Friday, February 15, 2013

The Geek (Backwoods) - 1987

The Geek
A secret hidden by time that will reap its horrible revenge.

Director: Dean Crow
Writers: Dean Crow, Charles Joseph
Starring: Jack O'Hara, Dick Kreusser, Brad Armacot
Music: Skeet Bushor!
Rated: R for Wanton Chicken Decapitation, Gratuitous Stupidity

Today, I'll be reviewing the 1987 backwood thriller The Geek (also known as Backwoods) This is one of at least 3 movies I own called Backwoods. Before I begin, enjoy the incredibly thorough IMDB plot description - A hillbilly father and his idiot son terrorize and murder campers.

Not only is that really brief, it's not even accurate. I'll be a bit more thorough. 

Karen, outgoing, nature loving girl takes her med student boyfriend Jamie to the woods for a couple of days of hiking action. They head into the woods and make a quick stop at the Ranger Station. Now for some reason they tell the Ranger they're siblings, but ten minutes later, they're getting nude in a tent, right away I have no idea what is going on with these two. Why would you tell a someone your boyfriend was your brother? Before they leave they get a stern warning from the Ranger to stay out of the uncharted part of the woods, so Karen and Jamie promptly head straight into the Certain Doom Woods.

So we watch twenty minutes or so of footage of these two hiking. I've never gone hiking, but from what I gather, hiking seems to consist of two parts. 1) Walking. 2)Making a tent. So they walk for a while, and they make a tent. This apparently takes an amazing amount of time because once the tent is up, it's dark. How far did these fuckers walk? So, they eat, partake in some fornication, and get some sleep while the camera outside the tent lets us know, someone is watching. 

The next day they are waken up by the sound of a gunshot. Outside, about 50 clicks (that's a hiking term, right?) North East of the tent stands a overall clad man, shotgun in hand, towering over a little girl laying on the ground. The girl, we find out is Beth, the daughter of Eben aka the man in the overalls. Her neck has been mauled by something...or someone (gasp!) and the shot was fired to scare whatever....or whoever (gasp!) away. 

It's around this point humans in this movie start saying and doing some really stupid things.

Jamie starts to treat the girls neck gash, and for no apparent reason Eben cocks the gun and presses it against his head. Then, also for no apparent reason, he lowers the gun, and offers them food as thanks for helping his daughter. Despite the fact this man just kind of threatened to kill him with a large gun, Karen is able to convince Jamie to follow Eben to his house.

They eat, and share stories and moonshine with the odd and offputting Eben. Night falls, but instead of getting the hell out of there the second Eben passes out, they stick around until the next day. Not sure why, maybe to make sure Beth doesn't die, I guess. While Jamie and Eben take care of Beth, Karen heads to the lake for a bath. As is the case most of the time a woman bathes in a lake in the middle of the woods, she's soon being chased half naked by a retarded drooling guy. She runs to Jamie, and Eben smashes The Drooler in the mouth, ending his pursuit. As you can guess from the plot description this goon is actually Eben's son William, the Geek. They don't specifically mention what is wrong with William, but he doesn't speak and he really enjoys decapitating chickens with his teeth.

Per a drunken agreement made the night before, Jamie and Eben go coon hunting. You'd think going hunting with a bi-polar drunk and leaving your attractive, frequently topless, compassionate girlfriend near a deranged, violent simpleton who lives in a shack 200 feet from the house would be on the bottom of this guy's list of things to do. Nope.

While the men are off hunting Karen plays with Beth for a while and for some bizarre reason decides to take William some flowers. It's sweet of her to feel bad for the guy for being retarded and all, but this plan almost immediately backfires when William attacks her. Again. He attacks her because the man is a geek, he enjoys killing chickens with his teeth, what did this dingbat think was going to happen? Karen is able to get away, but soon after this attack The Geek goes apeshit, starts stalking and eventually attempting to kill her. Again. She manages to escape into the woods, now she must outrun William before he ends her life.

Spoiler Alert -

The rest of the movie is pretty much her running through the woods and eventually fighting back. I loved that when it came time Karen killed this guy and made sure he was dead. One of my horror pet peeves is the person who obtains a weapon, hits the murderer with it one time, and bolts. Some disgruntled maniac killed everyone you know with an axe, so you hit him one time with a stick and run away - what the hell is that? Not this chick, after trapping him with a MacGuyverian net made of fishing line and hooks she savagely beats him Heavenly Creatures style with a large rock in a sock, then for good measure she jams a lit road flair down The Geek's throat. This fucker is done for.

End Spoiler Alert

Anyway, this one is pretty slow moving, with a low body count - unless you count the chickens. If you do, this movie is a bloodbath. There's not a lot of action, but the acting better than you usually find in these kind of movies, even if the characters still make the same borderline retarded decisions we are used to. If you can handle the leisurely pace of the first hour, the finale is actually pretty tense and exciting. I'll go 6/10 on this one. It's no Just Before Dawn, but it's not quite Don't Go In The Woods.


Jayson K said...

Damn, I've never seen that poster art before, a shame it seems no video releases use it.

phelpster said...

Yeah, they actually did a remarkable job with William's likeness in this one, looks just like him. Not sure who that woman is though...

Anonymous said...

Also..... Jamie becomes a Geek at the end of the film

Sirhikealot said...

They do specifically mention what's wrong with William. Eben says he was viciously attacked by the family dog when he was 2 years old and the assumption is he incurred severe brain damage.

phelpster said...

Just seeing this comment now, years later. I must've missed when they said the part about William being attacked by the dog. Thanks for pointing that out to me.


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