Two couples -- rugged, traumatized Vietnam war veteran Mike (an excellent performance by Jerry Albert), his sweet wife Kim (nicely played by the lovely Toni Crabtree), jolly goofball Daniel (a solid and likable portrayal by Ken Miller), and Daniel's sassy spouse Jeri (a delightfully spunky Cisse Cameron) -- vacationing in a remote cabin in the Florida Everglades run afoul of vicious local redneck psycho poachers. Writer/director Robert W. Morgan relates the gripping story at a steady pace, develops a considerable amount of suspense (a sequence with Mike running through the woods trying to get back to his friends is an absolute tour-de-force of nerve-wracking tension that makes inspired use of strenuous slow motion and snappy crosscutting with a gospel tune acting as ironic counterpoint to the harrowing on-screen action), and really piles on the brutal graphic carnage with a rousing last reel slaughter spree. Moreover, Morgan smartly explores such provocative themes as heroism, cowardice, revenge, and man's indifference and inhumanity to his fellow man. The main characters are well-drawn and engaging. Herb Goldstein as a creepy old gas station proprietor, John R. Meyer as the coarse, mean Lester, David Faris Legge as the ornery Pip, and Morgan as the bald, knife-wielding Jarvis are all genuinely menacing as the nasty hillbilly villains. The lush sylvan location projects a profoundly unsettling sense of dread, isolation, and vulnerability. Irv Rudley's cinematography is rather plain, but overall effective. Stan Webb's shivery score further enhances the eerie atmosphere. Recommended to fans of regional low-budget fright fare.
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