Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 20th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1982
Director: Don Jones
Cast: Dean Russell, Don Jones, Gary Kent
DVD released: November 7th, 2006
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Campers are murder by a madman cannibal who is having visions of his dead family members.
The premise for this film is simple madman kills other humans who he then eats. This film stretches it main plot point to the max over the course of what has to be eighty six of the most tedious minutes ever committed to celluloid. One thing that it does tight is the films opening in which tow campers are stalked and then murder in the woods. These scenes and murders are well done unlike the rest of the film. The film nearly stops dead in its tracks when we are introduced two a pair of couples who get into a fight because the men feel the women can’t go camping without them. This puts into motion the storyline of why these four people have decided too camping.
After the opening murders it is nearly an hour into the film before the victim is claimed and during the intervening moments we are subjected to some of the most god awful exposition in any film of this ilk. One thing that is enjoyable about the film is its cheesy score which included four so bad they are good early 1980’s pop ditties. To create music so diabolical and use it as the backdrop for a film in which nothing exciting occurs takes guts. If you are looking for great or even adequate performance from the cast look elsewhere. Don Jones direction is not as bad as the script and to his credit he does make good use of the films main location the forest. Ultimately The Forest is a forgettable slasher film that offers minimal gore and violence.
The Forest is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. Colors look robust and nicely saturated. Black levels look strong and details look sharp through out. Outside of some minor instances of print damage this transfer looks really good considering the low budget origins of this film.
This release comes with one audio option an English language audio mix which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The audio mix is more then adequate as dialog is easy to understand and music and effects sound evenly balanced as they blend with the rest of the mix. There are no problems with distortion or any other major sound defects.
Extras for this release include a photo gallery and trailers for The Forest, Don’t go in the Woods, Jules Verne’s The Fabulous Journey to the Center of the Earth, Love me Deadly, School Girls in Chains, Devil Five Times, Sweet Sixteen, Beyond the Door and The Secrets of Sweet Sixteen. Other extras include a thirteen minute collection of interviews with Don Jones, Stuart Asbjornsen and Gary Kent. These interviews complement nicely the two audio commentaries that also come with this release. There is some audio noise during these interviews and the video quality does fluctuate. The two main extras for this release are two audio commentaries. The First one is with Don Jones (director) and Stuart Asbjornsen (director of photography) and a second audio commentary with Don Jones (director) and Gary Kent (actor). The second commentary is the livelier and more entertaining of the two with the first audio commentary including a lot of the same topics covered in the second audio commentary. One has to wonder why they just didn’t edit the two audio commentaries together so that the most important information is covered and nothing it repeated.
The Forest gets an impressive DVD release from Code Red that exceeded all my expectations.