Victims! (1981) Olive Blu Ray Review

Posted July 10, 2017 by in Horror

Rating

Our Score
 
 
 
 
 

1.5/ 5

Length: 76 minutes
 
Release Date: 1981
 
Studio: Slasher Video / Olive
 
Genre:
 
Director:
 
MPAA Rating:
 
 

Pros:

The film will be seen for the first time by a lot of people now that it's been resurrected for high definition.
 

Cons:

Jeff Hathcock's film is vile, trite, and incompetently shot. Olive's release looks and sounds terrible. The audio commentary on the disc is the worst I've ever heard.
 
Verdict

Synopsis: Four young girls on a camping trip in the woods are stalked by a pair of crazed serial killers. Review: The general aesthetic of the slasher horror film can be a very simple one: A few characters in jeopardy, a generic setting, and the stalker / slasher who chases them down. Jeff Hathcock’s ultra […]

by david j. moore
Full Article

Synopsis:

Four young girls on a camping trip in the woods are stalked by a pair of crazed serial killers.

Review:

The general aesthetic of the slasher horror film can be a very simple one: A few characters in jeopardy, a generic setting, and the stalker / slasher who chases them down. Jeff Hathcock’s ultra grimy and bare bones Victims! is a textbook case of a filmmaker without any talent that went and shot a film with his own money on his own volition and tried to create something on a shoestring that he thought would work. The concept is as trite as it gets: Four nubile young women go on a camping trip in the desert, are raped and harassed by some psychos in the desert, and try to escape. That’s what you get. He shot the film on 16mm film over a period of two weeks or so, and came up with a product that took him four years to edit and do post on, and he sold it to a VHS distribution company in 1985. The film languished in virtual obscurity in its clamshell big box VHS form until the guys at Slasher Video thought to resurrect it and bring it to DVD and blu ray, courtesy of Olive Films.

Here’s the thing: There’s a niche market for Victims! and other films of its ilk. It resembles stuff like Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave, but it’s a different breed, almost entirely. There’s a certain skill and purpose to the two movies I just mentioned, but watching Victims! and listening to the audio commentary with director Hathcock and Slasher Video’s Jesus Teran provided on the disc made it resoundingly clear that Hathcock is a guy whose work is best left undiscovered. Victims! is an ugly, thoroughly misogynistic and hateful film, and listening to his own words on the commentary track only reinforces how he views women, particularly the actresses he used in the movie. Only women are victims in his film, and as he periodically discusses his opinions of women on the commentary you soon understand that Victims! is his own fantasy of what’s going on in his mind. It’s shocking and frankly kind of disgusting.

I admire that Olive Video has been distributing these long lost video movies onto high definition disc, but to be honest there must be more quality control with the Slasher Video titles. Victims! is presented in extremely low-fi audio and visual quality with blurred imaging, grainy audio, and quite honestly the absolute worst audio commentary I’ve ever heard in my life. The moderator is uninvolved, and only occasionally brings up a question to director Hathcock, who mostly ignores the prompts. When Hathcock decides to speak, he has absolutely nothing interesting to say, aside from the gross and lewd comments he makes about the actresses in the film. At one point Hathcock decides he’s had enough and he walks off the commentary and never returns, leaving the moderator alone to finish the track. The fact that the commentary remains as a special feature on this disc is appalling. I listened to the entire thing, gob smacked at the ineptitude of Hathcock as a filmmaker and a human being. The commentary track should have been reviewed and nixed before this disc went into print, but I could also same the same thing about the film itself.

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About the Author

david j. moore
david j. moore

david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars.