“Once you know what you know, you act on it.”
Opening scene, E.G.O: Ernie’s Growth Opportunity. “Thank you for sharing with me.” At 5PM, a group of locals appear to be graduating into a cult and ready to take on the world. Afterward, an old lady in a neck brace offers a young man and woman from the group a ride home. They accept and along the way the car breaks down so Neck Brace Lady pulls over and takes a look under the hood. While she’s busy diagnosing the problem, two men appear. One of them chops off the young man’s head through the window with a sword while the other yanks the woman out of the car. They beat her till she crawls over to Neck Brace Lady and begs for her life. Neck Brace Lady chokes her to death with a rope or a wire or something. The two boys are her sons.
Wolfbreath College-1970: A slideshow montage narrated by flaky college girls. They wonder where they’ll be in ten years.
Ten Years Later, Beverly Hills: A lavish pool party... Jump to Chicago: A women walks into her apartment to the bitchy screams of her offscreen mother calling her a slut and accusing her of whoring around... Jump to New York City: A woman comes home to a message on her answering machine from her mother. She is then grabbed and thrown onto her bed... By her boyfriend. He’s gonna stay at her house over the weekend while she’s outta town. He’s the second guy I’ve seen do coke in this film so far.
Jackie picks her two old college buddies up, Abbey and Trina on the side of the road. They stop by the last gas station for beer. Jackie asks the creepy attendant how much farther to Deep Barrens Wilderness and of course he warns her not to go and of course they go anyway.
They arrive, park, and follow a trail. Night comes so they make a fire, get stoned, roast marshmallows, and the pranks ensue. They reminisce on the time they played a prank on a jackass named Dobber that Jackie was seeing in college. That was the night they became the Rat Pack. Jackie has always been pushed around by men. They continue to talk around the campfire as a POV from the woods watches.
In the morning, Abbey wakes up first and goes for a hike. While walking, a hand reaches out of the bushes and grabs her ankle, it’s just Trina. These girls are quite the pranksters in your typical 80’s fake jump-scare fashion.
They go back to the campsite and the three of them jump in the lake naked, boobage! But the POV in the woods is back and now there’s two of them. Guess who: Neck Brace Lady's sons, Ike and Addley.
Later, Jackie catches a big ass trout that feeds the three of them then it’s night again as they lay in their sleeping bags around the campfire having a little heart to heart. Then comes the for real jump-scare as the brothers attack. They tie them up over their sleeping bags and take them home to Mother. 80’s Slasher flicks always played The Boy Who Cried Wolf with the viewer. They trick you with each scare until you assume it's just another fake-scare, and then they dump the real danger on you just as you thought you were safe.
Ike and Addley put the girls into a room so they can display them for Mother, then lead Jackie outside on a dog leash. They go through a series of role-playing that ends in Addley beating and raping Jackie while Mother watches. Trina and Abbey can hear everything while Ike snaps pics on a Polaroid, the original Instagram.
In the morning, the brothers make breakfast, which consists of Nestle Quik, Cheeze-whiz, and a bucket of cereal. There’s an assorted random pile of crap food on the coffee table while the tv plays. They go to feed Trina and Abbey, but Trina keeps talking back, which is not doing her any favors.
After breakfast, Ike and Addley have a goofy backwoods training montage while Mother watches and eggs them on.
Back in the room, the girls are no longer restrained, but they’re not making a run for it either. The brothers start beating the shit out of each other so Abbey lowers Trina down in a sleeping bag by rope. Once free, Trina runs back upstairs to free Abbey, who cut the shit out of her hands lowering her down.
While looking through the house for Jackie, they find the severed head of the dude from the opening scene inside a closet along with the dead blonde hanging from the inside of the door. They finally find Jackie in a big drawer, who’s in pretty bad shape, but alive. The brothers catch the girls on their way outta the house, but are interrupted by Mother’s screams. The girls make it to the forest, slowly, on account of having to carry Jackie. Trina goes for help while Abbey stays behind with Jackie. Damn this Rat Pack is loyal! Trina makes it to the car, but the brothers have already sabotaged it.
Night falls and Trina runs into a cop, but it’s actually Ike in disguise. She kicks him in the balls and makes a run for it. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque forest chase is on! She finds a place to sit still and hide then spots an intimidating looking rock, but instead of grabbing it and saving it to bash Ike’s skull in when he approaches, she just guns it where she thinks he is. Luckily, he’s a fucktard, and makes a leap at where he thinks she is, resulting in a ridiculously long Family Guy-esque roll down a steep ravine.
Trina goes back to Abbey, but Jackie is dead. This is about the right time to Final Girl up if they wanna survive, which is exactly what innocent Abbey with the fucked up hands plans to do.
Addley and Mother are back at the house playing Yahtzee or some shit. Addley wants to chase the girls with Ike, he also wants to know the truth about his Aunt Queenie. Mother makes him promise that he’ll never leave her.
The girls wrap Jackie up and continue to carry her. They find a place to put her and now it’s time for revenge and survival.
The family is shunning Ike for losing Trina. As they turn on each other is the perfect time for Trina and Abbey to get their revenge. Addley goes to the door alone so Abbey stabs him through the neck with a car attenna and Trina claw hammers him in the balls. A lot of blood comes out too. Abbey gags him so he’ll die silently.
As they drag his body outta the house, Ike comes crashing down in some kinda pro-wrestling swan dive from the upper level. As he attacks Trina, Abbey grabs a can of Drano and shoves it into his mouth (Drano was a motherfucker in the 80’s). Ike goes after Trina (At this point, I wish Trina’s name was Tina, especially in 1980), still foaming and vomiting, but Abbey is waiting around the corner with the tv set she drops on his head, which electrocutes him. As they leave, Ike is back, and grabs Trina’s ankle for the final scare so she reaches and grabs an electric knife off the counter and finishes him.
Now for Mother. In what looked like it was going to be an odd plot-twist, Abbey says she’ll take care of her, like she always has because she’s her daughter. At first I thought she was gonna turn out to be the long lost sister, instead, she suffocates her, vicariously killing her real mom, the bitchy offscreen voice in Chicago.
Mother jumps out for one last scare, freeze frame, The End.
Afterthought: This film came out about five months after Friday the 13th so any similarities are probably not a coincidence. However, unlike Friday, this film came out nowhere near Mother’s Day. The more I look back on this film, the more I like it. It’s kinda like I Spit on Your Grave with less rape and more friends. The first 15 minutes made sense once I realized that the pool party was Trina’s party, the bitching mom was Abbey’s, while Jackie was the only one with a clear introduction cuz her boyfriend actually said her name and then she picked up the other two girls in the next scene. The E.G.O. part still doesn’t make sense other than just a elaborate shitty way to introduce Mother and sons, but 1out of 4 is better than 0.
There were three runners up for the Badass Bitch Award: Abbey, Trina, and Jackie... And the winner is Abbey! This film was made in 1980, so the Final Girl trope was still just blossoming. Jackie was the assumed Final Girl, based on being the first named and picking the other girls up, but then she died first, which would have been clever had it been done on purpose to trick us, like Scream did with Drew Barrymore. Trina was second up, because she was loyal, talked back, and always came back for her friends. She was the most capable. It wasn’t until the end that Abbey went from good girl to badass. She kills Mother, almost as a throwback to Chicago with the screaming mother, revealing the hell she grew up in and wrapping up and tying a nice little bow around this film.
What did we learn? Survival Tips:
1) Listen to the crazy old man at the gas station!
2) Don’t go camping without a gun, and keep the gun in your sleeping bag. Sleep with a holster.
3) Watch out for bear traps!