This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
Intellectually speaking, I know for a fact that director James Bryan and his crew didn’t just grab a bunch of random props and kit, stroll off into a forest in the Rocky Mountains, and shoot Don’t Go In the Woods… Alone! on a completely improvised basis. But fuck me, does it do absolutely everything in its power to convince you that that’s exactly what they did. The plot, such as it is, goes like this: random people holidaying in the mountains get murdered by a killer (some sort of dishevelled wild man played by Tom Drury and credited only as “Maniac”) in little vignettes. Interspersed between these vignettes we get what would, in a conventional movie, be our main plots – a group of young hikers strolling around on a walking holiday, and the local sheriff (Ken Carter) and his deputy (David Barth) investigating the mayhem that’s kicking off out in them hills.
Eventually the hikers, the killer, and the lawmen cross paths and something resembling a plot unfolds itself for the viewers’ benefit, but goodness knows the process of getting there is awkward and haphazard. Whilst some filmmakers have been able to do great things with a $20,000 budget, a cast and crew with more enthusiasm than competence, the best you can say about this one is that it’s an absolutely fascinating disaster, with cheap gore effects and bad acting being the order of the day.