Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 23rd, 2015
BluRay released: March 2nd, 2015
Approximate running times: 82 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Stereo English
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £19.99
Synopsis: Four campers meet a sadistic killer in the woods. Shortly thereafter the police start investigating what is going on in the woods when missing person’s reports start coming in. Will the four campers survive their excursion into the woods or will they all suffer the fate that befell all those who dared to go into the woods?
Writing a plot synopsis for this film is not as easy as it would appear to be. First off this film suffers from a serious case of Tourette’s as the narrative lacks any structure and just when things look like they might make sense or be going somewhere they get even more bizarre. Even worse is how director James Bryan pads the films with endless nature shots or how he drags out the scene where the sheriff discovers and searches the killers’ home. The film feels a lot longer than its eighty two minutes length.
The films John Carpenter like score was composed by H. Kingsley Thurher. The films end title music is the best part of the film. If you are looking for acting look elsewhere and even the voice actors who were used for the films audio dubbing are equally horrible. The gore was not as bloody as I expected going into this film and the FX is downright laughable. This film was made during a time when just about any film like it instantly found an audience and now looking at it thirty three years later its flaws are more noticeable than ever. One thing that should be taken into account when watching this film is that it was shot for a mere $12,000 and that in of itself is an impressive feat. Overall Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone! is best enjoyed after downing a bottle of Wild Turkey.
Don’t go in the Woods… Alone! comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This release uses a Brand New 2K transfer of the full uncut version of the film that was overseen and approved by director James Bryan. Though this is a film that is never going to look pretty due to its limited resources. Fortunately there is always room for improvement and this new transfer from 88 Films is a marked improvement over the one that was used by Code Red for their DVD release. Sure there is still intermittent instances of print debris, color fluctuation, close ups are crisper then wider shots and black levels are at best adequate. Also when it comes to grain it varies in degree the level of thickness and there are no issue with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM stereo mix in English. Though the audio was post dubbed and there are other limitations that are due to its source. The audio track included with this release actually exceeds all of my expectations and then some. There are no issues with background noise or distortion and dialog always comes through clearly. Also everything sounds balanced and there are moments when the audio sounds surprisingly robust.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (1 minute 8 seconds), an extensive poster and stills gallery, a trio of television interviews with director James Bryan and Tom Drury (14 minutes 12 seconds), a documentary titled ‘The Making of Don’t Go in the Woods’ (56 minutes 46 seconds) and two audio commentaries, the first audio commentary with James Bryan and the second audio commentary is with Deron Miller of CKY, actress Mary Gail Artz and James Bryan.
All of the extras content from Code Red’s DVD except an intro before the film has been carried over for this film. Topics discussed during the T.V. interviews and ‘Making of’ documentary give a well-rounded overview of what is was like to work on this film. Also all the participants are candid in their comments and they all obviously enjoyed working on the film. The audio commentary with James Bryan is the more technical of the two and he has plenty of interesting stories about the making of this film, while the other audio commentary with Deron Miller of CKY, actress Mary Gail Artz and James Bryan is a more laid back affair. With that being said, this second audio commentary does include some info about the film not include in any of the other extras.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art option, a booklet with an interview with James Bryan and the 88 Films trailer reel – Puppet Master, The Pit and the Pendulum, Demonic Toys, Bloody Birthday, Two Moon Junction, Dollman, Bloodsucking Freaks, Puppet Master II, Puppet Master III, Tourist Trap and Castle Freak. Overall 88 Films gives Don’t go in the Woods… Alone! its best home video release to date.