This weekend I decided to take a trip back to that era of big bad hair. Ridiculous clothes and synthesizer music. That what life is all about. It gives me a warm feeling deep in my heart. Maybe that was just the booze...I'm not really sure.
"Run, or Daddy will eat you."
I kicked it off with a trip to The Forest. A little 80's trash gem. I really dug this film. What does that say about me I shudder to think. There's a trucker hat wearing cannibal in the woods eating people and being haunted by the ghosts of his murdered family. Two early 80's yuppie couples decide to go camping were old Mr. Cannibal hangs out. Hilarity ensues. Well after a good thirty some minutes do we get to the camping part. But you know what? I like the whole damn thing! I wasn't bored in the least by the whole let's go camping/on route to go camping first half-hour or so. Just the ridiculous mustache on Steve alone was enough to keep me glued to the screen. Then there's the scene were one of our campers is unknowingly severed the remains of his dead wife. "Hmm, not bad. Uhhh, I have a chill." And there's that sweet theme song:
"There's nothing to fear,
People do disappear,
In the darkside of the forest...forest...forest
Now don't get lost,
Or you'll have to pay the cost,
As many have died,
In the darkside of the forest...."
"Peter, that may have been a fatal mistake, jumping of a log. There may have been a snake under there!"
I followed it up the only way possible, with Don't Go in the Woods... Alone! I admit it. I love Don't Go in the Woods. I, like many that have seen it, was utterly beyond words the first time I saw the film. Things just sort of happen. Most of the murders occur in broad daylight. Characters show up just to die horribly and we get strange comic relief bits. Mere words could never, ever, hope to do seeing this film for the first time justice. Some say it's a comedy, a parody. I think that's not true. I think they were serious. Saying it's one of those films that are It's so bad it's good, just doesn't work for this film either. It's beyond that. Don't Go in the Woods is something else entirely. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are a quivering mess of a person.
The insane score of Don't Go in the Woods is one of it's best features. It too has it's very own theme song:
"Don't go into the woods tonight, you probably will be thrilled.
Don't go into the woods tonight, you probably will 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."
"I'm tired of this bullshit. People running around here with snakes, roaches, rats. Killing off one another."
More bad facial hair! I haven't seen Mountaintop Motel Massacre since Theater Bizarre back in the 80's. It manges to create some decent atmosphere as it trucks along. There's a bit of the red stuff. Some fairly interesting shots and amateur acting are thrown in for good measure. A crazy Grandma running roughshod over a bunch of groovy 80's leads. A smarmy Paul McCartney looking dude. Two country singing starlets he's trying to bed. A crusty old carpenter. A boozing preacher. And some horny newlyweds. All together not a bad little regional slasher film.
"Sometimes I wonder about the karmic implications of these actions."
How to cap the whole shebang off? By staying at Motel Hell, that's how. I still remember seeing that Fango cover in a store as kid. The one with Rory Calhoun holding the chainsaw and wearing a pighead. I've always had a soft spot for this one. There's a wonderful streak of black humor here that works in Motel Hell's benefit. A great example of 80's horror. You even get to see John "Cliff Clavin" Ratzenberger from the Cheers as a member of a punk band called Ivan and The Terribles.