Don't Go in the Woods (1981) Poster

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81 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
'WRONG TURN' without the turn!!!!
skanners19 March 2004
Yet another of the films that languishes in the hell that is 'Banned by the BBFC'. My only question being 'did you watch a different film to me?' I cannot even begin to think why this was considered banworthy (is that a word?) unless it was 'cos they didn't want to subject us to this!!! This is definitely another one of those 'So Bad they're good' contenders that I love so much I also think that an average mark of 2.2 out of 10 seems a bit harsh for this film I would give it at least a 3!!

Basically this film consists of a 'Crazy Man' running around in the most densely populated 'middle of nowhere' that I have ever seen and killing people with a large Machete on a stick

It really is that SIMPLE
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TERRIBLE, but I've watched it eight times.
latherzap28 November 2001
This movie is completely inept, but I love it. I think it's hilariously bad. I usually don't post positive reviews, preferring to use IMDB as a grouchy outlet for complaints. But I want to show my support for this movie.

When DGITW attained "bottom 100" status, I was happy for it. It had finally been accepted by its peers!

As you may have read, a maniac is killing anonymous campers in the woods- hence the cautionary title of the movie. Most of the acting is horrid, usually providing chuckles. The music alters between generic upbeat country guitar and cheap early-eighties casio keyboard. And the gore looks fake, but that's really the least humorous aspect of the movie. The acting and bad script are what really makes DGITW special. I have seen many bad horror flicks, and DGITW easily makes my top five so-bad-it's-good list.

If you're looking for a more detailed description, there are several reviews floating around the web. Check 'em out.

Watching it the first time I was a little disappointed, but I fully appreciated this movie on the second viewing. If you like bad movies, I highly recommend this one.
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Amusing in its badness!
mylimbo31 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Two couples on a weekend backpacking trip through dense mountain ranges turns into a bloody and horrifying nightmare of a journey. When they come across a maniac who lives in the woods and who's knocking off everyone that it comes across in many gory ways. Now they're trying to get to civilization to report this carnage before they became dead meat themselves.

Incompetently made? Oh boy, definitely! But hold on it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I see other comments that label it the worst slasher, but IMHO there's far worst (and boring slashers) that deserves that tag. It's gritty, shocking, repellent and hardly memorable and nor it should be. But for the odd 80mins of schlock, I was reasonably entertained and I was amused by its badness. I couldn't help but raise a smile or crack a laugh from time to time. Sure, this basically rips off the likes of the Friday the 13th films and even to a extend - The Hills Have Eyes, but really it's nothing much out of the ordinary from your routine/predictable slasher of the 80's. Meaning a pointless/no nonsense bloodbath that fails logic and doesn't make much sense. But the plot is not the reason why people really watch these films; I hope not!

Now onto... the plot, well there's not much of one, really. They're so many gaping holes and how can that be scenarios. The central focus of the young backpackers is to make it look like there is an actual plot to round it off, but really it's nothing more than watching people getting knocked off in the backwoods by some primitive killer. You don't even get any explanation about our scruffy maniac's origin and his makeup was fairly lacklustre. Everything is pretty much telegraphed, with one attack set up after another, in one continuous loop. Stupid characters doing stupid actions, but hey that added to the fun because of its unintentionally (I think?) humorous moments - or for those who aren't used to this trash it might be excruciating to comprehend. The deaths are not particularly spaced out, but reasonably confined. I lost count of how many people actually died in the opening half hour! But when it came to the final 20mins it felt incredibly drawn out and flat. Although, the climax is fairly brutal. So, you pretty much get what you expect - poor narration replaced with cheesy/graphic blood splattering and nasty moments. Although, one thing you can't shake is that atmosphere of horror and that damn electronic score! Jeez it couldn't make its mind up. It would go from a light hearted tone, which at times it was incredibly out of place and then it would go all jerky with a real pounding score. This moment your heart is either throbbing or your thinking when is it going to stop, as my headache is getting worse. It felt like overkill and takes away from the tension, hmm, actually there's no real tension to begin with. What might make your headache worse, would be the terribly shaky and obscure camera-work. It's incredibly nauseating, with the sheer amount of bumpy movement, but it seemed to settle down in the latter half of the film. Sometimes you don't even know if the POV shot was the killer's or not? Loved the panning of the stunning background features, though. I'm a sucker for films set in mountainous woodlands and open fields. The lovely scenery was a marvel to look at. Also the terrain really added to the creepy and forbidding vibe.

Lets move onto the acting - amateurish/or dreadful is the best way to describe it. But were they acting, I ask? I just don't know if they're mocking themselves, or are they playing it... for real? We even get the usual dim-witted sheriff and a real pansy of a deputy. His particular performance was ridiculous and so was most of his dialogue. There's even a moment involving two lovers in a car, which was awfully funny and at the same time cringe worthy. The two teenage couples that are backpacking might be annoying and obnoxious brats, but I tell you they know how to pull a terrifying facial. Sadly, there's no hot women in the film. The script is pretty crumby and so was the supposed humour. The inept direction is quite bland and clumsy, but there are enough well designed shocks and horrendously, bloody kills. There's a pretty good set up when we see the killer for the first time. Also Just wait around for the ending credits to hear a wailer of a song ;).

It might be a stinker and I wouldn't really recommend it, but overall it kept my interest no matter how awful it was. If you just want pointless and joyous spree of blood and mayhem, maybe this trash is right up your alley.

Sidenote: I felt a bit conned by plot outline on my video case, which claims an axe-wielding maniac is on the loose in the woods. The killer is far from an axe-wielding maniac!
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Pure schlock.
HumanoidOfFlesh29 September 2004
"Don't Go in the Woods" is often regarded as the worst slasher movie ever made.I can honestly say that I have seen worse slasher flicks like "Hollow Gate","The Last Slumber Party" or "The Newlydeads".A crazy killer stalks and kills tourists and campers in the woods.Anyway,this film is without a doubt beyond horrible.The acting is incredibly awful and both female leads are uglier than hell.The music is abysmal,the script makes no sense and the cinematography is really weak.The killer is just an old bearded guy who doesn't even have a motive or reason for killing campers.Fortunately this slasher flick is never boring and it contains many gory murders(for example a photographer guy gets his arm ripped off,a crippled guy is decapitated).So if you are a fan of trashy and mindless Z-grade slasher flicks give this one a look.
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Not as bad as Headless Eyes...
world_of_weird25 July 2005
...but that's like saying being kicked in the groin isn't as bad as being punched in the throat. They both hurt like crazy, it's just that one probably isn't as painful as the other. DON'T GO IN THE WOODS appears to be the retarded, illegitimate offspring of James C.Wasson's quietly unsettling NIGHT OF THE DEMON and the underrated JUST BEFORE DAWN. It's the simple story of a group of happy campers (including a bunch of whiny teens, a birdwatcher who looks like an old silent movie actor, a cripple who looks like Franklin from THE Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE, a female artist and her baby daughter, two bone-chillingly unattractive newlyweds get the idea) whose weekend in the Utah wilderness is rudely interrupted by a bloodthirsty maniac who looks and sounds like Long John Silver gone native and kills people for kicks. And that's it. There's no real plot, not a scrap of characterization, no structure, no dynamic, in fact nothing to compel or even mildly interest the viewer, just endless scenes of these hapless non-actors wandering through the forest and getting killed in various unlikely ways, with blood-drenched murder scenes that resemble Monty Python's memorable spoof of Sam Peckinpah, only done on a smaller budget. As a substitute for any on-screen suspense or drama, the belching, clanking, burbling synthesizer score by H.Kingsley Thurber (love that name!) plays throughout the entire film with no let-up. I'm not joking, it doesn't stop until the end credits when we get to hear him sing an inane ditty about the murderer to the tune of 'The Teddy Bear's Picnic'! Most of the dialogue seems to have been endlessly redubbed and rearranged, which gives the proceedings a surreal, ethereal feel, and the direction and editing are not so much undisciplined as wilfully perverse - it's as if Bryan tore up the entry-level director's handbook on day one, set out to break all the rules and succeeded unequivocally. It would be churlish to point out that the budget was obviously miniscule, since wonders can be worked for a handful of change - see LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, for example - but the budget for this Z-grade splatterfest would appear to have come from the pockets of sleeping gutterbums. As a further point of interest, this film remains banned in the UK, though I can't imagine any sensible distributor paying the censors to watch this nonsense in order to receive an 18 certificate. It's a shame the old X-rating was phased out, because it would suit this film perfectly - it's X-crement from start to finish.
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A hilariously horrendous and thus quite entertaining early 80's "wackos in the woods" slasher hoot
Woodyanders20 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wacko in the woods body count splatter slaughterfests became all the rage in the early 80's after "Friday the 13th" hit it big at the almighty box office. This staggeringly sloppy'n'slipshod shot-in-Utah no-budget atrocity could very well be the most unbelievably inept and unintentionally sidesplitting entry in this frequently pretty pathetic horror sub-genre.

A grimy, husky, deranged, murderously misanthropic survivalist mountain man maniac nastily butchers assorted hideously obnoxious and unappealing chowderheads who unwisely venture into his lethal section of the forest. A nerdy ornithologist has his arm yanked out of its socket; hilariously fake-looking blood squirts out of the even more hilariously phony stump. A fat jerk gets tossed off a cliff so he can be turned into a mushy pulp when he lands on the jagged rocks below. The fat jerk's equally rotund whiny mom likewise buys it in a similarly gruesome fashion. A jarringly ugly middle-aged couple who are trying to do just what you think in their RV have their would-be sexual encounter rudely disrupted by Mr. Nutso. A painter erupts with a virtual geyser of the red sauce when she's repeatedly stabbed by our sanguinary sicko. A backwoodsman accidentally impales a luckless hick on a tree branch and tries to make amends by blubbering "I'm sorry!" three times in a row. Four insufferably irritating backpackers gripe, moan, bicker and generally get on each other's nerves while aimlessly ambling through the woods. A girl who stumbles into the killer's lair eats some machete. Two folks dozing in their sleeping bags are savagely offed. In arguably the most mean-spirited scene a helpless cripple in a wheelchair gets decapitated! Meanwhile a plodding, obscenely oafish and obese hillbilly sheriff investigates various disappearances to no avail.

The slackly plotted narrative meanders from gory kill scene to gory kill scene sans reason or rhythm. The unlistenably abominable score alternates between eardrum-rupturing high-pitched synthesizer blaring and s**t-kickin', banjo-pluckin', dung-a-dung-dung hayseed bluegrass music. The shaky 16 mm cinematography features lots of nauseating whiplash pans and unsteady hand-held camera-work. The dreadful post-sync sound makes the whole shoddy shebang seem like a poorly dubbed foreign flick. The rambling direction suffers from a crucial lack of both focus and finesse. The acting by the no-name rank amateur cast is absolutely abysmal. None of the astonishingly irksome characters are even remotely likable. The gore effects are uproariously cheesy and unconvincing. And the incredibly asinine ending credits theme song concludes the marvelously messed-up merriment on a properly pitiful note.
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Proof That Anyone Can Make a Movie
captaincracker30 March 2009
There isn't that much to say about "Don't Go in the Woods". It is basically the most uninspired slasher film I've seen, and that's saying something from a guy who has seen every sequel, prequel, remake, and knock-off, and who in particular loves early 80's slasher gold. This is fool's gold. So what makes this movie worse than flicks like "Madman", "The Burning", "Prom Night", "The Prowler", and "Graduation Day"?

For starters, "Don't Go in the Woods" has absolutely no originality to it. The movie is basically a complete knock-off of the previous year's "Just Before Dawn", only "Woods" has more characters and deaths but lacks the atmosphere, suspense, and twist of "Dawn". This film is absolutely amateur in its making. It has a great atmosphere to use and doesn't use it. It doesn't allow any room for character development. Rather than creating suspense it jumps right to the kill. There is simply no use of artistic film-making or creativity in this entire flick.

Earlier in the week I finally was able to see another infamous B-movie slasher, "Graduation Day", which I thought was missing something. Compared to "Woods", "Graduation Day" looks like a masterpiece. "Graduation Day", along with "Friday the 13th", "The Burning", "Madman", "The Prowler", "Happy Birthday to Me", "Prom Night", "Halloween", "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "House on Sorority Row", "Just Before Dawn", "My Bloody Valentine", and others may follow a simple formula but it knows how to make that formula entertaining. Those movies have a rhythm. "Don't Go in the Woods" has no rhythm, but seems more like a bunch of footage of random, annoying people we don't care about or like getting killed in uneventful ways.

Watching this movie felt like it was taking hours, even though it was only 85 minutes. So why would I continue watching "Don't Go in the Woods"? It is a movie from a time period that will never return. Movies like "Woods" will never be released again. This is a grindhouse picture - a low-budget, cheesy movie that played in limited cinemas and never went mainstream. It has earned a large cult fanbase over the past thirty years, and the title has become infamously famous for being a bad movie. For a horror fan, "Woods" is a sort of time capsule, a look back in time to when anyone could make a slasher movie as long as you had a camera. This time has come and gone, and has been forgotten about. For over twenty years, no one thought about "Woods", but the internet and DVD sales have helped bring it back.

The cult horror film "Don't Go in the Woods" is only a popular movie because it is so bad and at one point so unpopular. As a slasher film fan, I am glad to have seen it. The acting is atrocious, the writing is wretched, the effects and laughable, and the plot is absent. But with a few cool shots of the scenery, "Don't Go in the Woods" somehow can keep the audience's minds off its lack of substance. And does this movie really need any substance? That's a debatable question.

Definitely only a movie for hardcore slasher fans. Regular genre fans will most probably get bored and turn it off, and if you don't like horror movies or bad b-movies than steer clear and don't enter "the Woods".
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You can do better than that!
DocEmmettBrown8 July 2002
CONTAINS SPOILERS. I recently had the pleasure of seeing this 'video nasty' after so many years of it having been kept under lock and key by our beloved BBFC.

Now, if there was a British Board of Film Quality I could understand the ban, as this is one of the most useless pieces of drivel I have ever seen.

It's hard to know where to start; the acting is abhorrent, even by badfilm standards. The 'actors' frequently talk over each other, repeat lines ad infinitum (one actress makes her way through the entire film with the words huh? and no!), cast members stand rooted to the spot as if reading a cue card.

The plot is non-existent, and I mean NON-EXISTENT, Friday The 13th looks like Lost Highway in comparison. A group of annoying teens (aren't they always) trek through a forest as a wildman kills random people who have nothing to do with the plot!!! They're just crowbarred in there. The most ludicrous being a wheelchair bound guy struggling to get up a woodland path ON HIS OWN! Why is he there? It makes no sense! The plot has so many holes, like why is there an undiscovered wildman living in a huge cabin in the woods that no one has ever seen before, why did he kidnap the baby, is the baby left in the woods to die (or, as I think it suggests, become another wildman, as if a baby has natural survival skills when left alone in a wood). Why do the police let the two survivors just wander off home on their own at the end?

The score is painful, jumping between country guitar, bontempi organ, and screechy horror soundtrack. The FX are lame, the direction is dreadful, the editing is childlike, the cast are all ugly. THIS FILM IS RUBBISH!

On a positive note, the film does contain an (unintentionally) hilarious over use of the name Dick.

I know, like myself, this review will only serve to inflame your need to see this movie, but please, do yourselves a favour, stay well clear. You have been well and truly warned.

NURSE! I'd like to go back to my room!
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ctomvelu14 February 2013
Obviously inspired by slasher classics like Friday the 13th, this low-budget slasher flick has a murderous mountain man hunting down a bevy of hikers and campers in the Utah woods and mountains. No scares per se, but some pretty decent killings including one comic relief beheading of a man in a wheelchair (reminiscent of the wheelchair guy in Texas Chainsaw Massacre). The mountain man does not appear on camera until the second half, which is a good thing as he does not exactly inspire much fear. Good POV shots as he stumbles through the woods and decent camera work throughout keep the thing afloat. I do believe this has put more than one young person off of camping, much the way Jaws gave my sister in law the creeps every time she got into the shower. Mostly amateur actors and a lousy music score cost it one point in my book.
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Maciste_Brother7 January 2003
I rented DON'T GO IN THE WOODS 20 years ago and I still remember how abysmal it was. No redeeming qualities whatsoever. It's stunningly amateurish. Even though it's only 82 minutes long, DGITW feels like 3 hours. Every inch of the movie is terrible. Some parts are good in a 'it's so bad it's good' way but the film is too awful to endure and nullifies any fun to be had from watching it.

Whoever was involved with this film, my hat's off to you because you made one of the worst films ever!!!!
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