Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rituals (1977)

Director: Peter Carter

Starring: Hal Holbrook, Lawrence Dane, Robin Gammell, Ken James ,Gary Reineke

More info: IMDb

Tagline: If you go down in the woods today, you're in for a big surprise.

Plot: Five doctors go on vacation deep in the Canadian wilderness. After all but one pair of the party's shoes disappear, the remaining shoed camper decides to hike out and go look for help. Soon after he leaves, however, his four companions realizes that something is very wrong when someone leaves a decapitated deer head just outside their camp. Even though they still don't have their shoes, they decide to follow their friend's trail out of the woods, but their path is blocked by someone who doesn't want to see them leave the forest alive.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I don't know what possessed the ad wizards to come up with that trailer because that song destroys the tone unless they were going for twisted or something. Beats me but this is a very good survival horror flick that you can't help but compare a little to DELIVERANCE (1972). The group gets picked off one by one (and not by Charles Bronson) until there's not much left. It oozes with atmosphere and it's pretty damn tense and creepy. It's a killer in the woods/survival movie done right and I really dug it all the way to the end. I would love to own a proper DVD of this. I have the one put out by X-Rated Kult Video but the picture quality is too dark which really sucks since it was filmed without an awful lot of light to begin with. It's a bleak film and well worth seeking out.

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