Don't Go in the Woods (1982)
AKA: Don't Go in the Woods... Alone!
AKA: The Forest 2 (Australia)
(Release Date: August, 1982)

Don't... waste your time!

It's gonna be one of THOSE Summers...

J.C. Maçek III... 

Video Nasty Critic!
J.C. Maçek III
The World's Greatest Critic!!!

One rule to follow when picking out what movie to watch is as follows: "If the title starts with the word 'don't', then... don't!" As we all know there are exceptions to every rule in every book. Sooner or later we all knew I'd have to review a "DON'T" flick that was actually pretty damned good.
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Unfortunately, Don't Go in the Woods... Alone! is not that exceptional picture. In fact, this one is devoid of virtually every redeeming quality that could possibly turn a "Don't" into a "Do". This 1982 "thriller" was banned in England as one of the DPP "Video Nasties", banned for sale or rental in the UK in accordance with the Video Recordings Act of 1984. In the United States it was met with something a little more akin to apathy.

But all that is about to change! In this, the Year of our Lord, 2007, the British Board of Film Classification has finally approved this here flick to be released on Uncut on DVD! So now it can be met with apathy in the United Kingdom too!

So what's so Nasty about this Video Nasty? Well, not a hell of a lot, actually. Two gay couples, James P. Hayden's Craig and Jack McClelland's Peter (now you behave), along with Angie Brown's Joanie and Mary Gail Artz' Ingrid take a hiking trek through the thick woods overgrowing a series of mountains in freakin' Utah! Little do they know that just about every other camping, hiking, biking, climbing outdoorsy human out there is being systematically sliced, diced and not treated nice by what looks and sounds like BIGFOOT. Bigfoot in Utah!

If the fact that this goober is using a knife is any clue-berry, you can guess you're probably dealing more with Leatherface than with The Abominable Mormon Snowman. It's hard to imagine how this lumbering lummox Maniac (played by Tom Drury) actually sneaks up on anybody considering he's bigger than Roseanne and makes plenty of noise when he approaches you. Which, really, is kind of polite of him... sporting. Nobody takes advantage of this, but hey...

The majority of Don't Go in the Woods consists of now-familiar thinly laced together vignettes of couples and individuals doing things that people do in the woods, from the camping, hiking, biking and climbing to the screwing... only to get offed by an unseen killer in various bloody ways. Yeah, even in '82 that was getting to be cliché.

And, inevitably, he ends up catching up to our four leads who are sorely unprepared to deal with this mountain moron who makes the goons from Deliverance seem like guests on The Tonight Show (instead of Springer).

And then there's the running and the screaming... argh!

It's almost impossible to not know where this is going. Writer Garth Eliassen and director James Bryan borrow from every trick flick in the gimmicky book from Friday the 13th to Sleepaway Camp to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Last House on the Left (right on down to the two bumbling cops, played by Ken Carter and David Barth).

It all leads up to a somewhat satisfying, yet ultimately predictable ending that conveniently leaves this B-Movie open for a B-Sequel. Yeah, I'm sure that will do wonders for Utah Tourism. "Come visit scenic Utah, filming location for Don't Go In The Woods... AGAIN!"

I'll bet your tourism dollars are just skyrocketing now, pal!

But, hey, love it or leave it. It's a B-Movie, a poorly acted and silly flick with pilfered plot points and a predictable ending... and a Video Nasty to boot. What are you expecting? Titanic? I sure hope not, 'cause you ain't gettin' it here! Visible Boom Mics and a "Scary" theme song based on "Teddy Bear's Picnic" are only two more examples of the flushable nature of this movie. A DOG for Don't Go In the Woods, by any name, with anyone. Hey, it's got its fun parts... would I watch these things if they didn't? Um... Actually, yes, perhaps I would! Damn! So, to borrow from the tagline of this... MASTERPIECE... "Everyone has nightmares about the ugliest way to die." Mine is to be crushed under a tidal wave of Exploitation Flicks. Can't you just read the obituary? "He died as he lived... surrounded by stupidity!" Damn. Ah, well. Live by the bad movie... die by the bad movie. I'll see you alive again... in the next reel!

Don't Go in the Woods Alone...
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Don't Go in the Woods... Alone! (1982) reviewed by J.C. Maçek III
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