Despite its title, “The Woods Have Eyes” has nothing to do with mutant creations as a result of nuclear war testing in a forest. Instead, this film pits a group of young men against a sadistic old redneck and his two sons.
For most of the film, it’s like the four kids from “Stand By Me” are joined with John Travolta’s character from “Grease” against the trio from “Orange County Choppers”. Now, if that has a warped enough image in your head, read on, horrorviewers!
On a summer camping trip, the boys of several different families decide to follow their guide, Joe, to the place only heard about in ghost stories…Cappy’s Cabin. Cappy (John Kyle) is a mountain of a man, and his two sons are equally massive. Clemmie (Adam Dunnells) suffered brain damage as a kid, so his dim wits cause the meeting between Cappy’s happy family and the wandering kids. Soon, the hunt is on as the vacationers run for their lives from the butcher and his boys.
TWHE is very well shot, and well casted, if not brilliantly scripted. Some of the dialogue is a bit brainless, but it’s easy to overlook this flaw in the film. The atmosphere is very believable (I’m sure there are insane rednecks in the woods, hell I’ve seen the county fair) and the sets, vehicles and props contribute nicely. The score from William Enrico and Vincent Rongone sets the mood well, save for the one twelve-bar blues tune that sounds more like Cheech and Chong’s “Save the Whales” than anything by Ben E. King. The use of the deep strings is great for tension and action, punctuating the finale’ perfectly.
All sorts of great assaults pepper the film’s action, including arrows, knives and even a wrench. The fight scene between Carmine (Anthony, not Eddie Mekka from “Laverne & Shirley”) and Clem features some great fisticuffs. The film is perfectly paced, adding human moments to the horror. TWHE offers as much suspense as gore, making for a nice trip through the woods.
The introduction to the scene features about fifty characters too many, but it leads to a shot of some topless girls, so I understand why it’s in the film.
DVD extras include a blooper reel (with gives director Indelicato as much screen time as anyone else) and a featurette on one of the movie’s stunts.