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Since I started the website I've done a Slasher marathon every summer. This time I thought I'd start things off in the first week of...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Final Terror (1983)


Since I treated myself to an old favorite like the Burning it was time to dive deep into the Slasher genre for another lesser known movie. I chose The Final Terror because I haven’t watched it in years, and much like Cheerleader Camp I don’t remember a damn thing about it. Well I remember that it takes place in the woods, and that it features an early appearance of Adrian Zmed and Daryl Hannah. Hopefully the results are better than Cheerleader Camp.

After an opening involving a couple on a motorcycle that was obviously added on later and has nothing to do with the story we meet our cast of characters. A group of park rangers are headed off into the woods to clear some debris out of a stream. For fun, they plan on rafting back down the river after doing their work. As a bonus some ladies are going with them. But they never should have come to this part of the woods because someone else lives there and they don’t like visitors. Eventually bodies start to appear and the survivors jump on a raft and try to get away. But of course, it won’t be that easy!
Look Kids Daryl Hannah!

This is one of those middle of the road slasher movies which is a nice way of saying it is mediocre. I did enjoy the setting of the woods and the fact that the killer uses camouflage to hide in plain sight. There are several scenes where we see the characters walk or raft by only to realize after they are out of sight that the killer was right there on the screen with them. The audience only realizes that because the killer stands up and walks away as the camera lingers. That was creepy and adds to the atmosphere. I also dig that there is very little music used in the movie and that much of the soundtrack is just ambient noise. If you have never been in the deep woods you can’t even begin to understand how isolated and inherently spooky it is. The Final Terror does an excellent job capturing that feeling.
This is what park rangers looked like in the '80s

But as much as I liked the setting and all that goes with it the movie has flaws. The characters do stupid things. Like running off in the dark and losing track of each other. This is after they have found bodies and know that someone is stalking them. The best slasher movies are cleverer when separating characters off to be killed or better yet keep them in the dark about the danger until it is down to just a couple.

There is very little blood in the movie. Only one kill is on screen and it is cut so that you never really see anything. Now I’ve liked other movies that only imply the gore rather than show it. But The Final Terror only has five kills in it so I wanted them to be memorable. Hell, two of the kills were in that added scene at the beginning so really there are only three kills involving the main cast of characters. We get a lot of walking and rafting without a lot of stalking and killing. That makes for a slow movie.

While this isn’t the worst Slasher flick that I’ve seen I can’t recommend it. The flaws outweigh the good things that it brings to the screen. This is one of those movies that only a hardcore completest of the genre needs to watch and even then, you’ll need to manage expectations.

Next up on my Slasher marathon is Sorority House Massacre

© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer


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