Inspired by true accounts and the craze that took place in the late 1970's and early 80's, follows in the footsteps of classic horror films from that generation. In 1980, ten year old twins Toby and Cindy Richards were abducted by a group of demented satanic cult members. Cindy managed to escape, but Toby was never found. Twenty-five years later, a group of six friends take a canoe trip to re-kindle their friendship, only to find themselves in trouble with crazy, small town locals and the same satanic cult that took Toby years ago. Can the friends make it out of the town of Thornwood alive and in one piece, or will they become victims of sacrifice?
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Selz, whose last attempt at filmmaking was one of the worst films ever made (The Rockville Slayer), actually manages to improve somewhat with this incoherent mess of a movie. Selz and co-writer Karl Sundstrom (who performed some of the music on the Rockville Slayer soundtrack; this was a smart promotion all the way around) weren't sure what they wanted to do with this flick, so they made it a kind of Satanist potpourri. But it still makes more sense than The Rockville Slayer.
The movie opens with a pseudo-documentary segment that's hysterically bad. Either the guy being interviewed is a terrible actor, or this isn't pseudo-documentary footage, and instead of taking the best interview and putting it in the movie, they took the worst. After that (which, by the way, has no real connection to the rest of the film), we wander into the "based on true events" portion of the film. And like most filmmakers, Selz is willing to see how far he can stretch the word "based" and get away with it. But I get ahead of myself. We start off with a pair of siblings being kidnapped by a Satanic cult in the seventies. The sister, Cindy (portrayed as a child by Halloween's Nikki Taylor Melton, as an adult by Catherine Dughy in her first feature) escapes as her brother, Toby is being sacrificed. Fast-forward ten or so years, and a now-adult Cindy is out to face her demons by going camping in those same woods with some friends. Not that the friends are going to be much help. Karen (Lockout's Cyn Dulay)is desperately ill, and plans to reveal that to the group while on this trip; her condition is causing her relationship with her husband some rocky patches. And then there's... erm. The other woman. My memory is failing me, and there's so little information about the movie outside IMDB (memorable quotes would probably have helped, guys...). In any case, her boyfriend is an idiot stoner who manages to screw up everything he touches. (There's more to that, but we'd be getting into spoiler territory; we're already halfway through the film as it is.) Now, you know as well as I do that we wouldn't have a movie if those same Satanists weren't still running around in those woods...
As an homage to the Satanic panic movies of the seventies and eighties, it's actually kind of nifty (or would be were it not for that opening bit). If you turn your head and squint right, given that Selz nails all the ingredients for a good Satanic panic flick, you might be able to play off the bad acting here as a tribute to, say, Greydon Clark's Satan's Cheerleaders. (Dulay, who's proven her film worth a number of times over, is the only solid actor in the cast; Dughi's got potential, but needs to work on it a tad more.) And there is actually a storyline to go with the gore effects this time around. Some of those gore effects are pretty good, too, in stark contrast to Selz' last movie. Another few movies and Selz may actually make something good. For now, I'll be pleasantly surprised with borderline-watchable. **