REVIEWED BY-STEVE GENIER DIRECTED BY-JOHANNES ROBERTS CAST-NICOLE PETTY, TOM SAVINI, SHAUN HUTSON, DAN VAN HUSEN, DANIEL MACLAGAN and RICHARD CAMBRIDGE. SOURCE-GATLIN PICTURES/AMERICAN WORLD PICTURES DVDR SCREENER
Like a horse just out the gates, director Johannes Robertsí vision is relentless from start to finish. Shedding an atmosphere hungry to claw itís way through your shattered nerves. FOREST OF THE DAMNED revamps visions of classic horror films from across the board, fusing them and giving them a much edgier look and feel. One canít help but see comparisons like FRIDAY THE 13th to the EVIL DEAD, there are just so many different aspects of this film that showcase somewhat tributes in one way of another. Everything from itís eerie night scope cinematographery to the established presence of horror icon Tom Savini, every piece is given itís rightful place in a very complete puzzle. For the world is about to feel the terror of an all new evil, one that simply wonít give up.
There was once a forest where evil dwelled in the form of female nymphs. Of course at first their stunning naked beauty draws you in like an erotic adventure only dreams brought. Dreams though can end up a bloody nightmare, and in this forest the beauty quickly turns into the beast. Roaming in the dark shadows of the trees, quiet and sleek they stock those who are lost and certainly warm blooded. As five young adults are soon to find out. After hitting a mysterious woman on the dirt road, they are stranded as their van has broken down. In need of dire help for the injured woman, three of the young group decide to search the near by woods for a house or some kind of help. Of course splitting the group up makes it all that much more simpler for the beast to prey on itís victims. As the group of three make they way through the woods, one of them decides to investigate something else as the other two search a nearby house. A house that holds and later yields a much stranger secret. As the night grows darker, five lives will either live or succumb to the evil the forest holds.
FOREST OF THE DAMNED has many things going itís way, of course the simple fact that they have casted someone like Tom Savini to sell itís image. That of course is not the only aspect here though, beautiful naked women, a great storyline as well as some very impressive acting all give FOREST OF THE DAMNED the right elements to become the next big step in modern horror films. Like a fairy tale in the tradition of the brothers Grimm, this film gives you a dark spearing taste of a legend without polishing it into another Disney adventure. Once you go into those woods, there is certainly no happy endings here. Roberts has given us a very dark gothic like trip, some of the most impressive camerawork as well as the gory special effects. Though itís not just gory effects that are display, even the effects of the nymphs will give you the chills. We just talking when their not even mad, wait till they put on their hunting outfits, those eyes are enough to make you run for your life, if you have enough time. You look into those eyes, you are seduced and then your blood flows.
With the obvious presence of Tom Savini, one that is only a brief encounter, but deadly, there are several others in this cast that really show up big. The two main actors Nicole Petty as Molly and Shaun Hutson as himself really display some powerful scene presence. Especially in the very tense, very stressful scenes dealing with Tom Saviniís character of Stephen. They both give very raw performances that really highlight the overall drastic feel of the whole film. Something that many other films lack, something that is very important to carry a film feel. Sure I can tell you that many will judge this film on Savini and the naked girls, but there is much more balance in this film then that.
FOREST OF THE DAMNEDís look and feel are the most important element for the selling of this film and it shows in each and every scene. Some very claustrophobic night scope scene that give you a true sense of realism as well as a mind numbing terror. With only eyes visible, you still donít know if what you are looking at is one of the group or evil. Of course that is if you already know that there is nobody else but yourself, or at least that is what you thought. Pure terror is generated throughout FOREST, something that is crafted with complete professionalism. Many of you know or have seen Johannes Robertsí other projects like HELLBREEDER and DARKHUNTERS, but FOREST is certainly a much more complete film, one that will surely prop Johannes up to a high new level. All the gore, the nudity, the lesbianism and a famous face in FOREST OF THE DAMNED only give an already great film that works that extra push. For what I hear FOREST OF THE DAMNED will make itís way to dvd this coming October/November 2005, being released in the UK. Certainly something to keep your eyes open for, by donít look at it directly as it maybe your last action before you die!
4 BITCH SLAPS
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