6.4/10
1,464
43 user 51 critic

Rituals (1977)

Five doctors on a wilderness outing are stalked by disfigured, crazed killers.

Director:

Peter Carter

Writer:

Ian Sutherland (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Hal Holbrook ... Harry
Lawrence Dane ... Mitzi
Robin Gammell ... Martin
Ken James Ken James ... Abel
Gary Reineke Gary Reineke ... D.J.
Murray Westgate Murray Westgate ... Pilot
Jack Creley ... Jesse
Michael Zenon ... Matthew
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Storyline

Five doctors go on vacation deep in the Canadian wilderness. After all but one pair of the party's shoes disappear, the remaining shoed camper decides to hike out and go look for help. Soon after he leaves, however, his four companions realizes that something is very wrong when someone leaves a decapitated deer head just outside their camp. Even though they still don't have their shoes, they decide to follow their friend's trail out of the woods, but their path is blocked by someone who doesn't want to see them leave the forest alive. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's too late for prayers. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Creeper See more »

Filming Locations:

Batchawana Bay, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 660,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene with the guys trudging through the swamp was shot in a single take. See more »

Goofs

Toward the end of the film, when Harry's character is dragging the stretcher over rocky terrain, you can clearly see he is wearing boots. They had their boots stolen, and had to wrap their feet in plastic tarp. See more »

Quotes

Harry: Well, there's worse things in life than powdered milk, I suppose.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Hal Holbrook sits on the road as the sun rises with his back to the camera, which moves away from him as the end credits roll. See more »

Alternate Versions

The U.S. video release on the Embassy Home Entertainment label is cut and runs only 89 minutes despite the 100 minute running time listed on the box. The Canadian release on the Astral Video label is the uncut version with a true running time of 99 minutes. The differences between the Canadian Astral and the U.S. Embassy versions are as follows:
  • When Harry (Hal Holbrook) wakes up and slides outside his tent to be confronted with the severed head of his buddy mounted on a stick, the Embassy version cuts and crops around this to avoid a good look at a very creepy special effect.
  • The "we have to kill him" scene is also much longer and more graphic in the Astral version.
  • The ending is much more protracted and gruesome in the Astral version. The burning scene goes on for a very long time and involves a lot of screaming, and the killer's demise features a couple of extra gunshots.
  • The climax in the Astral version also includes several extra shots of Harry in the cabin attempting to stop the massive bleeding from a severed artery.
  • The Canadian video also has more dialog and extra footage in many different places (too numerous to mention here). The Canadian print is not letterboxed, however it displays considerably more image on the left and right sides of the frame, as well as the top. The U.S. Embassy video appears to be magnified.
  • Also of note is the fact that the French Canadian release under the title, ILS ÉTAIENT CINQ... is actually the same 89 minute print as the cut Embassy version despite the fact that it was released by Astral. Go figure...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

A very good, overlooked backwoods thriller
6 September 2003 | by EyeAskanceSee all my reviews

Long before "The Blair Witch Project" became the official 'lost-in-the-woods-stalked-by-evil' movie, there was this poorly distributed low budget gem which deserves reevaluation and should be seen by any serious horror/thriller fan.

A buddy group of medical field professionals trek into the solitude of the forest for a relaxing fishing trip. On their first day out, their boots mysteriously turn up missing, marking the starting point of a tense and distressing game played against an unseen evil adversary. One by one, the men meet grisly fates, and a scattering of vague clues which may reveal the reason behind it all are left to be pondered.

A strong example of it's type which deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as DELIVERANCE.

8/10


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