Receiving poor returns upon its initial theatrical release, the Canadian Survivalist Horror Film RITUALS is finally being released on DVD from CODE RED on DECEMBER 22nd. Hard to find on VHS, it has, none-the-less, become something of a cult classic (being included in Stephen King’s DANSE MACABRE, listing it as a MUST SEE). I happened across it some time ago in a now-defunct mom ‘n pop VHS/DVD rental shop and was blown away.
Here’s a brief synopsis from IMDB:
Five doctors go on vacation deep in the Canadian wilderness. After all but one pair of the party’s shoes disappear, the remaining shoed camper decides to hike out and go look for help. Soon after he leaves, however, his four companions realizes that something is very wrong when someone leaves a decapitated deer head just outside their camp. Even though they still don’t have their shoes, they decide to follow their friend’s trail out of the woods, but their path is blocked by someone who doesn’t want to see them leave the forest alive.
It has often been compared to Deliverance simply because it deals with friends on a river in the middle of nowhere with some backwoods maniac terrorizing the shit out of ‘em. I can see where the comparison can come from in that there are some superficial similarities, but I’d argue that Rituals is something of a more intelligent film and deals more with the breakdown of friendship moreso than the external terror. The recent copy of RUE-MORGUE magazine features the flick as it’s cover story (if you don’t read RUE MORGUE…WHY THE FUCK NOT?) and features quite a long interview segment with the stars of the film and the screenwriter. I’m really looking forward to this release and YOU can look forward to my full review when I get my hands on the DVD from Code Red.
More to come!