Don’t Go Near The Park (1981)
Directed by: Lawrence D. Foldes
Written by: Lawrence D. Foldes/Linwood Chase
Amateur acting? Check. Plot that moves in dog years? Check. Music that cuts off mid-note with each edit? Check. Killing young children in brutal ways and eating their entrails on screen? Double check.
This is one of the strangest and worst Nasties I’ve seen so far. (For those of you counting, it’s my 15th.) It involves two ancient people who have had a curse put on them: they will never die, but always age. In order to maintain their youth, they must kill and eat the innocent. The innocent, of course, being young kids. The first victim that we see is about 13 or so. And there are younger ones after that.
Then we find out that the male killer (Crackers Phinn…Crackers. Fucking Crackers. That HAS to be a fake name to keep SAG off his back…but I can’t imagine that SAG would have let him in) has to have a child in order to break the curse. He meets a woman (Linnea Quigley from Return Of The Living Dead) and has a little girl who turns 16 all in about 10 minutes. (The “courting” bits are pretty hilarious. She’s scared of this strange guy who bursts into her bathroom while she is taking a shower. Then she hardly sees him until he shows up while she’s checking out the room that he’s renting from her. Then they’re married.)
Writer/director Lawrence D. Foldes and co-writer Linwood Chase don’t give kids an easy time of it. One kid, Nick (Meeno Peluce who was in the pilot for W*A*L*T*E*R…and no one else remembers that M*A*S*H/Radar spin-off, either) runs away from his mom towards the park screaming that he’s never coming back. The mom just gets in her car and drives off! Of course, he’s picked up by the female killer (Barbara Monker) and, strangely, taken in as a kind of foster son. She also has a kid named Cowboy (Chris Riley) there. Don’t ask.
The daughter, Bondi (Tamara Taylor who made a living being an extra after this…usually a reporter of some kind), is as dumb as the day is long. She gets in a van with the Bang Brothers expecting to not get raped. Then she just inherently trusts fucking EVERYONE!
The end of the movie has some voodoo shit going down, including Zod-like laser beams coming from eyes (!), Bondi swallowing a pendant that’s twice the size of her mouth (lucky for Cowboy that she can do it) and, of course, child zombies. And then the kids are saved by a creepy dude who has taken a strange interest in young Nick. He just happens to know exactly where they are.
A less convincing horror movie I haven’t seen in a long time. The gore effects are pretty awful. (That first 13 year old victim apparently has the most wrinkled chest of anyone under the age of 60.) The writing is subpar even by Nasty standards. And the acting is the worst community theatre style. And there’s a dog named Starshine!!
For extra nudity, check out the extended/extra scenes. Including one scene that basically makes the whole bit about Bondy needing to be a virgin a moot point. Whoops!
This is pure MST3K stuff. In fact, if they had done R-rated movies, I’m sure this would have been one of them. Highly recommended for people who love to make fun of movies.
Foldes, by the way, is still working. He directed a couple of movies with Exorcist alums (including Jason Miller’s last film, Finding Home, in 2003) and an Ernest Borgnine/Richard Roundtree movie called Young Warriors. Why? Why?! WHY?!?!
LOW POINT: Laster beams from their eyes? Seriously?