(aka "Terror in the Forest " )


directed by Don Jones
USA 1982


Two couples decide to get away from the congestion of L.A. and go camping (not having been privy to the opening sequence in which another hiking couple are knifed by an unseen killer). Having had a battle-of-the-sexes argument about women in the wilderness, the wives drive up first with the expectation that there bickering husbands will join them in a few days (they are actually following close behind). Taking shelter from the rain, the women first encounter a ghostly apparition of a woman looking for her equally ghostly children (allegedly cute child actors who have been secretly observing the pair who first alert their knife-wielding, flesh-craving father to the presence of campers and then decide to warn the soon-to-be-victims).

From then on, we're in slasher territory with a bit of supernatural novelty and not-so-special special effects. Sadly, the film has little else going for it. Shot on location, the lighting is what you would expect of a low budget horror film shot on film while the sound design is ridiculously upstaged by overuse of bobcat roars. The killer (Gary Kent billed as Michael Brody due to SAG rules) does not stay an unseen menace for long (he doesn't even get that impressive of a reveal). An early nonsensical spin on the "let's split up" convention of slasher films has a couple hiking in the middle of the woods. The woman is sure they are being followed and is nervous. Despite the fact that the husband wants to get going before nightfall, the wife says "I know the way too, why don't I go ahead of you" and he lets her go ahead solely to hang back and be murdered. The electronic main theme starts out effectively before taking a Disney-fied turn and the rest of the score is keyboard stalking and some bad early eighties vocals (especially "The Dark Side of the Forest" which will have you fast forwarding).

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 1982 (USA)

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DVD Review: Code Red DVD - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:25:57

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.64 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Don Jones and Stuart Asbjornsen
• Audio Commentary with Don Jones and Gary Kent
• Promo Trailer (1:06)
• Photo Gallery (1:50)
• Cast & Crew Interviews (13:01)
• DON'T GO IN THE WOODS trailer (4:3; 1:07)
• SCHOOLGIRLS IN CHAINS trailer (4:3; 2:03)
• DEVIL TIMES FIVE trailer (16:9; 2:15)
• SWEET SIXTEEN trailer (4:3; 2:03)
• SECRETS OF SWEET SIXTEEN trailer (4:3; 2:15)
• BEYOND THE DOOR trailer (4:3; 0:27)

DVD Release Date: 7 November 2006

Chapters 12



Although shown theatrically, this film was shot for the home video market (on film) but the widescreen compositions seem okay. The dual-layer anamorphic widescreen transfer probably looks as good as the film can (the softness of some shots is the result of the lenses which also exhibit flare during some bright shots). Despite this film's shortcomings, Code Red has given the film the special edition treatment even if the back cover undersells the extras. Although the back cover only lists the commentary with director Don Jones and actor Gary Kent, the disc actually features a second commentary as well (listed first in the menu) with Jones and cinematographer Stuart Asbjornsen (the cover also does not mention the promo trailer, cast & crew interview segment, and other Code Red trailers including FOREST director Jones' SCHOOLGIRLS IN CHAINS).

Strangely, an actual trailer for THE FOREST (seen at the start of some other films distributed by Prism Entertainment who released THE FOREST on videocassette in the eighties) is not present. The cast and crew interviews are actually two interviews: the first with Jones and Absjornsen (with very poor quality video and audio) and an interview with Kent (better video, okay audio). The short Promo Trailer on the disc is a poorly edited highlight reel of a sort but is of value since it was probably what was used to interest potential distributors. The audio commentary with Jones and Kent is entertaining and informative (several actors used pseudonyms because of SAG rules except for Stafford Morgan who apparently got into trouble for appearing in the production).

 - Eric Cotenas


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Code Red DVD

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