Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 6th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1982
Director: James Bryan
Cast: Jack McClelland, Mary Gail Artz, James P. Hayden, Angie Brown, Tom Drury
DVD released:October 10th, 2006
Approximate running time: 82 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Four campers meet a sadistic killer in the woods. 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 turrets 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 and how he drags out the scene where the sheriff discovers and searches the killers’ home. The film feels a lot longer then 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 where 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 twenty five years later its flaws are more noticeable then 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.
Code Red presents Don’t go in the Woods…Alone! In a full frame aspect ratio which is the director’s preferred framing for the film. The image while not flawless does look pretty damn good considering that the film was shot on expired 35mm short ends. The colors are the most surprising aspect of this transfer as they look more vibrant then they ever have and details for the most part are sharp. There is some noticeable print damage still nothing that ever becomes to intrusive in the viewing experience. Overall Code Red has done a superb job with this transfer and it is safe to say this film has never looked better.
This release comes with one audio an English audio track presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The audio is in better shape then I would have expected and most of this is due in part to the fact the films audio was dubbed and assembled after the film was finished in a studio. Overall considering its mono limitations this audio mix is more then adequate in recreating this films ambient soundtrack.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the films, a poster and stills gallery that is broken down into three sections “Artwork”, “Production Stills” and “Behind the Scenes”. Also included on this release are three television appearances with director James Bryan and Tom Drury. Other extras include a fifty seven minute documentary that includes comments from cast and crew members about working on the film. All the participants are candid in their comments and they all obviously enjoyed working on the film. Rounding out the extras is two audio commentaries one with director James Bryan and the other with Deron Miller of CKY, actress Mary Gail Artz and James Bryan. The first 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. The second audio commentary despite being more laid back it is still an entertaining track that includes some info about the film not include in any of the other extras. This release also comes with an introduction to the film with Deron Miller and there is an Easter egg which can be found on the extras page.
Code Red make their debut with their fully loaded special edition DVD for Don’t go in the Woods…Alone! Fans of this film will rejoice at the TLC that has went into this release while those who are just seeing this film for the first time will be left feeling confused and wondering what the hell was that they just watched.