Rituals (1977)

“In a World Turned Suddenly Savage, the Answers Have Become – Brutally Simple!” Of all the blatant Deliverance-type rip-offs, Rituals (AKA The Creeper) is one of the best. Five doctors – “Harry” (Hal Holbrook), “Mitzi” (Lawrence Dane), “Martin” (Robin Gammell), “Able” (Ken James) and “DJ” (Gary Reineke) – head out for a camping trip deep into the Canadian wilderness where they are stalked by an unknown entity. It’s an entertaining, often disturbing thriller/horror/slasher flick all in one that features some great scenery and a couple of strong performances, particularly from Holbrook and Dane. The version I saw included some interesting commentary from Dane about the making of the film, which was directed by Peter Carter (High Ballin’), and why it bombed at the box office (it was one of those notorious Canadian “tax shelter” productions). Rituals was filmed on location at Batchawana Bay in Ontario, Canada.

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