the outing video cover
(aka SCREAM)
1 star   Cheese Rating: 25% Dairylea Lite!

" one ever returns from this phantom town of TERROR!"

directed by: Byron Quisenbury

(back of video blurb):

       "THE OUTING started peacefully enough.

       Take a group of people out for an adventure on a raft trip down the spectacular Rio Grande river in Texas. They want nothing more than open skies, fresh air- and perhaps a little loving under the starlit sky at night. As their base they have chosen a deserted town which not long ago rang to the sounds of horse and carriages, the saloon piano and the clang of the blacksmith's anvil.

       Take dusk, and eventually nightfall. With it comes terror unimaginable, horror unthinkable and a nightmare unspeakable. The first grisly murder occurs. For no apparent reason, the adventurers have become victims. Take the desperate urge to escape but realise it is now impossible; the rafts have been destroyed! Maybe the two motorcyclists who appear from nowhere can help. Well, maybe one can- the other is brutally murdered. Take the deaths continuing without rhyme or reason. How do you protect yourself from something you cannot see, or hear, or feel?

       Take barricading yourself with a few of you that are left in the old jailhouse...waiting...waiting for sunrise.

       And what do you have left? Perhaps rescue from Hell or the final terrifying assault of the unknown..."

choice dialogue:

"Are you sure you should go out alone?"
"I'll be alright..."

slash with panache?

       A low budget quickie with little, I'm being generous here, in the way of redeeming qualities.

       It starts off spookily enough. The camera scans slowly around a room, it reveals three crude statuettes. Of these, two have had their heads broken off- the third carries a cleaver covered in blood. Cue close up and....its eyes move! Ok, ok- it may not be original, and it is certainly not the work of Jan Svankmajer, but it is as creepy as this movie gets.... I told you I was being generous. mind that cleaver!

       Cut to holiday makers rafting down a wide river. The overwhelmingly cheesy music gave me some hope that a bad, but fun, movie was about to unfold.(I was wrong, it was just plain bad) Anyway ,the fun-seekers set up camp in a deserted ghost why? And wander off , one by one, into the night and are slaughtered (gorelessly) by an unseen assailant. Thats about the size of it. No scares, no gore, no style- nothing.

       What more can I say about this film? One thing of slight interest is the fact that no women die in this film, something which is virtually unheard of in the sub-genre! The premise could have been ok in competent hands. There are, under-developed, supernatural elements- people disappear, only to come to in different places, not knowing how they got there, only knowing that they are in danger. You never know who the killer is, you just hear creaks and see various weapons move through the night air. Not fly through the air like a special effect, oh no- the camera just frames them so you can't see what is holding it. Actually, talking of special effects- there are only two; the already mentioned 'scary' eyes and the bit where it looks like someone is blowing cigarette smoke into view of the camera- evidentally to indicate the prescence of something spooky. Yep, it really is that cheap. There starts off with twelve holiday makers, some of which are middle aged. Which you might be fooled into thinking was a novel approach. I just think the 'film makers' just roped in all their immediate family! And anyway, twelve people are just far too many- it is difficult enough to give half-assed character sketches to half that number in a flick like this. Things grind on in a stulyfying fashion until the "What the FUCK !" ending. By this I don't mean anything remotely shocking. I mean, what the fuck, I've just sat through this garbage for an hour and a half and you end it like that! Something to do with a ghostly cowboy, a sweet old couple and a close up of the fat kids arse. You don't even find out what has been 'terrorising' the holiday makers. A cack-handed attempt to hide the fact that all concerned lost interest in the project long ago and pass it off as an off-beat ending. They weren't fooling anyone.

       One of the female characters in the film says, "Haven't we had enough pain?". My sentiments exactly as I yawned and hit the rewind button on the VCR. Avoid.

BODYCOUNT 7  bodycount!   female:0 / male:7

       1) Middle aged male hung
       2) Middle aged male killed (method unknown)
       3) Elderly male killed with hatchet
       4) Male teen thrown through door
       5) Male teen killed (method unknown)
       6) Male decapitated with axe
       7) Middle aged male killed with scythe