Don't Go in the Woods (1981) Poster

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'WRONG TURN' without the turn!!!!
skanners19 March 2004
Yet another of the films that languishes in the hell that is 'Banned by the BBFC'. My only question being 'did you watch a different film to me?' I cannot even begin to think why this was considered banworthy (is that a word?) unless it was 'cos they didn't want to subject us to this!!! This is definitely another one of those 'So Bad they're good' contenders that I love so much I also think that an average mark of 2.2 out of 10 seems a bit harsh for this film I would give it at least a 3!!

Basically this film consists of a 'Crazy Man' running around in the most densely populated 'middle of nowhere' that I have ever seen and killing people with a large Machete on a stick

It really is that SIMPLE
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TERRIBLE, but I've watched it eight times.
latherzap28 November 2001
This movie is completely inept, but I love it. I think it's hilariously bad. I usually don't post positive reviews, preferring to use IMDB as a grouchy outlet for complaints. But I want to show my support for this movie.

When DGITW attained "bottom 100" status, I was happy for it. It had finally been accepted by its peers!

As you may have read, a maniac is killing anonymous campers in the woods- hence the cautionary title of the movie. Most of the acting is horrid, usually providing chuckles. The music alters between generic upbeat country guitar and cheap early-eighties casio keyboard. And the gore looks fake, but that's really the least humorous aspect of the movie. The acting and bad script are what really makes DGITW special. I have seen many bad horror flicks, and DGITW easily makes my top five so-bad-it's-good list.

If you're looking for a more detailed description, there are several reviews floating around the web. Check 'em out.

Watching it the first time I was a little disappointed, but I fully appreciated this movie on the second viewing. If you like bad movies, I highly recommend this one.
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Amusing in its badness!
lost-in-limbo31 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Two couples on a weekend backpacking trip through dense mountain ranges turns into a bloody and horrifying nightmare of a journey. When they come across a maniac who lives in the woods and who's knocking off everyone that it comes across in many gory ways. Now they're trying to get to civilization to report this carnage before they became dead meat themselves.

Incompetently made? Oh boy, definitely! But hold on it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I see other comments that label it the worst slasher, but IMHO there's far worst (and boring slashers) that deserves that tag. It's gritty, shocking, repellent and hardly memorable and nor it should be. But for the odd 80mins of schlock, I was reasonably entertained and I was amused by its badness. I couldn't help but raise a smile or crack a laugh from time to time. Sure, this basically rips off the likes of the Friday the 13th films and even to a extend - The Hills Have Eyes, but really it's nothing much out of the ordinary from your routine/predictable slasher of the 80's. Meaning a pointless/no nonsense bloodbath that fails logic and doesn't make much sense. But the plot is not the reason why people really watch these films; I hope not!

Now onto... the plot, well there's not much of one, really. They're so many gaping holes and how can that be scenarios. The central focus of the young backpackers is to make it look like there is an actual plot to round it off, but really it's nothing more than watching people getting knocked off in the backwoods by some primitive killer. You don't even get any explanation about our scruffy maniac's origin and his makeup was fairly lacklustre. Everything is pretty much telegraphed, with one attack set up after another, in one continuous loop. Stupid characters doing stupid actions, but hey that added to the fun because of its unintentionally (I think?) humorous moments - or for those who aren't used to this trash it might be excruciating to comprehend. The deaths are not particularly spaced out, but reasonably confined. I lost count of how many people actually died in the opening half hour! But when it came to the final 20mins it felt incredibly drawn out and flat. Although, the climax is fairly brutal. So, you pretty much get what you expect - poor narration replaced with cheesy/graphic blood splattering and nasty moments. Although, one thing you can't shake is that atmosphere of horror and that damn electronic score! Jeez it couldn't make its mind up. It would go from a light hearted tone, which at times it was incredibly out of place and then it would go all jerky with a real pounding score. This moment your heart is either throbbing or your thinking when is it going to stop, as my headache is getting worse. It felt like overkill and takes away from the tension, hmm, actually there's no real tension to begin with. What might make your headache worse, would be the terribly shaky and obscure camera-work. It's incredibly nauseating, with the sheer amount of bumpy movement, but it seemed to settle down in the latter half of the film. Sometimes you don't even know if the POV shot was the killer's or not? Loved the panning of the stunning background features, though. I'm a sucker for films set in mountainous woodlands and open fields. The lovely scenery was a marvel to look at. Also the terrain really added to the creepy and forbidding vibe.

Lets move onto the acting - amateurish/or dreadful is the best way to describe it. But were they acting, I ask? I just don't know if they're mocking themselves, or are they playing it... for real? We even get the usual dim-witted sheriff and a real pansy of a deputy. His particular performance was ridiculous and so was most of his dialogue. There's even a moment involving two lovers in a car, which was awfully funny and at the same time cringe worthy. The two teenage couples that are backpacking might be annoying and obnoxious brats, but I tell you they know how to pull a terrifying facial. Sadly, there's no hot women in the film. The script is pretty crumby and so was the supposed humour. The inept direction is quite bland and clumsy, but there are enough well designed shocks and horrendously, bloody kills. There's a pretty good set up when we see the killer for the first time. Also Just wait around for the ending credits to hear a wailer of a song ;).

It might be a stinker and I wouldn't really recommend it, but overall it kept my interest no matter how awful it was. If you just want pointless and joyous spree of blood and mayhem, maybe this trash is right up your alley.

Sidenote: I felt a bit conned by plot outline on my video case, which claims an axe-wielding maniac is on the loose in the woods. The killer is far from an axe-wielding maniac!
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Infamously bad - but entertaining!
Nightman8510 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Hikers in the Utah mountains are being sliced 'n' diced by a hulking woodland viking! Who will be left standing??

This little low-budget wilderness killer flick is best known as one of the cheapest and most unintentionally funny entries in the genre. There's no denying that this is a tremendously flawed movie - it's mainly a series of goofy hikers and campers being killed by an even goofier villain. The acting is shabby, the gore is crude, and the 'tension' music score sounds like someone banging their head on a synthesizer. But as poorly executed as the movie is it's certainly not boring!

Don't Go in the Woods is one of those horror cheapies that's so bad you just have to laugh at it. Remember this is the same movie in which a guy in a wheelchair is 'climbing' the mountain - of course he gets to the top only to be whacked. In another great scene Peter waves at a hunter whom he thinks is reacting to him, but the hunter is actually reacting to the killer who is behind Peter! And just wait for that clunky hoot of a theme song in the ending credits!

Don't Go in the Woods may just be the Plan 9 from Outer Space of slasher films. While it's one bad film, it's not without its silly amusements. Don't take it seriously.

* 1/2 out of ****
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ctomvelu14 February 2013
Obviously inspired by slasher classics like Friday the 13th, this low-budget slasher flick has a murderous mountain man hunting down a bevy of hikers and campers in the Utah woods and mountains. No scares per se, but some pretty decent killings including one comic relief beheading of a man in a wheelchair (reminiscent of the wheelchair guy in Texas Chainsaw Massacre). The mountain man does not appear on camera until the second half, which is a good thing as he does not exactly inspire much fear. Good POV shots as he stumbles through the woods and decent camera work throughout keep the thing afloat. I do believe this has put more than one young person off of camping, much the way Jaws gave my sister in law the creeps every time she got into the shower. Mostly amateur actors and a lousy music score cost it one point in my book.
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Pure schlock.
HumanoidOfFlesh29 September 2004
"Don't Go in the Woods" is often regarded as the worst slasher movie ever made.I can honestly say that I have seen worse slasher flicks like "Hollow Gate","The Last Slumber Party" or "The Newlydeads".A crazy killer stalks and kills tourists and campers in the woods.Anyway,this film is without a doubt beyond horrible.The acting is incredibly awful and both female leads are uglier than hell.The music is abysmal,the script makes no sense and the cinematography is really weak.The killer is just an old bearded guy who doesn't even have a motive or reason for killing campers.Fortunately this slasher flick is never boring and it contains many gory murders(for example a photographer guy gets his arm ripped off,a crippled guy is decapitated).So if you are a fan of trashy and mindless Z-grade slasher flicks give this one a look.
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You can do better than that!
DocEmmettBrown8 July 2002
CONTAINS SPOILERS. I recently had the pleasure of seeing this 'video nasty' after so many years of it having been kept under lock and key by our beloved BBFC.

Now, if there was a British Board of Film Quality I could understand the ban, as this is one of the most useless pieces of drivel I have ever seen.

It's hard to know where to start; the acting is abhorrent, even by badfilm standards. The 'actors' frequently talk over each other, repeat lines ad infinitum (one actress makes her way through the entire film with the words huh? and no!), cast members stand rooted to the spot as if reading a cue card.

The plot is non-existent, and I mean NON-EXISTENT, Friday The 13th looks like Lost Highway in comparison. A group of annoying teens (aren't they always) trek through a forest as a wildman kills random people who have nothing to do with the plot!!! They're just crowbarred in there. The most ludicrous being a wheelchair bound guy struggling to get up a woodland path ON HIS OWN! Why is he there? It makes no sense! The plot has so many holes, like why is there an undiscovered wildman living in a huge cabin in the woods that no one has ever seen before, why did he kidnap the baby, is the baby left in the woods to die (or, as I think it suggests, become another wildman, as if a baby has natural survival skills when left alone in a wood). Why do the police let the two survivors just wander off home on their own at the end?

The score is painful, jumping between country guitar, bontempi organ, and screechy horror soundtrack. The FX are lame, the direction is dreadful, the editing is childlike, the cast are all ugly. THIS FILM IS RUBBISH!

On a positive note, the film does contain an (unintentionally) hilarious over use of the name Dick.

I know, like myself, this review will only serve to inflame your need to see this movie, but please, do yourselves a favour, stay well clear. You have been well and truly warned.

NURSE! I'd like to go back to my room!
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A bad "Bad movie"
stract5 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is more funny than scary, but I would have given it a higher score than 1 if it has been either funnier or scarier. Firstly, there is no plot whatsoever, just a series of scenes of people getting slaughtered by an unknown madman who got his just desserts in the end. Secondly, it is a pain to watch. The music is annoying and sporadic; most of the show occurs without any background music which may not be a bad thing in most cases, but with no suspense, flat acting, the lack of music just makes it even more dull. Granted there are some comedic moments, such as the dialog between the couple in a mobile home, but those aren't enough to save the film from its abysmal state. If you enjoy glaring illogical actions (such as a sheriff wandering in the forest on his own in search of the killer) and incredibly bad special effects (body stabbings looking more like poking on woodblocks - I'm not joking!) , then Don't Go in the Woods is for you. Otherwise, stay away from this horrifyingly terrible film.
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Not as bad as Headless Eyes...
world_of_weird25 July 2005
...but that's like saying being kicked in the groin isn't as bad as being punched in the throat. They both hurt like crazy, it's just that one probably isn't as painful as the other. DON'T GO IN THE WOODS appears to be the retarded, illegitimate offspring of James C.Wasson's quietly unsettling NIGHT OF THE DEMON and the underrated JUST BEFORE DAWN. It's the simple story of a group of happy campers (including a bunch of whiny teens, a birdwatcher who looks like an old silent movie actor, a cripple who looks like Franklin from THE Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE, a female artist and her baby daughter, two bone-chillingly unattractive newlyweds get the idea) whose weekend in the Utah wilderness is rudely interrupted by a bloodthirsty maniac who looks and sounds like Long John Silver gone native and kills people for kicks. And that's it. There's no real plot, not a scrap of characterization, no structure, no dynamic, in fact nothing to compel or even mildly interest the viewer, just endless scenes of these hapless non-actors wandering through the forest and getting killed in various unlikely ways, with blood-drenched murder scenes that resemble Monty Python's memorable spoof of Sam Peckinpah, only done on a smaller budget. As a substitute for any on-screen suspense or drama, the belching, clanking, burbling synthesizer score by H.Kingsley Thurber (love that name!) plays throughout the entire film with no let-up. I'm not joking, it doesn't stop until the end credits when we get to hear him sing an inane ditty about the murderer to the tune of 'The Teddy Bear's Picnic'! Most of the dialogue seems to have been endlessly redubbed and rearranged, which gives the proceedings a surreal, ethereal feel, and the direction and editing are not so much undisciplined as wilfully perverse - it's as if Bryan tore up the entry-level director's handbook on day one, set out to break all the rules and succeeded unequivocally. It would be churlish to point out that the budget was obviously miniscule, since wonders can be worked for a handful of change - see LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, for example - but the budget for this Z-grade splatterfest would appear to have come from the pockets of sleeping gutterbums. As a further point of interest, this film remains banned in the UK, though I can't imagine any sensible distributor paying the censors to watch this nonsense in order to receive an 18 certificate. It's a shame the old X-rating was phased out, because it would suit this film perfectly - it's X-crement from start to finish.
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Proof That Anyone Can Make a Movie
captaincracker30 March 2009
There isn't that much to say about "Don't Go in the Woods". It is basically the most uninspired slasher film I've seen, and that's saying something from a guy who has seen every sequel, prequel, remake, and knock-off, and who in particular loves early 80's slasher gold. This is fool's gold. So what makes this movie worse than flicks like "Madman", "The Burning", "Prom Night", "The Prowler", and "Graduation Day"?

For starters, "Don't Go in the Woods" has absolutely no originality to it. The movie is basically a complete knock-off of the previous year's "Just Before Dawn", only "Woods" has more characters and deaths but lacks the atmosphere, suspense, and twist of "Dawn". This film is absolutely amateur in its making. It has a great atmosphere to use and doesn't use it. It doesn't allow any room for character development. Rather than creating suspense it jumps right to the kill. There is simply no use of artistic film-making or creativity in this entire flick.

Earlier in the week I finally was able to see another infamous B-movie slasher, "Graduation Day", which I thought was missing something. Compared to "Woods", "Graduation Day" looks like a masterpiece. "Graduation Day", along with "Friday the 13th", "The Burning", "Madman", "The Prowler", "Happy Birthday to Me", "Prom Night", "Halloween", "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "House on Sorority Row", "Just Before Dawn", "My Bloody Valentine", and others may follow a simple formula but it knows how to make that formula entertaining. Those movies have a rhythm. "Don't Go in the Woods" has no rhythm, but seems more like a bunch of footage of random, annoying people we don't care about or like getting killed in uneventful ways.

Watching this movie felt like it was taking hours, even though it was only 85 minutes. So why would I continue watching "Don't Go in the Woods"? It is a movie from a time period that will never return. Movies like "Woods" will never be released again. This is a grindhouse picture - a low-budget, cheesy movie that played in limited cinemas and never went mainstream. It has earned a large cult fanbase over the past thirty years, and the title has become infamously famous for being a bad movie. For a horror fan, "Woods" is a sort of time capsule, a look back in time to when anyone could make a slasher movie as long as you had a camera. This time has come and gone, and has been forgotten about. For over twenty years, no one thought about "Woods", but the internet and DVD sales have helped bring it back.

The cult horror film "Don't Go in the Woods" is only a popular movie because it is so bad and at one point so unpopular. As a slasher film fan, I am glad to have seen it. The acting is atrocious, the writing is wretched, the effects and laughable, and the plot is absent. But with a few cool shots of the scenery, "Don't Go in the Woods" somehow can keep the audience's minds off its lack of substance. And does this movie really need any substance? That's a debatable question.

Definitely only a movie for hardcore slasher fans. Regular genre fans will most probably get bored and turn it off, and if you don't like horror movies or bad b-movies than steer clear and don't enter "the Woods".
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Very inspiring, for the wrong reasons
rpzowie30 March 2008
Don't Go in the Woods terrified me when I saw it as a 15 year-old. Now, 20 years later, I honestly don't remember why. While the music can be nice and ominous when needed, the acting is beyond terrible. The actors literally appear to be doing nothing more than reciting lines.

It really makes me think that if these people, awful actors they were, can be in a movie, anybody can.

The only thing that truly surprised me about this movie is that it didn't have any nudity in it. Generally, the worse a horror flick is, the more likelihood of seeing skin. It's what directors probably do when they know the film can't be sold on its own merits.
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Maciste_Brother7 January 2003
I rented DON'T GO IN THE WOODS 20 years ago and I still remember how abysmal it was. No redeeming qualities whatsoever. It's stunningly amateurish. Even though it's only 82 minutes long, DGITW feels like 3 hours. Every inch of the movie is terrible. Some parts are good in a 'it's so bad it's good' way but the film is too awful to endure and nullifies any fun to be had from watching it.

Whoever was involved with this film, my hat's off to you because you made one of the worst films ever!!!!
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"Come out of there, you pencil necked geek!"
Hey_Sweden22 March 2015
There's "so bad it's good" cinema and then there's director James Bryans' "Don't Go in the Woods". This thing truly reaches a pinnacle of laughable absurdity. While it's not going to appeal to everybody, it's got a highly respectable go for broke attitude, an amazing body count, lots and lots of gore (once it gets going), terrible acting & writing, and a generous amount of belly laughs. These all make it extremely engaging entertainment.

Despite the title, there's plenty of people stupid enough to go into the woods and help our merry maniac (Tom Drury) reach record numbers. Grunting like a constipated pirate, and sporting a hilarious wardrobe, the killer goes about his business. Four outdoorsy types make up our main characters: Peter (Jack McClelland), Ingrid (Mary Gail Artz), Craig (James P. Hayden), and Joanie (Angie Brown).

Bryan swears that he intended this to be a comedy, and it's not that hard to believe him, given how utterly ridiculous his movie is. It hits the ground running - the first person to die bites it within the first three minutes - and delivers sadistic dark humour and bucket loads of blood. Bryans' explanation for the motive behind this murder spree is one of the worst / best that you're likely to hear. Our victims are a colourful bunch - an older couple making out, an artist, an ornithologist, etc. The randomness of the whole thing is delicious.

The dialogue and performances are just uproarious at times. Watch when one character sights the dead body of a friend, and marvel at the faces that they make. The cherry on this sundae is one of the most idiotic music scores that this viewer has ever heard, supplemented by a giggle inducing end credits song that borrows from the Teddy Bears' Picnic.

Objectively speaking, "Don't Go in the Woods" is flat out garbage. But for certain tastes, it's mighty fine garbage.

Co-star Artz actually went on to become a prolific casting director; her first credit in that capacity was "Halloween II", from the same year as this.

Five out of 10.
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It made me cry!!
rocco-14 August 2001
Yes it did make me cry... it made me cry because I spent $5, yes that's right five dollars on this piece of ****! This is the worst 80's horror film I have ever seen. It is worse than "Killer Party"!!(look it up) I hope and pray that no one will ever watch this movie. Well I guess it is good for laughs. Ok, Ok, you can watch it. But remember don't watch it to be scared; only watch it to p*** your pants laughing.(literally) The acting is poor, the special F/X were poor, the music score sucked and it has the ugliest and I mean Ugliest women I have ever seen.
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A hilariously horrendous and thus quite entertaining early 80's "wackos in the woods" slasher hoot
Woodyanders20 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wacko in the woods body count splatter slaughterfests became all the rage in the early 80's after "Friday the 13th" hit it big at the almighty box office. This staggeringly sloppy'n'slipshod shot-in-Utah no-budget atrocity could very well be the most unbelievably inept and unintentionally sidesplitting entry in this frequently pretty pathetic horror sub-genre.

A grimy, husky, deranged, murderously misanthropic survivalist mountain man maniac nastily butchers assorted hideously obnoxious and unappealing chowderheads who unwisely venture into his lethal section of the forest. A nerdy ornithologist has his arm yanked out of its socket; hilariously fake-looking blood squirts out of the even more hilariously phony stump. A fat jerk gets tossed off a cliff so he can be turned into a mushy pulp when he lands on the jagged rocks below. The fat jerk's equally rotund whiny mom likewise buys it in a similarly gruesome fashion. A jarringly ugly middle-aged couple who are trying to do just what you think in their RV have their would-be sexual encounter rudely disrupted by Mr. Nutso. A painter erupts with a virtual geyser of the red sauce when she's repeatedly stabbed by our sanguinary sicko. A backwoodsman accidentally impales a luckless hick on a tree branch and tries to make amends by blubbering "I'm sorry!" three times in a row. Four insufferably irritating backpackers gripe, moan, bicker and generally get on each other's nerves while aimlessly ambling through the woods. A girl who stumbles into the killer's lair eats some machete. Two folks dozing in their sleeping bags are savagely offed. In arguably the most mean-spirited scene a helpless cripple in a wheelchair gets decapitated! Meanwhile a plodding, obscenely oafish and obese hillbilly sheriff investigates various disappearances to no avail.

The slackly plotted narrative meanders from gory kill scene to gory kill scene sans reason or rhythm. The unlistenably abominable score alternates between eardrum-rupturing high-pitched synthesizer blaring and s**t-kickin', banjo-pluckin', dung-a-dung-dung hayseed bluegrass music. The shaky 16 mm cinematography features lots of nauseating whiplash pans and unsteady hand-held camera-work. The dreadful post-sync sound makes the whole shoddy shebang seem like a poorly dubbed foreign flick. The rambling direction suffers from a crucial lack of both focus and finesse. The acting by the no-name rank amateur cast is absolutely abysmal. None of the astonishingly irksome characters are even remotely likable. The gore effects are uproariously cheesy and unconvincing. And the incredibly asinine ending credits theme song concludes the marvelously messed-up merriment on a properly pitiful note.
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Both very bad, and very good, if you know what I mean
Bezenby18 March 2014
I've been looking for this film for ages and now thanks to someone on Youtube I've finally watched this so-called Video Nasty. Is it the worst slasher film ever made? I don't think so (Psycho Cop beats it hands down in that category to name one example). Is it badly made? Sure, with loads of hilarious moments, but it's never boring for a minute and actually has at least one scene that works.

I hope you like dodgy editing, however, because the first few minutes are pretty confusing. After shots of some girl running screaming through the forest, we cut to four annoying actors out for a hike. Get used to cutting from this lot doing nothing to the killer offing various people we hardly get to know, because that's what most of the first half of the film involves, save for the footage of useless cops talking.

What you've got here is a crazy mountain hillbilly (love that get-up!) running around what must be the busiest forest on earth cutting people to bits with a spear in various daft situations, like the guy he throws off a cliff (who lands next to our quartet, who don't even notice!), the ornithologist he dismembers, and some other poor guy who gets a bear trap to the face. He also attacks a lady who's minding her own business drawing a painting, only to get slashed to bits.

Our quartet do eventually get involved with the killer, leading to an actual effective sequence where one of them finds the killer's house and gets slashed to bit for their troubles. The others end up running around the forest trying to escape our nutter and…etc. It's slasher film – no need for more plot. Except for… …the guy in the wheelchair. Now, for some reason the filmmakers thought it would be a good idea to have a guy in a wheelchair hiking around the woods. Not only that, but they've dubbed him to sound like he's got something wrong with his brain too, so not only do you have to see this guy struggle with a wheelchair (and fall over), but you've also got to listen to him making all these strange noises too. Hilarious, but probably not in the way the filmmakers intended.

What was also funny was the bit where one of the quartet speared a guy by accident – I forgot about that bit.

So, far from being the worst film ever (although it tries), Don't Go Into the Woods…Alone is a fine slice of cheesy entertainment that doesn't skimp on the blood. This film was everything I thought it would be, even though the version I watched was devoid of this crazy soundtrack I keep hearing about.
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Not bad enough to be good and not gory enough to be worth it.
maynard12103 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Don't Go Into The Woods is not a good movie for several reasons. Bad acting, story, dialogue, scenery, camera work, sound. These are all obvious right away. The kills/gore aren't stylish enough or at the very least interesting enough to save this movie. There are two that are pretty good but that's it.

They decided instead of concentrating on the main campers, they would intermittently sprinkle in scenes of other campers being murdered. It's incoherent. By the time anyone survives you barley remember who they were to care.

Some of the awful dialogue can be unintentionally funny or grating depending on your preference.

One thing that stood out was the nonsense. For instance, camper is by himself under an overhang. Fisherman comes by and spots him. But the wildman is standing above the camper where he can't see him. The wildman swings a bear trap and hits the fisherman in the face. Camper watches in shock but doesn't yell out. So you think "Oh, this guy will spot the crazy man, keep quiet and then run back and warn his friends". Instead as soon as he sees the wildman, he yells like a girl and runs off. Why didn't he react right away? Could have set up a nice scene where the camper sneaks off to warn his friends. Then right be for he reaches them surprise kill by the wildman. The movie does this 4 or 5 times. Girl hears friend screaming 2 separate occasions, doesn't react, thinks it's only friends horsing around. Friend screams a third and she comes running.

Movie seems to only take a place in one day but it doesn't match the story. Guy and girl survive. They are in the hospital. Guy feels guilt for leaving other girl back in the woods. He's able to run from the hospital back to the woods before the cops leave the cafeteria. But before, when they broke into the cabin, the guy said, "We are going to need food if we're gonna survive". Later the girl is seen licking a plate as if starving. Really? In running distance from a hospital? Also, no rhyme or reason to the killing. They can't be that deep in the woods (Hospital) and there were at least 5 other people died in that vicinity in the same time span. Should have been called don't go 50 ft into the woods. The posse is waiting on a helicopter to search the woods. Meanwhile the camper has beating them back on foot. The movie takes a scene and then just throws logic out the window. It'a actually impressive.
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Stinking piece of crap!
fertilecelluloid31 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Made while the early 80's slasher cycle was in full swing, this amateurish pile of s*** pits a caveman-like, HILLS HAVE EYES-inspired nutbag against a roster of hikers and campers in the deep boonies. There's abundant gore and some pace, but the execution of said gore is appallingly inept and the acting is so unconvincing it hurts.

A cripple in a wheelchair livens up proceedings at one point, but one hacked cripple does not a memorable movie make.

The eventual annihilation of the nutbag has the impact of a gray cloud passing overhead.

What must be noted here, in conclusion, is the film's "sound design", an ear-piercing catalog of sharp jabs, stabs and synth riffs.

Theatrical poster was not too shabby.
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Don't Go In the Woods Sober
juniorrickman15 October 2020
A bunch of campers, lovemakers, skate bunnies, artists, cops, and sightseers are brutally murdered by a

To say Don't Go in the Woods is episodic would be the understatement of the century. There's not a realistic dialogue exchange or a character arc to be found in these treacherous woods. Acting and writing are the kind of amateurish where you really convince yourself that these people have been kept in an attic for their entire lives without human contact and have never had a normal interaction with another human being. There's no other explanation for how bizarre this movie is. Everything is so disjointed like it was made up on the spot or like these were all a bunch of different short films that were edited together to make a feature. That said, it's one of the most hilarious movies I've ever seen in my life and I think I'll probably watch it 500 more times before I die.
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Bad Movie Heaven
jerbear-132661 April 2019
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat - Don't Go in the Woods is AWFUL. Truly awful. Easily one of the worst films ever made. Every performance, piece of dialogue, plot point, shot, sound cue, etc. is executed in the exact opposite way it should be. Some will say this was planned by the filmmakers, but I have my doubts. Either way, if you're in the right frame of mind and with the right people, Don't Go in the Woods can be a super fun time.

There's no point in going into the plot, because this movie hops around like a bunny on crack, going off onto strange tangeants and side plots. I'm not even sure if any of the characters had names. What makes this movie so much fun is just accepting that this movie is awful and rolling along with it.

Yes, there's most definitely a lot of blood, but it's usually just some crew guy throwing it onto one of the actors.

This is a hard film to recommend, because most people will just be appalled by how terrible everything is and not find the humor in it, but have a few drinks, call a couple of friends over, and you have a great film for bad movie night.
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Millpool8722 August 2004
A terrifying spectacle that will teach you an important lesson in survival: DON"T GO IN THE WOODS!

Let me first start off by saying this movie is a true cult classic. I first picked this bad boy at some video store where they had a wide VHS horror selection. While me being a fan of the low-budget horror genre, i was like a kid in a candy store. I took my time browsing at each video till i came across this one, it was actually the cover that caught my attention at first. The rural backdrop, the girl bleeding from the mouth, and the sign saying Don't go in the woods with a knife sticking out, I just couldn't resist when i saw it. So I bring it home and pop it in my VCR and after about 20 minutes of watching i realize since the film's acting, plot and worst of all the music are beyond belief there's nothing to do here but enjoy the gore. It's hilarious watching this film(if you even want to call it that)set in the wilderness of Utah, where characters are slaughtered one after the other by a primitive killer. One scene in particular i love is when the guy in the wheelchair is struggling to make his way up the steep trail, he finally makes it to the top only to have his head chopped off -I was laughing for days.

This movie isn't meant to be taken seriously, I mean how can you, the song played over the end credits(yes, you heard correctly)sounds like it came from a thirty-year old guy who still lives with his mom, and recorded it in her basement. But what can i say i love this movie, and if you can find it(it's been out of print for awhile) I suggest you pick it up if your into bad horror movies or just looking for a good laugh.

P.S.- If you liked this movie you should check out a film called "Rituals". It's set in the wilderness, but unlike "Don't go in the Woods" it actually effective in capturing the real sense of horror out in the woods.
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I love this cheap and cheerful horror film! It's so gloriously entertaining in it's badness!
poolandrews29 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
A woman (Alma Ramas) is murdered in a mountain stream deep in a remote Utah wood, the running water turns red with her blood. Shortly after a bird watcher (McCormick Dalten) has his arm chopped off with a machete and is also murdered. Meanwhile four young friends Peter (Jack McClelland), Craig (James Hayden), Ingrid (Mary Gail Artz) and Joanie (Angie Brown) are back packing through the mountains for a relaxing and fun few days in the wilderness. Back at the local town, the grossly overweight Sheriff (Ken Carter) and his Deputy (David Barth) have been getting lots of missing person reports. The Sheriff quickly dismisses them as nonsense. A man named Dale (Dale Angell) in the most garish horrible looking bright pink shirt and matching beret, along with his mother (Ruth Grose) is taking pictures of the beautiful scenery.They are both quickly killed by the as yet unknown psycho. The four back packers carry on deeper into the woods. After Craig, Ingrid and Joanie tease and make fun of Peter he decides to sleep on his own away from the others. That night more innocent people are killed. The next morning while by a stream on his own Peter sees a fisherman (Hank Zinman) killed by a 'wild man' (Tom Drury), we know he's a wild savage because he has a long beard, scruffy hair and makes funny noises. Peter rushes to warn his friends but it's too late as the maniac has butchered Craig. Will he be able to save Joanie and Ingid? It certainly doesn't help when the three become separated. The maniac is in constant pursuit, who will survive and can the murderer be stopped before even more innocent lives are lost? Directed by James Bryan I loved this film, it's just so entertaining, despite or should that be because of it's faults and all round awfulness. The music grates on your nerves after a while and large chunks of it appear to have been taken directly from an earlier horror film called Frozen Scream (1975), the acting is bad and the whole film looks dubbed, the special effects are cheap but that's the way it should be, plus the editing and photography aren't exactly brilliant. The script by Garth Eliassen is great fun. It's never explained where the killer comes from or his motives for killing everyone he meets, and he doesn't say a word throughout the entire film which is just fine with me, who needs a story anyway? There are so many people running around these 'remote' woods it's unbelievable, roller skating chicks, artists, bird watchers, tourists, fishermen, ramblers, people making out in the back of camper vans and wheelchair bound cripples who think it's a good idea to travel deep into thick forest on their own! The so-called twist ending is totally stupid as well, just like the rest of the film so I didn't mind in the slightest! There are plenty of death scenes, people being hack up with a machete, people are impaled, decapitations, a painful looking death by bear trap, and being thrown off waterfalls, all with plenty of blood and gore, good stuff. Some very funny scenes in this too, like when Peter accidentally stabs a man thinking he is the killer only to keep saying "I'm sorry" over and over as he dies. And the two idiots in the camper van, Dick (Frank Millen) and Cherry (Carolyn Braza) who has the one of the biggest and crooked noses I've ever seen, and she's so dumb she can't even shut the doors on the camper van properly. A special mention goes to composer H. Kingsley Thurber who is credited with the closing song, to the tune of the 'the teddy bears picnic':

"Don't go in the woods tonight, you probably will be thrilled. Don' go in the woods tonight, you will probably be killed. There's a friendly beast that lurks about, and likes to feast, you won't get out. Without being killed and chopped up in little pieces."

You should hear how this guy sings this, it's absolutely hilarious and well worth watching the film all the way through to the end credits alone. Totally impossible to recommend as it's awful, but at the same time I just found it so entertaining to watch. A great 'bad' film.
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Sheer terror, sublime suspense
Tasty_Kakes8 March 2000
James Bryan's brilliant cinematic masterpiece, Don't Go In the Woods, is a triumph of modern-day film-making. Through a carefully selected shot structure, well-developed characters, and a script filled with plot twist leading up to one of the most memorable climaxes in cinema history, the director develops a framework of how films of this particular genre should be constructed. This classic coming-of-age story features show-stopping performances by Dick-n-Cherry, Dr. Twersky, and of course the frightening, yet forgivable mass murderer, "The Birdman". These performances, coupled with the overall beauty of the film's leading ladies, Ingie and Joanie, take the audience on a journey to each one of these character's inner spirit and soul. Bryan over-comes tough challenges such as Ingrid's inquisitive mind dealing with her "rabid and unrabid" theory, Peter's struggle with the comfort found with modern-day life and life in the rugged wilderness, Craig's uneasyness on how much trail mix to put under the trap, and of course Joanie's discomfort with her physical appearance and her worth in the whole of the crew. The film also is highly symbolic, denoting a sense of community with the stars the crew displays proudly on their shirts, along with some social conflicts apparent in 1981, such as inter-racial couples. The film-maker also makes it obviously clear through his narrative style what struggles "The Birdman" is personally dealing with, and how he handles this control/release aspect of his violent nature. The director uses this idea of struggle as an over-all theme in the film by incorporating it into most of the characters (Dale's longing desire to get a shot of the train pulling in, the helicopter pilots financial struggle charging only a nickel a ride, Dr. Maggie's expectations of moving on from a RN to an experienced surgeon). Bryan's careful construction and presentation of mise-en-scene (the one-sock-up, one-sock-down technique during the first murder) along with a wonderful musical score by Sir H. Kingsly Thurber makes Don't Go In the Woods one of the most important features of the horror genre, if not American film-making.
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jonpd8 November 2002
This film makes LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT look like a masterpiece. If there isn't a law for banning movies that are just plain STUPID, horribly made, and repulsive in a non-gory, non-sexual way, they should establish one. This film is the worst horror film I have ever laid eyes on. From a script written on someone's hand to overall I-completed-film-school-in-less-than-three-days filmmaking to a terribly unattractive cast of no-talents, the film gets a wonderfully deserved 0/10 from me. This is crap, folks.
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Not to be taken seriously
lthseldy18 February 2002
This movie sucked. One of the worst attempts of "Friday 13th." I've ever seen. The cast consist of unknown wooden actors that act as if they were pulled aside somewhere and asked if they could be in a low-budget movie for a few extra dollars because they couldn't find enough people people to be in this stinker. The campers arive at a campsite just to be tormented by a bat welding caveman looking guy that kills them off one by one. The killings are so fake I had to laugh. The music was so cheezy it made me laugh even more. Synthisized special effects every now and then after each death. And the woman in this movie (was that a man or a woman?) This movie sucks and just plain stupid.
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