6.4/10
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43 user 49 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:

Start praying. 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

Mitzi: What are you going to do Harry?
Harry: Kill him.
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 »

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User Reviews

Powerful, surreal and disturbing.
24 July 1999 | by ackySee all my reviews

This is a powerful,surreal and frightening film. Like Deliverance, It's mostly about the very thin veneer of civilization. Shot in a cinema verite style, the brutality and horror seems almost documentary like, unlike Deliverance where there are practically signposts saying "meaning" per 24 frames, this film allows the horror and absurdity of itself unfold itself slyly around the edge of the frame.( consider the brilliant satire of having the surgeons chant "take him apart! take him apart!" as they dance around the campfire. And the eerie shot of the forest dwelling killer standing on top of the hill, a shadow against the sun.) Wheras Deliverance was all about northern white guilt, the doctors in this film have something to be guilty about. I think "Deliverance" is great but this film reveals it's limitations, it's lack of guts, and it's prettifying of nature. Ultimately this is a superior film.


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