Wet Wilderness (1976)

DVD Cover (After Hours Cinema)
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Overall Rating 36%
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Ranked #8,589
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A machete killer attacks a picnic party but can the mother stop his rampage? --IMDb
Daymon Gerard
Daymon Gerard
Alice Hammer
Alice Hammer
Raymond North
Raymond North
Faye Little
Faye Little
Review by Chad
Added: November 10, 2008
Horror and sex have always gone together hand-in-hand, even if filmmakers did have to use symbolism and metaphors in the early days of the genre. Is it any wonder that common butcher knives and machetes, phallic symbols if there ever was one, are the most common weapons used by the almost exclusively-male serial killers who prey almost entirely on females? The ratings boards started to loosen up during the seventies and eighties, and thus, filmmakers no longer had to rely on symbolism to mix the two elements together; hell, an eighties slasher flick wasn't complete without a little softcore sex and a shower scene. Wet Wilderness is one of the many underground "roughies" that surfaced during this period, films that were made for those lovers of sleaze who enjoyed the horror / sex mixture but wished that the sex was just a little more explicit. Though far from the pioneer in this genre, tonight's film certainly exemplifies everything that made these films so disgusting... so vile... so trashy... and so fun.

Slasher films have always been lacking in the storyline department, but this particular film - and most everything else in the so-called roughie genre - takes that mindset to new heights (or lows, depending on your point of view). It centers around four people - a mom, her son and daughter, and a female friend of the daughter - who decide to go hiking in the woods. The daughter and her friend decide to stray from the pack and take some dirty pictures of one another, one thing leads to another, and we soon wind up with a full-blown sex scene.

It doesn't last long though, as a masked man wielding a two-foot machete soon shows up and forces his way into the action. Cue a sex scene between the three, end it with the machete lodged firmly in a vagina, and cap the movie off with rape scene after murder after rape scene involving our masked madman and all of the survivors. For those of you doing the math at home, yes, this film does involve a lot of forced incest, and a black guy eventually shows up so that the filmmakers can throw down the "blatant racism" card a couple of times.

These films were made strictly for those in the audience who have ever rented a slasher flick just to fast-forward to the "good parts" - the gore and the T&A. "Why bother with the padding", the filmmakers must have thought, "when we can just focus on the good stuff and save some money in the process?" Sure, it's a trashy way of doing things, and yes, it's true that this isn't a "legit" horror film in the strictest sense of the word, but those of us who enjoy trash will get a kick out of this depravity. It does start to lose a little steam after a while, but you certainly get what you paid for.

My only complaint comes courtesy of the DVD presentation, and this really isn't even a huge gripe. You see, the filmmakers used copyrighted music to score the film (as an example, it originally opened with the Psycho theme), and obviously, the distributor couldn't keep this intact without paying some hefty royalty fees. As such, this music has been stripped out, and in the process of doing such, the original audio track had to be removed as well. Therefore, we're left with a film that is dubbed over from start to finish, and while this is annoying (hence my complaint), I can't say that it completely ruined the film; after all, do any of you fine readers really believe that anyone in this film was cast because of their acting abilities? Besides, there's really not a whole lot to the storyline in the first place, so while the dubbing is bothersome, it's far from a deal-breaker.

It's damned sure not a masterpiece and it's not a perfect film even by the low standards of the genre, but it is an entertaining little flick that fans of this sort of trash will certainly enjoy. It's basically sixty minutes of filth, hardcore sex, humiliation, gore, rape, and racism without anything as silly as a storyline to slow it all down. Fun for the whole family, indeed. 7/10.
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