Rituals aka The Creeper (1977)

directed by peter carter
astral films limited/coast films/canadian film development corporation

You know, I enjoy listing the multiple titles for some of these pix, mainly because it usually follows that the more different names a film acquires throughout its life of distribution, the more debatable its quality. There are exceptions, of course; every rule has them. This picture could be one of those exceptions. Its sobriquet may have been appended because somebody wisely decided that the original name didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Now, ’tis true that one of the characters in this patently Deliverance-derived flick makes an offhand remark – a barely audible offhand remark, mind you – that the subjects may be the victims of a demonic ritual, but … yeah, that’s not the case. They are, however, being stalked by a deranged backwoods weirdo. In the forests and wilds of Ontario. Including on a river. Despite that derivative handicap, however, the movie’s pretty good. Bonus points awarded because two of the friends here are played by the very same actors who played acquaintances in The Clown Murders, and for the fact that multiple reviewers have compared this affair to 1981’s Just Before Dawn.

why did i watch this movie?

I may have been misled by the title and synopsis into thinking it contained a “ritual” aspect. Crazy, I know.

should you watch this movie?

You probably won’t, but it does manage to link neatly the aforementioned Deliverance (from 1972) to 1982’s First Blood.

highlight and low point

One supremely shocking scene stands out, as it very well might have in any number of other scary movies, mainly because it so starkly emphasizes how hopeless the situation is for our protagonists. Overall, however, this is just too reminiscent of that earlier blockbuster production I do not want to name again.

rating from outer space: c−

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