Video Nasties: Don’t Go in the Woods (1981)

Video Nasties: Don’t Go in the Woods (1981)

Don’t go out in the woods tonight or you probably will be thrilled.

Don’t go out in the woods tonight or you probably will be killed.

There’s a friendly beast who lurks about, and he likes to feast. You won’t get out!

(Without being killed and chopped up in little pieces.)

Being one the last films of the video nasties’ list to be released uncut in the U.K., James Bryan’s best known film to date, Don’t Go in the Woods (also known as Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone!) is pretty much just your typical “killer in the woods” film. The first scene of the film begins with a woman running and screaming through the woods, eventually disappearing very quickly. Meanwhile, a small group of campers, Craig, Peter, Joanie, and Ingrid are backpacking through the same area for unknown reasons. What they don’t know is that there is a wild, deranged man hiding out in the woods killing all of the tourists who enter. As more and more people come up missing, the group of campers begin to realize that they are not safe and will do whatever it takes to make it out alive.

It was the amount of violence and gore that landed this film on the video nasties’ list with scenes that involved a handicapped man being decapitated on top of a mountain, a man having a bear trap swing into his face, and a woman being stabbed to death in front of her child. In fact, the film was not available for rent or sale in the U.K. until 2007 when it was finally released uncut on DVD.

Don’t Go in the Woods almost seems as if it is a spoof of the slasher film rather than actually being one, because it is a film that most people cannot take seriously with it’s overall cheesiness. That’s why most fans of the genre have grown a liking to the film and have found it hard to believe that it was even banned. It should also be noted that the film has had its share of being criticized as well, the acting in particular. That was due to the fact that the film was entirely dubbed right after being shot.

Although Don’t Go in the Woods has become somewhat of a cult film throughout the years for its B grade style, it probably could’ve been more successful it would’ve had more development through both the plot and characters.

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Morgan is an aspiring screenwriter, who loves everything '80s and horror. She also writes for the blog, The Kid in the Hall, where she rambles on about B-movies, groovy music, and the totally random.

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