THE FINAL TERROR- pre-cert UK video
2 and a half stars   Cheese Rating: 25% Dairylea Lite!

"If you go down to the woods today you're sure of...."

directed by: Andrew Davis
starring: Darryl Hannah, Rachel Ward, Adrian Zmed

(back of video blurb):
       "Sample a new experience in fear!- another flesh-creeping horror picture from the man who wrote 'Alien'.

       A barrage of violence hits a group of youngsters on a rural camping trip as a mysterious, merciless killer moves in on the victims. The tension mounts to an extraordinary level and shock follows shock as they are caught in a terrifying sequence of bloodshed and murder.

       With Rachel Ward, star of 'The Thorn Birds' and 'Against All Odds', and Darryl Hannah of 'Blade Runner', 'Splash' and 'Reckless' fame."

choice dialogue:

"If you people want to survive you better start looking and thinking like the forest."

slash with panache?

Rachel Ward in THE FINAL TERROR       Not bad, not good mind you, just not particularily memorable. What is interesting about this wannabe DELIVERANCE (1972), although it has more in common with THE BURNING (1981), is that it is a mossy skeleton in a number of closets. Darryl Hannah and Rachel Ward made this just before they hit the big time and Adrian Zmed went onto to the heady heights of GREASE 2 (1982) (!). It is also an early effort by the director of the Harrison Ford vechile THE FUGITIVE (199 ).

       The film starts in over familiar territory. Two teens, in pre-credits sequence, are slaughtered in the woods by an unseen menace, the girl is killed with a contraption made from baked bean tin lids- which is at least novel! Then cut to the credits and the words, in blood red, 'FINAL TERROR' suddenly loom out of the screen- a la FRIDAY 13TH. So far, so generic. Things carry on in this (severed) vein, we are introduced to the lambs to the slaughter- a particularily obnoxious, but unusually well acted, group of teens out for an adventure holiday. By the time they had finished singing 'Three Blind Mice' for the umpteenth time, on the outward something to scream about!bus, I was looking forward to each and everyone of their grisly demises. On their journey they pass a 'Mental Health' centre, conveniently placed in the middle of the woods. No suprises for guessing it will figure someway in the up coming action. And, as if there weren't enough cliches, one of the first things the happy campers do, when night falls, is roast marshmallows and tell creepy stories around a fire. And, SHOCK! HORROR!, someone jumps out and gives everyone a jolly good scare- bet you weren't expecting that!

       Now, what lifts this out the usual slasher in the woods flick, apart from the generally fine acting, are a number of pretty good set pieces. The best of these being a night time assault by the killer on the bus- axes and machettes smashing through the black windows, whilst feet scuttle over the roof. Without giving too much away, there are a few frissons of fear as the killer often remains unseen by the hunted, expertly disguised to merge with the forest. Jumping from the shadows and appearing to metamorphizize from a rock to a scuttling killer, not noticed by a passing raft. The cinematography is crisp, and the lush locations are well used. It is fairly light on the gore, although their is a fairly wince inducing scene where Rachel Ward has to stitch Darryl Hannah's slashed throat.

       So all in all an ok timewaster. Too serious to be a camp treat. Too inconsequential to be of any lasting interest.

BODYCOUNT 6  bodycount!   female:3 / male:3

       1) Male teen found hung upside-down from tree with throat cut
       2) Female teen (decapitated?) by contraption made of tin can lids!
       3) Male impaled whilst having sex
       4) Female has throat slashed and thrown into passing raft
       5) Male teen falls to his death from rocks
       6) Female impaled on spikes