MVD Visual // 2009 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Gordon Sullivan // June 22nd, 2012
It's Midnight Movie Madness with Candy Adams, your hot, super flirty horror host.
So called "torture porn" seems to be the last original-feeling movement in horror film since the dawn of the twenty-first century. Since then, filmmakers have been going back to the well with things like found footage films (the blockbuster Paranormal Activity) or exorcism films (which haven't done quite as well, as films like The Rite demonstrate), with the occasional international injection of scary stuff. It shouldn't be much of a surprise then, that horror filmmakers are digging deeper than ever into their past to find fright material. It's no surprise then that a film like Kids Go to the Woods...Kids Get Dead has been made; it's aimed squarely at those who grew up watching slasher flicks on late-night cable, complete with horny horror hostesses. Without fond memories of such activities, Kids Get Dead might fall flat, but for those with similar memories, the film is a fine romp.
Do I really need to go into the plot of Kids Go to the Woods...Kids Get Dead? I didn't think so. It's exactly the plot you'd expect from the title. The only surprise is that the film goes for a late-night cable vibe. The flick starts with a very TV or video-looking commercial (like we're changing channels) before Candy Adams (Carly Goodspeed) appears to introduce us to the film. As the "plot" unfolds, she makes sporadic reappearances to comment on the action and crack weak jokes.
No one could be more surprised about this than me, but Kids Go to the Woods...Kids Get Dead is actually not an awful movie. Of course, no one is going to win an Oscar for their performances, the plot contains not an iota of originality, and the effects are limited by a budget that might get you a fine used car. Of course. However, it's rare that a film of this type and budget succeeded to handily in what it sets out to do. Kids Get Dead hopes to evoke those famous early slashers. Nods to flicks like My Bloody Valentine and numerous backwoods slasher flicks abound, and Candy Adams is a pitch-perfect nod to all those actresses who were hired more for their cup size than their hostess skills on late-night TV.
Kids Get Dead succeeds first by offering exactly what it has to for fans to enjoy. There's quite a bit of nudity, deaths at regular intervals, and enough gore effects to keep hardcore horror fans happy. More importantly, Kids Get Dead strikes exactly the right tone throughout. It's not a super-serious attempt to make a horror flick; this isn't "torture porn" territory. No one is really trying to scare anybody this time. Just as importantly, it's not a wink-wink-nudge-nudge joke fest the entire time either. Yes, the film is obviously intended to be funny -- as Candy Adams' appearances make clear -- but this is not one of those low-budget horror-comedy films that try to be "wacky" or make a joke in every scene.
This DVD of Kids Get Dead is a respectable affair for a low-budget horror flick. The 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer is clean and decently detailed. It appears to have been shot on nonprofessional equipment, but colors are fine, and black levels are surprisingly deep. Digital artefacting and other issues don't come up despite the sometimes-dark nature of the frame. The film's audio does fine with the dialogue and music, though there's nothing special about the track.
Extras start off with four short behind-the-scenes featurettes that go over specific scenes and show how they were filmed. Then there are three deleted scenes, and a gag reel. It's not a lot, but other than a commentary I can't see what fans would miss.
Of course, the opposite could be said about every element I've highlighted. It just so happens that Kids Go to the Woods...Kids Get Dead tickled my funny bone and slaked my thirst for horror nostalgia. I'm left with the feeling that if I'd put the film on at a different time or with a different audience, it all might have fallen completely flat. Instead of mildly amusing, Candy Adams' interruptions could have been childish and annoying. Or, instead of being charmingly simple, the plot could easily be seen as tired and overly simple. The nudity, rather than being sexy or at least amusing, could be seen as a desperate attempt to keep people watching. What this really boils down to is the fact that Kids Get Dead will likely not appeal to everyone, even throwback horror fans.
Kids Go to the Woods...Kids Get Dead is so much better than it has any right to be. Fans of throwback horror can give this one a rental and be assured they'll either have a good time laughing with the movie or at it. Those without fond memories of late-night cable should probably steer clear.
Not Guilty. The kids in this flick get what they deserve.
Review content copyright © 2012 Gordon Sullivan; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: MVD Visual
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Gag Reel