Totem (1999)

Six people are trapped in a cabin surrounded by an invisible barrier that traps them. As they explore a nearby graveyard, they find a stone totem pole and then discover that the three demons trapped within are set to be released by their deaths.

The people in this cabin in the woods are Alma Groves (Marissa Tait, Witchouse), Paul Maglia (Jason Faunt, who was Red Power Ranger Wes Collins), Leonard McKinney (Eric W. Edwards, not the adult actor Eric Edwards), Tina Gray (Alicia Lagano), Roz (Sacha Spencer) and Robert Cole (Tyler Anderson) and they’ve all been given a mental message to seek out this cabin and all knew that they would find one another.

Once they find that cemetery with the totem, they also find tombstones that say that tonight will be the last night of all their lives, as their death dates are now carved in stone. Or marble. Or probably styrofoam with this budget.

That’s when Robert bursts in the room carrying a blood-soaked Tina, who speaks in another voice, giving us all the exposition we need: They are all part of a ritual in which three people will be killed and three people to kill them. With each death, one of the statues from the totem pole will come to life and at the close of the ceremony, the new age of blood and fire will begin.

There was also a family — we see their old book and photos early in the movie — who somehow survived this, but these twentysomething teenagers are way too ridiculous to live and must deal with statues and each other.

Written by Neal Marshall Stevens and Charles Band, Totem was directed by David DeCoteau to fulfill a contract. He was given the resources to make Voodoo Academy, but only if he made this film first. It’s really the first of his films where the elements of his current style are apparent. And by that I mean shirtless dudes in danger and sexual tension that you can cut with the stone claws of a totemic demon.

You can also see this as “Master of Death” on the Full Moon remix movie Horrific.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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