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Hagen's Horror Haven


*Taken from the back of the DVD*

~This notorious sickie centers on two prehistoric cult members who abuse the secret of eternal youth... by cannibalizing children of their own circle! When their lurid exploits are discovered by the tribal Queen, they are damned to an eternity of old age, from which only random acts of gutmunching can bring the fleeting appearance of youth. Flash-forward to early 1980s Los Angeles, where the two lurk in a sprawling park, lying in wait to commit the ultimate atrocity and recapture youth: the sacrifice of a 16-year-old virgin, who happens to be of their own flesh and blood!~

-----Don't Go Near the Park, originally titled Depraved is a 1979 classic that has tons of gore, a good story line, and memorable characters that all make a great film expierence. You have plenty of chest ripping gore spread throughout the movie, as well as the classic late 70s sexual scenes (ala Last House on the Left). The 70s being said this film has the classic feel to it that all late 70s early 80s films have to them, making me wish that they could go back with newer movies and film it this way. The story is solid, with it making progression throughout the movie up to the climax. And their are some classic characters that remind you of other films which makes this film even more memorable.

While this movie did have alot going good for it, there is one issue that keeps it from attaining that ellusive 5 star rating. There are multiple scenes, usually directly after a intense gore scene, where the villians become younger. These scenes in other movies at the time were rarely done, and that is for good reason. They are very long, too long, and kills the pacing of the film. While if they had done this near the begining and showed us how they regenerate, I wouldn't have had a problem. But, there were at least 4 or 5 of these scenes, all being the same painful length. After the first time you see it, you understand the process and don't need to be shown again and again how it is done, when it takes way too long to see. While a minor quirk, still a flaw and does not attain perfection in my book.

This movie is a little treat that I didn't know existed, with scream queen Linnea Quigley and art direction by Robert A. Burns (Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Re-Animator). If you run across this movie, pick it up, take it to the register and purchase it immediately. Treats galore!

- Jeff Hagen -

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