It’s been said time and time again that some movies are so bad, they’re good. While “good” wouldn’t be a word I’d associate with Woods of Evil (it is evil, after all), it’s pretty entertaining in its low-budget ineptitude. From cliches like crazy old men warning of danger and women spraining their ankles as they flee to gaffes like blinking corpses, boom mikes and crew members reflected in mirrors to perhaps the fattest killer in cinematic history (Shouldn’t mass murder be a good workout?), there’s plenty to enjoy… with ample hooch.
The story is actually solid: a trio of hoods kidnap two rich girls for ransom and hide them in a cabin in the woods. Evil woods. How evil? Well, a killer roams the area doing what killers do: roamin’ and killin’. He doesn’t have a name, a motive, a backstory or frankly even a place to live (Maybe he’s pissed off because he’s homeless?), but he has a knife and isn’t afraid to use it. The cast contains a significant amount of black actors — thanks no dout to black writer/director Conrad Glover (in a fairly rare instance of a black filmmaker helming a non-all-black horror movie), who plays Ray, the sympathetic kidnapper who doesn’t want to kill and rape the girls (at least, not in that order).
Apart from Glover and fellow ‘napper Paco (Jaime Velez), the acting is uproariously atrocious — particularly on the part of the distraught parents, who all sound like the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” lady. Check out the death scene of the old man (who serves no purpose other than to warn people of imminent death, only to die himself), who sounds more like he’s taking a dump than getting stabbed. The gore is decent for such budgetary constraints, but it feels like they just ran out of money and decided to cut the film short, leaving a myriad of questions: Who is the killer? What about the kidnappers’ accomplice? Where did the female cop investigating the kidnapping go? Why didn’t they just gag the annoying, smack-talking girls? Why am I not drunk yet?
In the end, Woods of Evil is the best kind of camp: unintentional.