Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone! (1981) (Blu-ray/DVD)


“Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone!” is one of the Video Nasties that renders the slasher genre completely inept with a film that’s nothing but splatter fodder. And bad splatter fodder to boot. Representing the worst the slasher sub-genre has to offer, “Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone!” is bereft of a storyline, common sense, and even likable characters. The only two people that manage to survive our hobo serial killer are two of the most grating heroes pictured in the genre.

They do nothing but talk loudly when sneaking around, respond to traps the maniac has set with maniacally laughable reactions, and serve no purpose but to provide a lame end to a fairly unimpressive maniac. It looks like the director just threw a lot of crap on to a stunt man and set him loose on a movie without any suspense or tension. Four campers go out in to the woods despite being warned not to and are systematically killed by a machete wielding maniac. Meanwhile, other hikers and campers of note are murdered by the killer in various and laugh out loud methods including being strung up by their sleeping bags, and having their arms lopped off by an arrow. There’s even an utterly horrific insert of a child using an axe on the ground for reasons I can’t even begin to explain.

Perhaps the director is alluding to the beginning of another maniac, but who the hell knows? It’s all so pointless and lacking in terror. Even the lamest slashers have something to brag about in terms of special effects or performances, but “Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone!” garners none of these aspects. The cast are cannon fodder, the blood and amputated limbs are all ridiculous, and there’s no real resolution to the narrative. It just draws to a close with the credits rolling and no actual explanation about our killer or how he originated. How was he able to kill so many people without being found or hunted by the law? What inspired his rampage of murder? Most of all, why weren’t the bodies of his victims ever found? “Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone!” is a mercilessly dumb and tedious slasher cheapie, and one not worth the hype it’s garnered.

The Special Edition comes packed with a DVD Edition of “Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone!”, as well as a trio of commentaries with director James Bryan, actress Mary Gail Artz, and two major fans of the film. There’s an hour long production featurette featuring interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom are in their native homes. Director Bryan hosts. There’s a fourteen minute TV promotion compilation, and a thirty minute Autograph Signing Party with the cast and crew, all of whom celebrate the DVD Release from a decade ago. There are 64 Behind the Scenes Production Stills, 44 images and Press Artwork, and the Screenplay. Finally, there’s the original theatrical trailer in High Definition.