“A forgotten evil that will never die.”
A.k.a. Memorial Valley Massacre (UK); Memorial Day
Director/Writer: Robert C. Hughes / Writer: George Frances Snow / Cast: John Kerry, Mark Mears, Lesa Lee, John Caso, Cameron Mitchell, Jimmy Justice, William Smith, Linda Honeyman, Erin O’Leary, Zig Roberts, Michael Inglese, Eddie D., Charles Douglass, Dusty Woods, Christina Sullivan, Livingston Holmes, Dan S. Farbeau.
Body Count: 14
Laughter Lines: “Any invasion of the eco-system by an unrestricted vehicle like this one could destroy that balance…”
Another new campsite opening disrupted by another primeval killer is the main stretch of this meagre-budget outing, that combines ludicrous dialogue with the usual sprinkling of knife fodder.
A slow build of weird occurrences is blamed first on a trio of obnoxious kids and some punk-rocker bikers, then the murder of a tubby rich kid is attributed to a bear before the last few campers team up to hunt down the stalker – who may or may not be the missing son of the gruff ranger who runs the place – before he hunts them!
Alas, the makeup and wig budget was clearly on the low side, as our psycho looks like any other Sunset Strip spandex rocker of the era, fitting nicely with some of the names on the cast roster: Jimmy Justice? Zig Robertson? Linda Honeyman? Perhaps Valley of Death was a metal band before it was ever a film!?
In a film that manages to rip off not only Friday the 13th but also some of its other knock-offs, such as the lamentably dull Final Terror, director Hughes avoids some of the more obvious clichés and makes Valley of Death quite a fun little movie with one or two pleasant diversions thrown into the barrel. Three people squashed by a truck tumbling down a ledge is darkly amusing.
Blurbs-of-interest: William Smith was in Maniac Cop; Cameron Mitchell’s other slasher exploits include The Demon, Jack-O, Silent Scream, The Toolbox Murders, and Trapped Alive.
The darker and edgier retooling of Captain Caveman.