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Sunburst (1975)

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


James Polakof

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Cast overview:
Peter Hooten ... Robert
Kathrine Baumann ... Jenny
Ric Carrott Ric Carrott ... Marshall
Anne Lockhart ... Tina
Robert Englund ... Michael Sutherland
Rudy Vallee ... Proprietor
James Keach ... Levon
David Pritchard David Pritchard ... Danker
Randy Ralston Randy Ralston ... The Pledge
Susan McCormick Susan McCormick ... Susan
Peter Brown ... 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

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Rape is Something That Happens to Someone Else... See more »





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Release Date:

29 January 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Slashed Dreams See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?


References Singin' in the Rain (1952) See more »


Pretty Things
Words and Music by Ed Bogas
Performed by Roberta Van Dere
See more »

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User Reviews

college students try to figure out life, and two of them get attacked by their friends and then by strangers
26 August 2005 | by FieCrierSee all my reviews

I saw this movie, as I think most people have these days, on the out of print Academy Home Entertainment videotape under the title Slashed Dreams. I doubt that is the original title, as it appears on the screen via a bad video effect, and appears to be blocking out the original title by being placed on a large green rectangle (probably Sunburst). The videotape dates from 1986, and since Robert Englund (who later played Freddy Kreuger) appears in it (albeit briefly, towards the end), the title is probably meant to suggest A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984). None of the actors' names are mentioned on the box, although my box was cut, so maybe the names just got cut off. "Slashed Dreams" is probably also meant to suggest slasher films, but this is at most a proto-slasher; nobody gets killed, and the only slashing is of one bad guy by another.

The video box suggests that the movie starts with a skinny-dipping scene, with the characters watched by someone with a knife, and then flashes back to how they got there. In fact, it's entirely presented in chronological order, starting with a bunch of young people in college. In a class, they talk about the meaning of life, and where people have their roots; "in the earth," one suggests, "in heaven," suggests another.

One of the students, Jenny, brings up her friend Michael, who'd dropped out of college and moved into the mountains. Her boyfriend doesn't think much of a dropout, and he doesn't like Jenny's lifelong brainy friend either. At a frat party, her boyfriend gets really belligerent, and Jenny and her old friend drive off to find Michael.

On the way, they get directions at a country store. The proprietor is found in a back room, rehearsing his night club act (he says), talking and singing on a microphone. He's a former radio star who's been forgotten (played by the crooner Rudy Vallee). He's about the most chipper old man to ever warn a couple of young people not to go in the woods! He presses some Licorice Nips on them, and tries to impress on them the need for a knife.

They pass on the knife, and make their way into the woods, where they encounter a bear, and find a cabin they think might be Michael's. It's made out of rather thin branches, so that it is possible to see right through the walls. There are also windows, and at least two large holes in the roof, so that when they say they wish they could lock the door, it sounds rather funny!

There's an odd sort of rape scene, in which one of the assailants seems to be at most dry humping a sleeping bag (and he couldn't get it up either, we learn), and the other also seems to be doing some dry humping, but also does some bruising face-slapping. Later, some strange advice is given to the victim, to "push the demons out" and to find some "truth" in what happened.

The movie ends with one of the characters taking a slim illustrated hardcover book down from a shelf in Michael's cabin, and reading: "Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.... And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed." These are two different passages (on pain, and on friendship) from Kahlil Gibran's popular (more then than now, I think) book The Prophet.

Not much of a horror movie, and may not have been intended to be one. Between the opening scenes in the college classroom, and the reading from The Prophet, and some of the dialogue in between, it seems the filmmakers may have been trying to reach for something meaningful, but...

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