Victims! (1985)

If you remember the film Night Ripper! that we covered a while back, then you understand what you are getting into with Victims! It’s another film from Jeff Hathcock, who also was behind Streets of Death and the Troma film, Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell.

Four young girls go on a camping trip in the woods and are stalked by a pair of crazed serial killers. That’s pretty much all you need to know. Perhaps a more interesting story would have been what really happened when Hancock ran afoul of an actual devil cult while making this.

One of the killers, Robert Axelrod, would go on to play Lord Zedd on TV’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. So there’s that.

This is one of those strange breeds of film that want to have a feminist message, yet spends most of its running time showing women either being raped, killed or menaced by raping and killing. So it’s kind of hard to get on its message when it doesn’t even know what its message is.

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If I can chime in,  Sam.

Obviously, this SOV obscurity is not to be confused with the Kate Nelligan and Howard Hesseman (Dr. Johnny Fever? A rapist?) 1982 TV drama-movie, Victims. Which I did at first glance of this review . . . “It got Blue Ray release?” I said. No, it didn’t. That Victims “TV Movie” is on You Tube for free, by the way, for you Dr. Johnny completists. (Yep, just checked and it’s still there.) And I am shocked this SOV’er is seeing a Blu-ray release. Unlike most SOV filmmakers, Jeff Hathcock, as Sam points out, released four more films in quick succession between 1985 to 1992, before the ugly head of digital filmmaking rose up and killed off the 16mm and 3/4″ U-Matic tape formats — which is how a true SOV or backyard’er should be shot: microphone on the camera. Get that i-Phone-shot and Amazon uploaded tomfoolery out of here. I need the low-rez buzz n’ hum and fuzzy frames of a JVC VHS-C, Kodak 8mm video camcorder, and Sony Compact 8.

As for the SOV Victims!: Sam’s four-girls-campin’ sums it up: it’s a cross between Charles Kaufman’s Mother’s Day and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes, IMO, you know, R.D., the film critic you love to hate. Victims! was one of the many flicks that I rented under the ‘ol 5 Movies-5 Days-5 Bucks gamblin’ days of video stores where I planted in front of the TV every Saturday — and rode that FF button most times. Sigh. I miss those days. Reviews like this make me miss video stores. And as Sam pointed out in his review of Night Ripper!: you could shoot horror movies directly on video and they’d still get into video stores. And we loved those ol’ brick-n-mortars for it.

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