Tuesday, October 02, 2012


I've probably seen 300 movies that could be summarized with the phrase "kids go to the woods, kids get dead". It's about time somebody made a movie with a nice, descriptive title like that. For Day 2 of 31 Days of Fright longtime ER contributor, low-budget cinema expert and slasherphile Douglas Waltz weighs in on this one.

With a title like KIDS GO TO THE WOODS, KIDS GET DEAD do I really need to provide a synopsis? Okay, okay, I'll do it. Sheesh! No sense of humor out there.

It's Casey's birthday and she's going camping with her brother, her boyfriend, another couple and two lesbians thrown in for good measure. When they stop at a party store near the cabin the grizzled Nam vet tries to warn them of the danger. Do they listen? Once again I would like to refer you to the title of the film.

For this particular film I would like to break it down into the 'good' and the 'bad'. And believe me, there are enough points on each side to make this work. Let's start with the 'bad' so that we can wash it away with the 'good' afterward.

  • Apparently, this director watched a lot of crappy horror with Rhonda Shear on USA's Up All Night. This flick has segments where a big-boobed, empty-headed chick (Candy Adams) giggles about stupid things and manages to remove any kind of suspense building throughout the film. This was an incredibly bad idea on the part of the filmmakers and completely ruined the movie. There should have been an option to watch it without those parts.
  • The killer has no identity. People always refer to the 80's slasher genre as a bunch of teenage kids being slaughtered by a faceless killer, but that's not true. Think of it this way: FRIDAY THE 13th? Jason Voorhees. HALLOWEEN? Michael Myers. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET? Freddy Krueger. I could keep doing this, but you get the idea. Hell, even THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY (1988) has a backstory for the masked killer, even though it'ss incredibly thin. The killer in this movie has nothing. Zip. Nada. This is the one-two shot that killed the movie for me. 
  • I did like that throughout the movie Casey's brother is reading a book called Kids Go to the Woods, Kids Get Dead. I thought that was clever.
  • There was plenty of gore and blood that was pretty well done so, since they were trying to emulate the slasher genre, good for them.
  • Every girl, except for Casey, showed us her boobies and they were all very nice. Another nice touch.
  • They covered the whole "do drugs, have sex and die" cliché that was the basis for every slasher flick from the 80's so, kudos for that.
All in all, with the exception of the two 'bad' points, this movie is a slasher flick at its core. I know classic fans will complain because it's shot on video and it's new and all that other stuff, but I have news for you – if video had existed with the quality we have today at pretty inexpensive prices back then, do you think that people who made things like THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY or THE MUTILATOR wouldn't have used video? If you think that, you're kidding yourself.

A majority of the slasher flicks of the 80's were made for no other reason than to make money because they were popular. That's it. So, if the makers of this movie could find it in their hearts to cut out the host who makes Rhonda Shear look like a MENSA student and take two seconds to give the killer an identity, then they would have a winner on their hands. It wouldn't be all that difficult to do. I even have some ideas if you want to hear them.

The DVD has deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a gag reel that shows they were having a pretty good time making it. Too bad that in its current state the flick fails on enough levels to make it unwatchable. – Douglas Waltz

KIDS GO TO THE WOODS, KIDS GET DEAD is available from Amazon.

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