pretty funny, which really helps give you the chills. Probably only of interest to fans of this particular sub-genre. About the Troma release; I understand this movie was edited when it was first released, this version contains all the scenes. The pan and scan job is not very good, I'm surprised they did not release the film in a letter-box edition. Nothing in the movie however is as offensive as the opening promotional spots for Troma. I wanted to give them credit for attitude but I felt sorry for every one involved.
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