Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mum's Angry Bush: The Final Terror (1983)

The Final Terror (1983) (AKA Campsite Massacre, Carnivore)
Rating: ***
Starring: John Friedrich, Adrian Zmed and Ernest Harden Jr.

A good way to fully appreciate a backwoods slasher is to look for its other strengths besides its location. We all have been treated to summer camps being terrorized by a hunting knife-wielding maniac, or campers falling prey to redneck monsters, all in the sense of a survivalist situation most likely inspired by Deliverance (1972). So what makes The Final Terror (1983) a little special? Probably the fact it tries to be Deliverance.

It opens with random shots of nature; trees of every angle, birds chirping and wildlife doing their wildlifey things. A couple in a motorbike then wheels into scene, only to be later killed off by an unseen loonie, one of them through a spring-based trap I'm glad to call the Rusty Can Lids of Death!

Things continue after the credits with our assorted male victims, boot camp trouble-makers of sorts, in for an adventure holiday in the woods along with some ladies. The only thing wrong with this picture other than the fact I watching grown men singing three blind mice on their way to the woods, is Eggar, who hates them and is hated in return, tasked to go along since he's the only one authorized to drive their bus. After a prank gone wrong, the group later find themselves stranded in the woods, with Eggar missing and someone in a camouflage hacking people with a billhook.

Now, before you could say this might be just another backwoods slasher, well, you might be right; it has all of the tropes and trappings of the usual teen-terrorized-in-the-woods plot, though there's no denying the fact that Final Terror is a cheap production as there are problems with the lighting and the kill effects have their dodgy moments. There's also not enough exploits and murder in this bodycounter, with only one sex scene that also doubles as the film's bloodiest murder, yet with a good acting cast and set-pieces, this movie did pull off some rather distinguishing choices that may not leave that much of an impact, but I do appreciate nevertheless. What Final Terror lacks in gore, kills and titillation, it does make up with a strong focus on suspense and atmosphere, spending most of the the latter half trying to work a survival story in which our hapless victims have to outsmart the killer. It can be sluggish at times, but it entertaining for how moody it can be, even sporting a cool-looking killer and boasting some lush cinematography for its backwoods settings.

May qualify as average for some, but if you just have to rent something for a while and is in a pateint mood, The Final Terror (1983) is a good pick!

1 male found with throat cut
1 female slashed by can lid trap
1 male hacked to death with billhook
1 female found with throat cut
1 male had his heel cut with billhook and falls to his death
1 female impaled on a spiked log trap
Total: 6


  1. what? you really enjoyed this one? I thought it was crap. Far too boring, far too tedious, not enough kills and a super-confusing ending. Not my cup of tea.

    1. yeah, I can see where you're going with that. Them night scenes are a pain to watch...