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3.5 out of 5 stars
The Final Terror (Bluray/DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2014
This is regarding the Scream Factory release from July 2014, not the sorry excuse for releases that came out before. This is a nifty little film, that's part backwoods urban legend slasher and part wilderness survival. The beautiful redwood forest and assured direction provide a really tense, creepy atmosphere that is missing from most of the Friday the 13th knockoffs. This isn't sheer cinematic brilliance, by any means, but you could do worse on a Saturday night where you feel like getting spooked. The acting is also top notch by a cast of soon-to-be-veterans. I would have liked it to be about a half hour longer with 2 or 3 more deaths, but it's fine the way it is. Definitely worth a first or second look, as Scream Factory has worked wonders on a film where the original prints have vanished.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2006
As a kid I remember seeing this in about every video store in the horror section alonside other 'classics' like Slaughter High,Scarecrows,The original The Hills have eyes and of course, Don't Go In The Woods. If you are reading this review then you know what I am talking about and the old time video stores with that musty smell and and fun it was on the weekends to get some horror movies. To me, as long as it was set in the woods or had an old house/barn or even a scary field then that is all I needed to know to make my choice.

The Final Terror has all the elements of a good horror movie. I don't even mind if this formula has been done before. It has a group of campers going into a very dark forest with a crazed bus driver. They pass by a mental institution on the way that only gives it more of an edge with your mind wondering of the possiblities of someone maybe getting out of the asylum and into the woods. You have a campfire tale that talks of a crazy person roaming the woods that enforces the idea even more. Of course you have the character that gets a prank pulled on him and he stays in the woods all night howling like a wolf(you have to see this prank...a highlight of the film) that they later look for and that splits up the group for when the inevitable happens.....the leaders are the first to go leaving the others to fend for themselves.

Then you have some great moments of tension including many false scares where the music builds up only to have someone they know tap them on the shoulder or something. Some of the best moments are when two of the guys go into a shack in the woods where they find out their food/raft and equipment has been hidden at and that the bus driver is the one that lives there. They find some very disturbing things in there and take off running back into the woods!!! You also have the very scary bus scene that I won't give away.

Bottom line is even if this did not have future big name stars in it then this would still be what I would call an essential movie to watch for fans of movies like this. If you are a fan of newer movies with big budgets and special effects then this will most likely disappoint you. For others who want a movie that let's their mind wonder what could be next then this is for you!!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2006
I remember seeing this movie in the late 80's when it was taped off of HBO. I've always been a fan of this film, because I think it has alot to offer, but if your talking in terms of DVD status, it dosen't rate so high. Im glad to see this was put out on DVD for others to check out, but its sad it got such bad treatment. The video quality is probably worse then the VHS version. It looks like to me they took the best copy on tape, and converted it to DVD. Its definitly not "remastered". It would have been nice to see it in its widescreen format with cleaned up audio and sound, but not so with this one. In fact, because this movie didnt exactly burn up the charts, you probably will never see a special edition or any other version then the one currently out because there just isnt enough interest in this film. The DVD also lacks any features, commentary, ect. Also no artwork insert either, but mine did come with $50 in coupons!
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2005
Let me just start by saying that I DO like the film(it is what it is)-but this DVD release is crap!Hmmm..let's see..It's basically worse picture quality than a rough VHS transfer,it has about 4 chapters,the audio volume changes throughout the movie and there are no extra features.

I viewed a DVD from a friend who purchased a copy of this film off ebay,unfortunately it was an obvious bootleg,however it is sad to say that the quality of THAT transfer was far superior to the commercial release...Hmmm,emkay.Makes no sense to me.

I guess my point is if you like the movie,buy the Amazon release,but if your expecting a quality DVD,don't.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2008
This is one of my all time favorite "killer in the woods movies, and it is really a lost gem. The main characters are played by Darryl Hannah, Rachel Ward, and Joe Pantoliano! I can't believe more people haven't seen this film. It ranks up there with The Burning as one of those great early 80s teen horror movies with a big cast of actors who later went on to make it big in mainstream hollywood. Another cool thing is that the plot is not one of the those formulated slasher films that is completely predictable. There are actually some original ideas here!
The only thing that I found inexcusable is the DVD transfer quality. It is awful, worse than a VHS!! The sound is bad, the picture is blurry at parts and dark, just poorly done! The original movie is not like that. I originally watched this movie on VHS made by Vestron Video about 20 years ago and the picture and sound are fine. Shame on these jerks who manufactured this cheap knock-off DVD. This film deserves a deluxe treatment!! If they put out a good edition a lot more people would probably buy it.
But all in all, I would still recommend this film. The DVD is still worth 10 bucks if you don't mind poor picture quality, or just buy one of the VHS copies still floating around. Somebody will eventually reissue this film if it sells.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2001
Young Daryl Hannah, Joe Pantoliano, Adrian Zmed, and Rachel Ward are campers in the woods of Northern California who turn survivalist when they realize that there's a killer in their midst. Nothing terrific, but worth a look, if only to see the latter-day stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2014
Every month I grow more and more amazed at how many great slasher films I missed growing up. My constant reminder is Scream Factory as they continue to churn out one restored 1980s slasher film after the next. The latest pleasant surprise to get the high-definition treatment is 1983’s “The Final Terror.”

A group of young campers travel into the wilderness to perform community service. After getting settled in at their remote site, the group is left by their bus driver to get to work. After a hard day of labor, many of the workers explore the woods. One by one, the bodies start piling up. Someone is slaughtering the group and, with no way out, it looks like they’re left to fend for themselves from an unseen evil.

“The Final Terror” is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an old-fashioned slasher thriller where there’s a nutcase in the woods taking out sexually active pot-smoking teens. What makes it work is the fact that it’s very survivalist-based. The campers are thrown into primal situations where they either do what they have to do to stay alive or die. Another reason it works is because of the time period it was made in and its setting. The group is isolated out in the middle of nowhere and not only do they not have cell phones, but the technology wasn't readily available yet.

The death scenes in “The Final Terror” are rather convincing. The movie has a certain “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” charm to it. It feels like it could really happen and puts you in the middle of all the mayhem. The most intense moments occur when the bodies are found. You’d think the director didn’t tell the actors where the corpses were on the set and they just ran into them by chance. Their reactions are very believable and it’s where we get to see the most carnage.

The movie features two actors in the early stages of their careers. Adrian Zmed plays a studly rebel who wants in on the pot crop two of his associates are looking for. The role foreshadows his future career playing the same type of cocky, party animal characters he did in “Bachelor Party,” “Grease 2,” and other movies of the era. Daryl Hannah plays a teen who just wants to make the most of her time off from community service by hanging out and smoking some weed. Joe Pantoliano (“The Matrix,” “The Fugitive”) plays the creepy mechanic / bus driver that leaves the group stranded in the wilderness.

The Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack for “The Final Terror” was built from several different film elements. I give the restorers props for going to the trouble I know they went through to piece together this edition of the cult classic. I would imagine it looks as good as it possibly can for what the actual film footage went through over the years. There’s a lot of lighting flicker, but it adds to the low-budget independent atmosphere of the movie. We’re treated to a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono transfer as far as the sound goes.

“The Final Terror” is rated R for graphic violence, gore, language, sexual situations, and nudity. The bloodshed is highlighted many times when the bodies are found, although there are scenes of violence present onscreen. The sex scene is what you would expect from a slasher film released in the early 1980s.

Scream Factory packs “The Final Terror” Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack with plenty of entertaining bonus material as expected. Actors Adrian Zmed and Lewis Smith, Post Production Supervisor Allan Holzman, and Composer Susan Justin all provide interviews. Director Andrew Davis delivers audio commentary for the feature film. A theatrical trailer is included as well.

Although it’s rather predictable and plays out the way you figure it will, “The Final Terror” still holds the viewer’s attention and deserves respect simply because of its storytelling process. You know what’s going to happen, but the journey to get there in this case is worth the trip. Great location shooting, solid camerawork, and convincing practical effects are the icing on the cake.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The 1980s and slasher movies, this combination is just about as iconic as peanut butter and jelly. However, I am not going to provide a primer on this matter. In contrast, I will take this opportunity to discuss the early 80s slasher/thriller "The Final Terror". I have to say that I am still confused by exactly what was "the final terror" in this movie, but I digress......

In this film a group of teenagers go camping in the woods and soon realize they are not alone as a foreboding force stalks and attacks them. I realize this is not the most original premise and slasher movies, especially involving the woods and camping was not a fresh idea in 80s cinema. Yet with that stated, I really enjoyed this movie.

First and foremost, there are quite a few named actors and actresses in this movie such as Rachel Ward, Daryl Hannah, Adrian Zmed, Mark Metcalf, Lewis Smith and Joe Pantoliano. However, this was basically the first movie most of these performers had ever been in. Therefore, it is really neat to see where their careers began. As for the acting itself, it isn't too bad for a horror movie. There isn't much in the character development area, but that isn't too shocking for a horror movie.

I feel it should be noted that this movie doesn't have buckets of blood and gore. In addition, the kill count isn't the highest I have seen in a horror movie. Oh and there really isn't any nudity in this movie either. Are you still there? I know for many horror fans what has just been noted is blasphemy. Yet, if you are like me and know that all horror movies come in different shapes and sizes you might love this flick.

I think the saving grace to this film is the atmosphere. The backdrop of the woods is both haunting and beautiful. The cinematography really did a great job imprisoning this dualism. The movie also has a bit of a slow build to it. To be perfectly honest, I found that at times the pace of the movie lagged a bit, however not enough to ruin the viewing experience. In all honesty, I enjoyed this movie more than "The Burning" which I found to be an overrated film.

As for the picture quality on the Blu-Ray/DVD pack by Shout Factory, I would say "color me impressed". Apparently SF used six different copies of this movie in order to provide the best presentation possible, since apparently the original materials have been lost. So given the fact that the original negative was not used, the picture looks pretty darn good. There is some dust, scratches, cigarette burns and flickers, but the colors are clear and the images are rather sharp.

However, it should be noted this movie is well over thirty years old and was an independent/low budget film so don't expect eye popping high definition to jump off the screen. I have to be honest; the ruse of putting so many old, obscure horror films on Blu-Ray is a mixed bag, mainly because the grit, grain and non-high definition is part of the charm. After the countless old films I have seen transferred to Blu-Ray (ranging from the 1940s to 1980s) I see a very pale comparison to films that were originally shot in HD. Nevertheless, the image for this transfer is great and clear; just don't expect 21st century graphics and clarity.

As for the extras there are two mini documentaries. The first is with post production supervisor Allan Holzman and composer Susan Justin, which runs about twenty-two minutes. I found this feature to be very interesting, not only about the making of the movie, but the movie business with regards to independent film making in the early 80s. The second documentary, rather two interviews with actors Adrian Zmed and Lewis Smith. This feature was also pretty interesting having the insight from these two gentlemen about their experience making "The Final Terror". I will always have a soft spot for Adrian Zmed, since I absolutely loved his performance in "Grease 2" (yes I love that movie) and T.J. Hooker.

In addition, there is the original trailer/preview for this film and a director commentary with director Andrew Davis (who also director 1993's "The Fugitive" which also featured Joe Pantoliano). I haven't listened to the commentary yet, so I can't comment on it. Overall, I strongly recommend this movie to individuals who love 80s horror movies and have a nostalgic place in their heart for a style of cinema that just isn't produced anymore.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 26, 2008
This movie was made in our hometown in 1981 in our National Park called Stout Grove. I remember several local people that worked on this movie giving credit to the late Irene Sanders, who played a cook keeping watch on food supplies, and also including my brother Aaron, and a handful of my father's chickens were also in the movie. This movie stars Adrian Zmed, Daryl Hannah, John Friedrich, Ernest Harden Jr., Cindy Harrell, Joe Pantoliano, Lewis Smith and Rachel Ward. This was before they were household names. My brother made most of the props on the set, and got to know quite a few of the members playing in this movie. This film was filmed mostly in the dark, or at dusk, so some of the movie in my opinion is too dark to see. This was a very low budget movie and I believe that's why it's so dark. That way you don't have to pay so much when you can't see much! Anyway, I would say this has to be the poorest made film, although we get a kick out of it, since it was made in our area (Crescent City, California). The acting isn't that bad, but the lighting is what makes this movie so bad. This movie is not recommended for young viewers because of the killings (although there's not much blood to see, there's violence), and also there's a sex scene on the river bank during daylight hours. Good for a stormy day, worth a one time watch.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2001
Making a review for this movie isn't so hard. In fact, the movie is so simple and goes right to what he's made, to scare people, and do very well. Teenagers goes to the woods camping and one by one are kill by an mysterious murder. Some scenes are well made, and thinking about you could be there in all that darkness, that's scare you. Of course this movie is just fun, don't waste the money, in case you want to buy, but it's worth it if you're looking to rent some horror movies. Again, it's very simple, and the final isn't all that twist some new horrors movies have, but it deserve respect, being different from other ones. Good acting are showed when people are in dangerous moments, you can note they aren't "artificials" like most of horror movies out there, they do exactly what is the most common to do in that moment, and this is all about the movie. The sound (almost doesn't have music) fit exactly in this type of movie and the landscape isn't beautiful, more claustrophobic. See it once and you won't be disapointed, see it twice and you start to get bored.
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