I recalled hearing about this movie in the past but never having seen it. Don't get me wrong, there wasn't a lot of talk about it but now I've learned that the film has developed a cult following among fans. It's amazing the number of films from the heyday of video stores that have begun to develop die-hard fans like this one.
The film opens with a group of military clad college age students fighting off another group that's led by someone in full on Nazi gear. We then discover that rather than walking into the latest post-apocalyptic film of the week that these are weekend warrior types armed with paintball guns rather than real weapons. Steve, the leader of the good guys here, made a bet with Casey, the leader of the other team. The winner of this matchup gets to take home Casey's girlfriend Jamie (Kelli Maroney). An independent woman of the times Jamie isn't too keen on how she's being treated but goes along anyone, in search of something new to do.
Steve and his group, consisting of two other couples, head to the country for a bit of fun in the country. When they hear screams and Jamie thinks she sees a woman running through the trees they discover a cabin in the woods. Checking to see if anyone is home they find the place deserted and make the decision to hang out there.
After much beer and several jokes are played they discover that a massacre has been taking place here and being filmed. Making the wise decision to get away as fast as possible they discover that their vehicle has been disabled and rush back to the house to take a defensive position. But as the night moves forward several of them are attacked and killed prompting them to try to get away once more. The Zero Boys will have to use all of the survival skills they developed as paintball champs to handle this situation and survive.
So plot wise there are a number of items here that make you scratch your head and say "Really?" That Maroney would allow someone to treat her as a trophy to be handed over to someone else is the first outlandish moment on screen. Then you have the funny man in the group of friends who just isn't all that funny. Toss in the fact that when this group comes across someone else's cabin and decides to take advantage of it without a thought and you get where I'm going with this.
And yet it all works. The movie is typical of films at the time, those quickly pieced together action films that didn't care about things like deeper plot devices. Instead it concerned itself with combining a group of attractive actors into a weird setting and having them bounce off action sequences on them.
The movie also does a good job of combining several genres of film here, predominantly the backwoods yokels horror films of the 80s. This combination of what has been called DELIVERANCE or SOUTHERN COMFORT for teens along with the horror genre and the teen flick genre pulls all of them together in a story that while offering little depth does give you enough story to remain involved with what is going on on the screen.
The movie also looks good for a low budget film from the 80s with some solid lighting (a definite must have for a movie that mostly takes place at night), decent cinematography and set designs that work well with the story. The cabin looks fairly modern while the barn outside where the killing goes on looks reasonably seasoned.
While all of the actors turn in standard performances it will be the fans of Maroney that will want to make sure that they have this movie in their collection. Always attractive she looks at her best here and there is little doubt those fans will find her lacking. But besides that she also gives a good performance as a character that could have been coy and hiding but instead is willing to join in the fray when the time comes. Add to that a special item of a recent interview with her and yes, those fans will be pleased.
Arrow Video once more proves why they are a company to be reckoned with when it comes to high quality releases of less than mega powered studio films. Some companies might have released this with little fanfare of loving care but not Arrow. The blu-ray offers a new 2K restoration approved by director Nico Mastorakis as well as the original stereo audio. The extras include an audio commentary tracks featuring Kelli Maroney moderated by Shock Till You Drop's Chris Alexander, an interview with director Mastorakis, that new interview with Maroney, a new interview with actress Nicole Rio, the original trailer, a stills gallery, a reversible sleeve featuring new artwork and a fully illustrated booklet written by critic James Oliver.
Fans of the movie can rejoice at this quality release of the film. If you're not acquainted with it you may want to at least give it a watch. It's fun, it gives you what all horror/action films of the 80s promised and it won't induce nightmares.
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