Two campers Sharon and Teddy are terrorized in the deep dark woods of the California wilderness by a cannibalistic knife-wielding madman. Teddy is killed but Sharon manages to escape. That same night their boyfriends, Steve and Charlie, take refuge in an old cave to protect themselves from the storm. There they meet the killer an old man wearing a beat up old baseball cap named John. He tells them the story of how he walked in on his unfaithful wife and her lover. He killed them both, and gathered his two children and ran off into the forest. Unfortunately, his kids got sick and they committed suicide. Since then, he has developed a taste for human flesh and will kill anybody who trespasses on his territory. The next morning, Charlie is drowned and prepared for the killer's breakfast. He then goes looking for Sharon, who has, unbeknown to him, teamed up with the ghosts of his two dead children. The maniac chases Sharon but just as he's about to kill her his ghost kids save her. He runs off into the wilderness to find the wounded Steve, who has broken his leg. Can Sharon save her boyfriend in time?
Besides the eerie feeling of this movie, and the plot, the movie really didn't offer much. I did like the back story on the man and the children and thought the way that sub-plot was worked in was good. The scene where the guys were (unknowing) eating their friend was pretty classic itself. Since it was a typical 1980's in the woods slasher I really enjoyed it. The opening scene was the best, it's too bad that it was also the bloodiest. Otherwise, the directing and the acting was pretty good. Some of the chasing scenes were very well done, and pretty intense-- some of the better parts of the movie.
The movie had some really dull moments, and the cast (aside from ) weren't very likable, and I thought the ghosts of the kids didn't really fit into the movie. That addition didn't really hurt the movie per se, but it simply made the movie into more of a supernatural movie than a maniac in the woods movie. I also did not care for the ending, as it was not carried out very well and very close to being lame, to say the least.
Code Red did a great job with the DVD though with remastering, cut scenes, featurettes, and commentary, it's worth having as a slasher fan. It's not the prototypical slasher classic like Friday The 13th and never will be, but it is a solid slasher with everything we love-- blood, cannibalism, really bad characters and really ditty girls. When I got this movie and popped it in, I was instantly drawn to the television, even during the slowest parts I never blinked an eye in fear of missing a beat-- it's just one of those horribly bad movies that just has this appeal because of it's cheesiness (like Don't Go In The Woods... Alone!). You also gotta love those 80's slashers with their own cheesy/bad theme songs.