Sunday, March 4, 2012

Project Terrible: Don't Go Near the Park (1981)

Oh, Maynard, you shouldn't have.

You really, really, really, really shouldn't have. This thing was atrocious. This is not so bad it's good, this is just plain bad. And yet at the same time, it's way too easy to hate on Don't Go Near the Park. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Is it a bad movie? You betcha. Did I like it? Not at all - but I guess I can appreciate it's inherent charms as a bad movie. It's still a really bad movie, though, make no mistake.

So our movie starts 12,000 years ago with an ugly old lady in a cave cursing her children Tra and Gar. They were eating kids in their tribe to stay young, so their punishment is that they will never die, which makes no sense. They have to keep eating people to keep their youth until 12,000 years go by when they have to kill a virgin descendant of their tribe to finally achieve eternal youth.

Ugh, I don't even know how to write about this movie. It jumps so many time periods, brings in so many new characters, and changes plots so many times that it is extremely hard to follow from one scene to the next. First the story is about Tra and Gar, then it's about Gar (now named Mark) meeting Linnea Quigley and marrying her and knocking her up. Then on their daughter Bondie's - which is actually not a horrible name - sixteenth birthday, Bondie runs away after constant bickering between her parents because the father dotes on her more than the mother. After avoiding rape by some creeps in a van, Bondie runs into the woods and meets up with two other runaways, Nick and Cowboy, at an abandoned building in what is supposed to be a park but doesn't look anything like one. The kindly ugly old lady that takes care of these runaways is none other than Tra, now named Patty. Do you follow this at all? Me neither!

Let's put the problems with plot aside for now, because that could take days to work through. How about the acting? Believe it or not... it sucks! Part of it is a byproduct of stupid dialogue and an incoherent plot, and part of it is just plain bad acting. Both Quigley and the girl who plays Bondie have ridiculous scenes where they over-scream (it's like over-acting but with really stupid screaming) and make themselves look like idiots often enough. I kind of feel sorry for them. Mark, played by a guy named Crackers Phinn (BAHAHA!), is no better. His acting consists of looking all intense by keeping his eyes open wide while he delivers all his lines. He never smiles or even really moves any of his facial muscles throughout the whole movie. You know who I really liked? The old lady mother from the beginning. She was a hoot, and she had this strange voice that is now permanently stuck in my head.

This is a movie about people eating other people, so there's got to be some cool gore, right? Nope, not so much. When the bro and sis team kill their victims, they rip open their stomachs with their bare hands and eat the insides a little bit. But there is hardly any blood or guts, just some cheap bright red paint and bad-looking fake skin. There's a scene at the end where all the duo's victims come back to life and rip the two of them apart, but you don't get to see a damn thing. Oh, the final scene also has Tra and Gar shooting lasers from their eyes. Just thought I'd mention that...

As easy as it is to rag on just about everything about this movie, I can't get over the mishmash of a plot! This movie goes so ALL OVER the place that by the time the end finally comes, you wonder how in the hell it got there. I first started this review by trying to write out almost everything that happens to show how messed up the plot is, but that turned out to be way, way, way too long. The writer here obviously no idea what he was doing, and it's amazing that everyone else went along with this atrocious mess.

A movie quite befitting of the Project Terrible name, Don't Go Near the Park is totally screwed up from start to finish. It's occasionally funny in how bad it is and I can see how some people might get a kick out of it. Okay, I'll admit it, there were times when I enjoyed the movie's hokiness, but I don't think it's one I'll want to watch over and over again.


  1. Congrats, you made it through one of the stupidest movies of all time. You are a very brave woman and I'm really proud of you :)

  2. Well, it's good to know that someone was able to hurt you this round. :-)

    Seriously, I can't believe that 'Evil Weed' was not super bad. Oh well, there's always next Round.

  3. @Maynard: Thank you, buddy, I feel I deserve some kind of recognition for making it through this one - although, Manos the Hands of Shit, er Fate, was a lot worse! :)

    @Tim: Yeah, Evil Weed could have been so much worse. I mean, it was really bad but not as retarded as I was expecting.