When the final moments ruin The Final Terror

final terror cover

For years, I’ve recalled that I didn’t love The Final Terror when I saw it on cable back in the 80s, but I couldn’t remember why. I’ve finally watched it again and discovered there are plenty of great backwoods slasher elements to the film that could have made it a classic. For instance:

–        The opening kill rox. It includes a dead body drop shock and an implied death by a tin can lid booby trap.

–        A scene immediately after of a bunch of hot young shirtless forest rangers getting out of bed.

–        Amazingly thick man hair.

final terror hair

–        A Deliverance-esque journey into unexplored wilderness.

–        A scary campfire story complete with a cheap scare.

–        Not one but two black characters in a horror movie in the 80s.

–        An eerie shack in the woods, complete with bloody animal parts.

final terror animal part

–        A sex scene slashing.

–        A tense outhouse scene.

–        A creepy touch of someone’s face during sleep.

–        Tons of dead body drop shocks, including one right onto a raft.

The cast is also awesome, and includes:

–        Daryl Hannah fresh off Summer Lovers and before Splash.

final terror daryl

–        Adrian Zmed fresh off Grease 2 and before Bachelor Party. This isn’t a still from The Final Terror, but who cares?

adrian zmed

–        Rachel Ward fresh off Night School (which I blog about here) and before Against All Odds.

final terror rachel

–        Joe Pantoliano right around the time of Risky Business.


–        This cute guy, who has a hairstyle that’s more new millennium than 1980s.

final terror cutie

–        The guy from the Twisted Sister videos—in the sex scene slashing!

final terror twisted sister

Really. The Final Terror has an excellent backwoods slasher feel for a majority of its run time. So what’s wrong with the film? There are too many characters and not enough of them die! Don’t expect either Daryl or Rachel to be the strong final girl because there isn’t one. It takes a whole team to take down one crazy mama killer—who gets less screen time than Mrs. Voorhees.

final terror monster

The killer climbs out of a big tree trunk, a big booby trap contraption is set off, it nails the killer, and the credits role. THAT’S IT? The killer walks herself right into a booby trap while dozens of would-be victims just stand and watch? What a waste of the hour and fifteen minutes that came before it.


About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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