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Action / Adventure / Horror / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


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Lawrence Dane Photo
Lawrence Dane as Mitzi
Hal Holbrook Photo
Hal Holbrook as Harry
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
913.74 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S ...
1.66 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BaronBl00d7 / 10

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Hal Holbrook and four other doctors take their yearly vacation off in the deepest woods for uninterrupted fishing and camping. Once there strange occurrences begin to happen. All their boots are stolen. A deer is slaughtered and strung up with a snake crawling down its leg like a caduces. Someone is out there and someone knows these guys are doctors. Well, differing personalities and breaking points get the better of the men. Doctors begin to die...usually through no fault but their own in the beginning. Later the few survivors are hunted and (some) killed prior to reaching the film's resolution. This film is a little diamond in the rough of bad, pointless horror films of the seventies. It has some truly inspired moments of terror. It also has some truly disturbing moments. The deer scene is one such scene, and another scene is where a head of a previous killed doc is mounted on a pole ala Macbeth to greet the surviving doctors after their sleep. The image is horrifying as is the realization that the lives of the living could have been had at any moment by the hunter. Director Peter Carter is good at keeping the pace of the film moving and tight. The editing is the biggest problem as needless cuts and cutaways seem to be all over the place. They may be cuts made for the video distribution way back on the Embassy label. What really separates this film from a mindless slasher film is the heavy use of characterization throughout the film. We just don't see nameless doctors killed, but they are real people with real problems. Each character can be described in more than just appearance. Holbrook gives a very credible performance as a man who has a strong ethical base. Lawrence Dane does a likewise job as a man with a low breaking point. All the acting was very credible. The ending of the film is somewhat slapdash and some things just dont fit perfectly, but budgetary constraints appear to have been at fault for this little Canadian production. Despite, as an earlier reviewer noted, Siskel and Ebert giving it two thumbs down, I enthusiastically recommend the film as an entertaining suspenseful horror film.

Reviewed by Woodyanders8 / 10

A very potent and effective, if rather flawed and uneven Canadian "Deliverance" clone

A quintet of physicians played by a motley assortment of middle-aged actors with varying degrees of prestige -- the inestimable, slightly out of his element, but still very fine Hal Holbrook, unsung Canadian B-movie favorite Lawrence ("Scanners," "Happy Birthday to Me") Dane, Robin Gammel, Ken James and Gary ("Muder by Phone") Reineke -- go hiking into "The Cauldron of the Moon," a beauteous, but remote Ontario, Canada wilderness area. The five M.D.s are soon stuck in the woods and have their very lives jeopardized when a hulking, vengeful, deranged hayseed (the hairy, enormous and extremely imposing Michael Zeroy) steals their boots, thereby rendering them helpless and vulnerable. Moreover, the docs are placed in a richly ironic position that's in striking contrast with their profession: Instead of saving lives they now have to take them so they can continue living.

Peter Carter's rather erratic direction of this low-budget Canadian "Deliverance" variant runs hot and cold throughout: the opening third suffers from draggy pacing and an overabundance of tedious talk, but a goodly amount of nerve-jangling suspense is expertly developed and sustained, the final confrontation between the beleaguered doctors and the berserk backwoods nutjobs qualifies as the kind of potently visceral gut-tearing stuff the worst nightmares stem from, and the shockingly sudden outbursts of brutal violence posses a certain raw, almost primal power (the scene where Holbrook self-cauterizes a gushing, potentially fatal femoral artery wound with some gunpowder and a match -- ouch! -- is sure to make you wince). The uniformly stand-out acting most definitely carries the day as well, with particularly praiseworthy turns by a game, unexpectedly fit'n'physical Holbrook and the grossly underrated Dane. Although it's pretty rough around the edges and far from perfect, "Rituals" nonetheless still rates as a gritty, absorbing and harrowing entry in the once prospering, now sadly defunct "Deliverance"-inspired "Hey Bubba, let's go kill us some pesky cityfolk" action/survivalist evil hillbilly movie sub-genre.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca10 / 10

Extremely frightening back woods horror

I've always had a special affinity for backwoods slashers. Films like Friday the 13th and THE BURNING were among the first horror films I saw, and I love them to this day. On the other hand, I also really enjoy the low budget lost-in-the-woods type films, of which THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT is undoubtedly the most popular. The late '70s/early '80s seemed to be a really good period for gritty, real-looking wilderness horror yarns, and this one makes fantastic use of the Canadian wastes and forests as an isolated setting. RITUALS combines elements of both films, presenting a POV stalker a year before HALLOWEEN, and it also happens to be one of the best darned films I've ever seen!

British director Peter Carter is a man who knows what he's doing. I have no idea where he got his inspiration from, but he turns this film into a truly frightening experience by relying on the atmosphere throughout. There are false scares or jump scenes; instead, just eerie shots of a distant figure watching on the horizon or a deer's head mounted on a tree. Suspense and tension escalate throughout the movie and by the end I could hardly breathe, wanting to watch and find out what happened, and at the same time wanting to switch off, wanting NOT to know. I can't believe just how atmospheric this film is: the bleak locales are a character themselves. This film reminded me of the creepy fiction of Algernon Blackwood, who utilised the same surroundings to the same effect in The Willows and The Wendigo.

The film is even more affecting thanks to the realism and believability surrounding the characters. There's no show-off acting here, just five men trapped together, gradually fraying each other's nerves until they're barely alive, dehydrated, almost dead in the hostile surrounding. Holbrook takes acting honours; before, he was just that guy with the cockroaches in CREEPSHOW; now he's an actor I'll watch out for in every film I see. He's that good, and the other guys are too. Dialogue is written with an ear for how it really sounds, so it has that documentary feel to it.

As for the horror...sure, it's slow paced, but when it comes, it's real. The head-on-a-stick scene is one of the most horrifying I've witnessed and in this single moment, RITUALS is more disturbing than the whole of something like WOLF CREEK. The river scene made me cringe, and the whole set-piece of the climax is also particularly gruelling, reminding me of a similar moment in Craven's THE HILLS HAVE EYES – which ironically came out at exactly the same time as this film. Speaking of other movies, I think the producers of the Rambo trilogy got a few ideas from this flick, with Holbrook's red bandanna and the bit where he cauterises a wound with gunpowder. All in all, RITUALS is that rarity: a cheap, low budget, entirely affecting and truly scary horror yarn. One for the collection.

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