The Evil Woods (V)

ZOMBIES GONE WILD, S.I.C.K, GREEN RIVER KILLER—every year, one film rises up and coagulates like an oil slick of rendered fat in the cinematic melting pot that is my DVD player. Every year, one film gets a distribution deal which forces me to question my belief in the justice of the world even more readily then when I read stories of convicted pedophiles winning the state lottery. Every year, one film tests the very limits of my patience and frays the microscopic threads of my remaining sanity with its utter ineptitude. This year, THE EVIL WOODS looks to be that inglorious film.

The plot as best I can describe it is about a group of teenage friends who head out into the woods for a weekend of drinking, doping and debauchery. This unholy quintet of meat puppets is comprised of: The whipped stoner guy, his uninteresting and unsupportive girlfriend and a pair of moronic sex kittens involved in a threesome with inarguably the most obnoxious character I’ve seen in a film in a very, very, very long time.

Once the gang sets up camp they run into a local mountain-type man who decides to regale the dimwits with a spooky fireside story. This one involves a Park Ranger who, tired of the mess that drunken, doped up and debaucherous denizens were making all over his hallowed grounds decides to axe them all into itty bitty pieces.

I’ll bet you’ll never guess what happens next?

Actually, that’s the trick, because for about an hour, nothing happens next! That’s nearly 60 minutes of a possible 83-minute running time where we have to watch this group of amateur actors spout inane dialogue that is amazingly credited to a screenwriter. Never have I been so utterly convinced that everyone was just making it up as they went along.

The choice utterances of this clan consist of repetitions of the same core group of phrases. Obnoxious guy shouts all of his single-sentence-dialogue like it’s a punchline to a joke by the world’s least respected comic. On top of that, the script is peppered with more F-bombs than a 24-hour marathon of GOODFELLAS. But my favorite scene comes when Whipped Guy finds out his right-rear tire is flat. He exclaims “Dude come here…check this out” then moments later while Obnoxious Guy laments the flat, Whipped guy discovers the left-rear tire is also sans air. His next line is…wait for it…wait for it…OK. “Dude, come here…two flats!” Pure genius! Who writes this stuff? Oh, I know this one. Jason Melling wrote this film! If I were Jason, I’d reconsider my career path.

The direction from Aaron Harvey is hardly any better but he does manage a few interesting camera set-ups when the kills finally kick into gear. Also, you should know that all the kills are off camera. So, if somewhere near the 63 minute mark, you suddenly thought that the gore was gonna make it all worth sticking through, you’re gonna be extra pissed off.

With bad writing, a languishingly slow pace, almost zero blood shed, poor—and at times seemingly purposefully grating on my last nerve—performances and virtually no sparkling direction to speak of, there is just absolutely nothing to recommend about this flick—unless you’re looking for something to hold you over till the next Ulli Lommel film arrives to challenge THE EVIL WOODS in a grudge match for worst film of the year.

Official Score