“You want fame? Well fame costs.”

“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of…”

THE FINAL TERROR

2 Stars  1981/18/80m

A.k.a. Campsite Massacre; Bump in the Night; The Forest Primeval

Director: Andrew Davis / Writers: Jon George, Neill Hicks & Ronald Shusett / Cast: John Friedrich, Adrian Zmed, Daryl Hannah, Rachel Ward, Joe Pantoliano, Ernest Harden Jr., Akosua Busia, Lewis Smith, Mark Metcalf, Cindy Harrell.

Body Count: 6


“And this is where you start paying… in crappy B-movies.”

Missed opportunities… life is full of them, mocking you and rubbing your face in it wherever possible, like the time I prioritized the supermarket over smoking at someone’s house, or the botched assassination attempt on George W. Bush.

Whodathunk a 1981 slasher film with a cast roster and director to die for would cop out and end up with nothing to die for? Or, rather, next to no one dying.

This cheapo Deliverance by-way-of Friday the 13th wannabe was produced by B-movie legend Samuel Z. Arkoff, who put a sextet of forest ranger dudes in the forest with four girlfriends on a camping trip and have them hunted by a crazed sub-human predator.

It should be awesome, with Friedrich’s gorked-out, half-stoned drawl, Hannah and Ward (who were rising stars by the time it was released in 1983), and a killer with a penchant for setting traps made of big logs and/or spring-loaded tin can lids that slash fleeing bimbos to ribbons.

And yet, eighty minutes has scarcely felt so long. Only three of the ten campers are killed and what bloodletting there is was scissored out of the UK video release (unless you’re ‘fortunate’ enough to have the release under the title Campsite Massacre), rendering the film even more dull than it would’ve been in its original incarnation.

A couple of good siege and chase scenes come too late to lift the spirits and once the killer’s identity is established, it’s not explained how or why they were even there or were doing what they were… Well acted, but when what matters most in a body count flick (bodies!) is all but absent, who cares?

Blurbs-of-interest: Rachel Ward was also in Night School; Mark Metcalf was in Playback and was the head vampire in the first season of Buffy.

5 comments

  • 100% agree. I found this after a looong search, when I was fervently trying to procure all 80s slashers in my collection (still am, but with less ferver). Based on the general cast & description, I hunted hard and had high hopes after a similar long search for Just Before Dawn proved fruitful.

    It is such a flaccid, boring movie that I couldn’t help but be let down. The movie seemed bored with itself!

    I hope my current/concluded for Iced (which sounds wonderful! How could it not be?) results in the opposite of my Final Terror experience.

  • Iced, huh? From what I remember it’s better insofar as actually bothering to kill most of the cast… but it might be 2-starsville all over again! ‘Shredder’ did it better.

  • Iced is awesome…Since it has snowed all day where I live, I thought of watching it tonight.
    As far as The Final Terror goes, I really did not enjoy it the first time I watched it. However, the movie has since grown on me and can get into it.I really like the setting and the killer’s weird look.

  • But . . . 80s ski movie?!

    (see how bored we are with Final Terror, we’ve already talking aboot a different movie)

  • y’know what’s weird? I kinda enjoyed this dreck enough to give it at least 3 stars. But I think I was drinking two bottles of rhum coke that time so…

    I may need to see this again…

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