Dubin, Tony Fish, Harriet Bass, Seth Jones, Paul Ehlers
Another clone of Friday the 13th, and I
don't think I'll
have to go into any more detail with that in mind. So let's see how it
compares in key areas to other slashers:
Setting: No summer camp here - here we
have an autumn
camp! We're at the North Sea Cottages for gifted children in the month
of November. Maybe that explains why, although the camp has a staff,
are only about five children in the camp. I assume their parents are
Setup: After a genuinely spooky campfire
song about a
mysterious "Madman Marz", we're told about how Marz chopped up his wife
and kids, and got axed in the face and lynched for his troubles. But
next day, the returning townspeople found the noose had broken during
night...and Marz was gone! In fact, they say to this day that if you
Marz's name loud enough in the woods, he'll hear and come after you.
MADMAN MARZ!", someone naturally yells out. "You shouldn't have done
says leader Max sadly.) Hey, it's just a legend...right? And that house
that happens to be near this campfire has been empty for
Okay, let's go back to camp. Hey everyone, it's been a nice su-, I mean
And who's creeping around nearby?
Killings: Pretty disappointing, overall.
are mostly axings and slashings, and not very bloody. However, the
when one character gets murdered with the hood of a truck (!) will
catch the attention of most viewers, and is the highlight of the movie.
One interesting thing about the body count is that the
number of male
victims is greater than the number of female victims! Okay, so
male body count is only greater by one - it's still some sort of
Sex/Nudity: Also disappointing, this only
has a fleeting
glimpse of some breasts, and a short glance at some guy's butt. Since
guy's butt is seen longer than the breasts, it could be argued that
more male nudity than female nudity. Anyone wanting to try to prove to
feminists that slasher movies are not degrading to women may want to
this movie for evidence.
The above characters engage in some hot-tub sex, but we
only get to
see them start. Strangely, a hand-held camera outside the window
the killer is outside watching, but he doesn't punish them then and
for having sex! Later - and elsewhere - however....
Intelligence Of Characters: Two of the
to go swimming later that night (at this time of the year)?
At the beginning of the movie, the characters are told
not to walk alone
in the woods. Guess what they do for the remainder of the movie? One
walks away only a few minutes after hearing this warning to check
house, to find....no, it's not what you think. Yes, there's a surprise
in this movie.
Near the end of the movie, one woman being pursued by
Marz runs into
the kitchen and - get this - pulls the shelves and the food out of the
refrigerator and hides inside!
One character manages to figure out how to save
yourself, or at least
extend your life a few more minutes during a hanging scene. Let's just
say that in the end it doesn't really help much when the hangman is
The only smart character is the camp leader Max, who
to drive to town and have a few beers, sparing him from a lot of screen
Cliches: Too many to report.
Direction: Murky throughout, not helped by
the movie taking
place during night. Even the indoor scenes are dark.
Giannone does manage to avoid the standard practice of
not showing the
killer's face until near the end of the movie. In fact, he show's the
face several times throughout the movie, cleverly showing the face in a
different way every time that, although we "see" it, we are still not
what Marz looks like until near the end. Aside from that, there is
of merit in the direction.
Threat Of A Sequel: There's a vague hint
of a sequel at
the end, but that ending could be interpreted differently by some
Since it's been 17 years since its release, and the video has been out
of print almost that long, I think we can breathe a little easier now.
Check for availability on Amazon (VHS)
Check for availability on Amazon (DVD)
Also: Rituals, Curse Of The Cannibal Confederates, Slaughterhouse