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Death Valley (1982)

2:10 | Trailer
A divorced mother, her young son and her new boyfriend set out on a road trip through Death Valley and run afoul of a local serial killer.


Dick Richards



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Le Mat ... Mike
Catherine Hicks ... Sally
Stephen McHattie ... Hal
Wilford Brimley ... Sheriff (as A. Wilford Brimley)
Peter Billingsley ... Billy
Edward Herrmann ... Paul Stanton
Jack O'Leary Jack O'Leary ... Earl
Mary Steelsmith ... Baby Sitter
Gina Christian Gina Christian ... R.V. Girl
Kirk Koskella Kirk Koskella ... R.V. Boy (as Kirk I. Kiskella)
Frank J. Cimorelli Frank J. Cimorelli ... R.V. Boy
Arnold C. Waterman Arnold C. Waterman ... On Looker
Fred W.S. Newton Fred W.S. Newton ... Outlaw
J.P.S. Brown J.P.S. Brown ... Western Sheriff
Roy Gunsberg Roy Gunsberg ... Tour Guide (as Roy S. Gunsburg)


A divorced mother, her young son and her new boyfriend set out on a road trip through Death Valley and run afoul of a local serial killer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Welcome To Death Valley See more »


Crime | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

7 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death Valley - Una Vacanza Nell'Estremo Terrore See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie was released on home video during the 1980s but was not officially released on DVD until December 2012 making its DVD release occur during the 30th Anniversary year of the film. See more »


[Billy has locked himself in the bathroom]
Hal: I'll tell you something, Billy...
Billy: What?
Hal: [starts to force door with knife] We got a hollow door here. It's made in Japan. Billy, I could bust through this really easy, but it would cause a mess. So, what I could do is, I can get the molding off, and I think that's the way to go. Are you all right in there? So, we got a little problem here, but I'll get you out. You stay calm in there. Remember, most accidents happen in the home. There it is. I don't ...
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Alternate Versions

In some TV versions before Billy and his mom arrive at the airport. Mike is seen buying comic books for Billy. Also when they go to the restraunt to eat Later on Billy's mom tells Billy to stop staring at the customers. Finally right after the restraunt scene Billy goes to the pool area where he meets Stu ( the other psycho killer) which is Hal's twin brother. He sees that Billy has his necklace and tries to take it and drown the boy or we, the audience have that assumption. See more »


References The China Syndrome (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Gina Christian is the reason tube tops were invented!
24 January 2000 | by geinSee all my reviews

This film is not as bad as many people would have you believe. Peter "The Dirt Bike Kid" Billingsley, in his first starring role, plays Billy, a boy who is forced to vacation with his mother and her boyfriend in the middle of the hot California desert. During a desert outing, a bored Billy decides to do a little exploration and comes across a seemingly abandoned RV. Unbeknownst to Billy the RV contains the freshly butchered bodies of three teenagers who are stuffed into the forward compartment. Billy nearly opens the forward compartment's door when he's pulled out and reprimanded by his mother's boyfriend. Billy doesn't leave empty handed though; he has stolen a necklace that he found on the RV's floor.

Later the necklace becomes a clue that is handed over with much guilt and tears to the town's sheriff played by Wilford Brimley. Soon after, the sheriff has a mining pick stuck in his chest after stupidly going over to the killer's house with clue in hand and basically asking, "Hey, look what I found at a murder scene," and knowing full well that the necklace belongs to the killer. Oops!

The killer believes Billy knows too much and needs to be eliminated. From this point on the film becomes a tense cat-and-mouse game that ends with more than a few dead.

Death Valley was released in 1982 without much fanfare or promotion and was quickly lost among the glut of slasher films being churned out by Hollywood at that time. That is unfortunate because the film features everything horror fans love: breasts, gore and excitement. This film also features a tense Henry Manfredini-like musical score by Dana Kaproff and excellent cinematography by Stephen Burum. Billy's mother is played by the beautiful Katherine Hicks (spelled Catherine on the video box) who played Marilyn Monroe in the television movie, Marilyn: The Untold Story.

Another reason to watch this film is for the brief appearance of Gina Christian, in her only film role, as R.V. Girl. Gina Christian is the reason tube tops were invented. Wow!

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