Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Final Terror

This is a bit of a Friday the 13th knockoff, but still a good movie. It was a starting point for what was to be some very big actors on down the road, including Daryl Hannah (Splash, Steel Magnolias, and Kill Bill), Adrian Zmed (T.J. Hooker, Grease 2), Rachel Ward (the Thornbirds), Joe Pantoliano (The Goonies). A bunch of forest rangers take a camping trip to a remote location that is practically untouched (even though there is an outhouse conveniently nearby). Mike is the head forest ranger and is planning on bringing his girlfriend Mel along for the ride and Mel brings enough female friends to suit all the rangers. Except Eggar of course who is not only the most annoying ranger there, but is also a complete lunatic that everyone hates. He's only really coming along to drive the bus and to meet up with the rest of the group when they make it downstream. Eggar bitches constantly, mostly about the location that the group has decided to camp near. On the way to the campsite, they pass an isolated mental institution and joke that that's Eggars old home. While unloading the bus, a can of peaches falls out of the bus. Eggar acts highly suspicious about it an quickly hides it. Their first night camping, the typical camp fire stories are told. Boone (one of the rangers), tells a slightly disturbing tale about the area once being a logging camp. The owner and his family lived the and one day the father dies. An uncle comes to take his place and he was a mean son of a bitch. One day he takes the daughter on a walk in the forest and rapes her. She of course couldn't tell anyone because the uncle was supporting the family. Due to having to keep all this inside, she started going crazy so they put her in the mental institution that they passed on the way to the camp site. While there they discover that she's pregnant. After having the baby, it's deemed that she is obviously too messed up to take care of the kid so he's adopted. 19 years later a man about 19 years old storms into the institution and demands to see his mother. The guy freaks and steals her from the hospital. Of course she's still too crazy and he doesn't know what to do with her, so he put her out in these woods so she could live in peace. So the story goes... Whenever anyone camps there, she sneaks into your camp and whispers to to you "who stole my lamb?". Soon the obligatory "Boo!" comes and everyone jumps. Eggar gets totally pissed and leaves the campsite. Leaving everyone with serious hopes that he's gonna be there to pick them up the next day. That night a joke is played on one of the rangers named Marco (Zmed). Dennis and Nathaniel convince Marco to be their lookout while they steal some dope from a nearby pot crop. They tell him to howl like a wolf every 45 seconds and to stop howling if someone comes. Poor Marco is left howling all night while Dennis and Nathaniel head back to camp. The next morning Dennis and Nathaniel admit that they left Marco in the woods and since Marco hasn't returned yet, he is presumed lost. Mike is pissed and makes Dennis and Nathaniel show him where they left him. While the others look upstream, Mike searches downstream. While searching for Marco, Mike runs into his girlfriend Mel and they take a break from the search for Marco to have sex in the woods. While humping, a moss covered "thing" stabs Mike in the back and kills him. Mel is dragged away, screaming. Still searching for Marco, Dennis and Nathaniel come across a shack deep in the woods. They investigate and find a raft that belongs to their ranger station. They go inside and find the can of peaches that Eggar was so protective of, they also find Eggar's hat. Sure that Eggar is staying there, they look around for more evidence. Aside from finding and pocketing a jar of magic mushrooms, they also come across the severed head of a bear and realize that Eggar is sicker than they thought. That night withMike and Mel still missing the rest of the group are sure that something is wrong. They decide to stay an extra night there and wait for their presumed lost friends. In the middle of the night a gray haired moss covered ( person, creature, thing ?) creeps into their camp and gently strokes the hair of one of the sleeping female campers. She awakes and freaks. While recuperating from her creepy encounter, a strange figure creeps up to the camp, luckily it turns out to be Marco... with a huge pot stash, completely having the last laugh. He's made to feel like shit because Mike and Mel are still missing while out looking for him. Vanessa, one of the female campers, is completely fed up with all the games and pranks, and storms off to the outhouse. Upon reaching the outhouse, horror sets in as she is greeted with Mikes severed head (guess she doesn't need the outhouse anymore). For the rest of the film, she's never really the same. Assuming Eggar is the culprit, they camouflage themselves up and raid his shack upon dawn. He isn't home so they steal the raft and head for the river. Just as they're leaving, you can see that there is a space below the floor and that the mossy figure is holding knife to Mel's face so that she can't call to her friends for help. As the group is heading down the river, you see a rock slowly begin to move. Not only is the moss covered figure able to completely blend into the surrounding forest, but is also following them. Out of nowhere, Mel's lifeless body is thrown onto the raft, her throat slit wide open. The group bury her and keep on trucking down the river. As they finally reach the bridge, the bus is there as scheduled. Assuming it's a trap, they wait till dark to approach the bus. Eggar is suspiciously not there. All hopes of driving themselves out of there are crushed when they look under the hood and find it trashed. The bus looks like a better place to crash than the riverbank, so they do so. Dumbass Dennis decides that the magic mushrooms might make a nice snack while everyone else naps. Soon they are ambushed by someone bearing an ax. They narrowly escape out the back window. While escaping, Wendy (Hannah) gets lost and out of nowhere, someone wielding a blade, slices her face. Luckily one of the other campers knows first aid and sews her up with what looks like fishing line. Here, we see a quick shot of Eggar at the shack, mumbling to himself "I told 'em not to go.", leading us to believe that he may not be the actual killer. After Wendy's mishap, they decide mutually decide that Eggar should die because he is assumed to be the killer. Upon morning, they forge ahead with plans to trap and kill Eggar. They find a huge downed tree revealing a large open space. Soon everyone notices that Dennis is acting awfully strange, singing to himself and droning on and on about Vietnam. Nathaniel tells the others about the mushrooms and needless to say, they are really pissed. Excluding him from the plans, they rig a log with spikes between two trees and set it with a trip wire. Marco calls out to Eggar and eventually he shows. When Marco shouts "Now!", the group jumps out and beats him to death. Before dying he calls out "Ma!". Soon the mossy figure climbs out onto the fallen tree and runs toward the group. While climbing up the tree stump, she trips Dennis and he falls and breaks his neckShe hits the trip wire and the log bearing the spikes comes down and impales her. The group just stands there in total shock. Surprise, surprise, the campfire tale was true and much closer to home than previously thought. The end. O.K. So it's a pretty predictable movie but still enjoyable. Originally filmed in 1981, it wasn't released until 1983 when the careers of Daryl Hannah and Adrien Zmed began rising. I'm not sure where this was filmed but the forest scenes are truly breathtaking. The night shots are a little too dark and hard to see, mostly because the low budget couldn't allow fancy movie lighting. I checked the credits and ironically Eggar's mother is played by a man. I couldn't find a trailer so I included the entire movie, enjoy!

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