Thursday, August 13, 2015

Films in the Attic: The Final Terror (1983)

Films in the Attic: Exploring less known or talked about films just waiting to be re-discovered.
By Gorehound Mike Vaughn

Title: The Final Terror
Year: 1983

I gotta be honest and say if not for Scream Factories release of this film I would have never heard of this 80s horror film. And since i`m being honest the title and cover really doesn't do justice for this back woods masterpiece.

Plot: A small group of military men wrangle some R&R with there girlfriends and some other friends. Driving them is Eggar (Joe Pantoliano) who clearly has some issues and warns them to steer clear of the wooden area. However they do not heed this and go on to have some fun. Things go not so well when a camper goes missing. Soon it becomes a fight for survival and only the strong will come out alive.

The opening wastes little time in offering a juicy kill (which is well done) yet you might be mislead and think this is a run of the "kill" backwoods slaughter fest. Don't get me wrong, fans of the red red kroovy will not be disappointed but if your looking for a body count film, this is not one of those, and its all the better for it. While on the surface this seems like a typical teen camping slasher fare the added element of the back woods survivalist gives it a fresh update on the "tired" and true horror standby. The Final Terror also boasts a wonderful gritty,dirty and savage back woods feel that coats every frame. The shooting locations really adds an air of equal parts beauty and dread that really sucks you into the story and the characters plight.

Like the plot the cast is refreshingly good and many have gone on to do major film and television. Mark Metcalf (Animal House) Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill,Blade Runner) Joe Pantoliano (Matrix,Bound) and Adrian Zmar (T.J Hooker,Grease 2) round out the players.Its hard to judge Ms. Hannah's performance as sadly they don't have her do much more than look pretty. Joe Pantoliano however seems determined to chew all the scenery he can get ahold of , it is way out of place to the other more natural acting styles but its something you can forgive and Joe has gone on to do much bigger movies and wisely has dropped the over the top bit. The rest of the cast are very good and are much better actors than your typical slasher fare. Take for example when the group find a body, it has to be one of the most realistic reaction put on film. I know that sounds horribly over stated but it really is well directed and acted.

Its a real shame that "The Final Terror" has all but been forgotten about, lumped into the hundreds of horror and slasher films of the decade. While other less well made films are the ones that get talked about the one different film gets pushed aside. I`m glad that with the blu/dvd release maybe it will finally find an audience. If you`ve not seen it yet, I recommend it

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