Posted on Jul 21, 2012 in 80's Horror, All Reviews, Best of the Best, Featured | 3 comments

Don't Go Near the Park (1981)

What director Lawrence David Foldes asks with his film Don’t Go Near the Park, is a rather simple question: As a mother, how do you punish your kids for being cannibals? The answer he comes up with is a simple one: you make them live forever as old bags who must cannibalize young people to stay alive until they can finally murder your granddaughter 12,000 years later. Makes sense to me. It’s kind of like locking your kid in a closet with a pack of Kools after catching him with one.


Before the movie gets going, a chilling disclaimer comes up, spooking us with: this film is fiction, though it is based on actual occurrences which happened over the centuries. I guess they mean that someone was killed once in the past, and therefore this is kind of a true story. You can’t prove this story didn’t happen… therefore, aliens!

old sister

Mark and his one-eyed sister Patti (imagine an aging Snake Plissken in drag) have been cursed by their mother to walk the earth as the marauding undead. Their only hope to lift the curse and live forever is for Mark to father a child — only to slaughter it after its sixteenth birthday, when the stars line up, thereby making him and Patti immortal. But first Mark needs a human host, some sort of hottie to bare his begotten baby, Bondie.

Enter a young Linnea Quigley. That’s right, she’s in this stinker too.


At a parade Mark spots Linnea (credited only as Bondie’s Mother, names not being of any particular importance in this movie). He follows her home, watches her shower (Quigley’s favorite pastime), and eventually engages in an awesome staring contest with her.


Are you adding this to your Netflix queue yet?

Starshine? Starshine? Starshine?




The two wed and give birth to their daughter Bondie, and then everything accelerates.  We see years go by in minutes. Mark is a doting father and a neglectful husband as he raises his little ticket to eternal life. This flash through time brings us to the present day 80’s, which somewhat explains the throwback feel of the first half of the film, even if it doesn’t explain why Quigley had feathered hair in what should have been 1966. But this all kind of works because this movie seems so lost in search of a generation to belong to. The slasher boom was just beginning, horror was changing, and this movie really didn’t understand how to change with it. This is one of the reasons it is so fun to watch.

So anyway, now it is present day, 1981. Bondie has the world’s worst sweet sixteen party and then runs away from home. Bored with Mark, the movie completely abandons focus on him now and sticks with Bondie throughout her many misadventures. And what misadventures they are! It’s hard to imagine a time so much simpler that a teenage girl would get in a van with three male strangers, harder still when the van is lined with shag and has a broken windshield. But this won’t be the only time that Don’t Go Near the Park asks you to suspend your disbelief. Things don’t turn out so well for Bondie inside that van, but luckily she has her precious pendant pager that she can use to tell her Daddy that she has fallen and can’t get up.


Daddy, help me! Daddy, help me! Daddy, help me!


She then ends up wandering into the park (didn’t she read the title of the movie? Oh, wait, no she wasn’t born yet. Okay.). The park is basically an old western ghost town, long abandoned because of a gypsy curse. There she meets her aunt Patti, who wears black, houses runaways, and gets stoned, so you know she’s evil. She also meets the park’s cabal of kids comprised of a hunk named Cowboy and an eight year old, flower-selling pervert named Nick.



I’m not making this up. Are you putting it in your Amazon wish list yet?


By the way, I have a tip for all eight-year-old perverts, based on what I saw in this shit-storm. When you get caught feeling up a sleeping girl, don’t say “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you were alive.” This is not a good excuse. In fact, it implies you were up to something much fuckin’ worse.

Bondie has a few nightmares straight out of Tommy as we wait for the big night when she is unwittingly to be slaughtered. And Mark and Patti better hurry too; seeing how Bondie falls in love with guys after talking with them for two minutes and she is prone to climbing into rape vans, they better hope she is still a virgin when it comes time to evil altar her ass. The film continues to get bored following one character and shifts focus several times, giving us new characters to not give a shit about, such as Nick’s new friend — some a middle-aged writer who just happens to know the complete history of the wicked park. But eventually Mark returns for the grand finale, and it is really fuckin’ grand, exploding in an orgy of sci-fi/horror stupidity that includes possession, zombies, and even laser vision.


Are you ordering six copies of this DVD yet?



The opening sequence, much like the majority of this strange curio, gave me warm flashbacks of watching late night chiller theater. This movie begs to be hosted by Elvira or Gilbert Gottfried. While made in the early 80’s, much of the movie has a late 60’s feel with its orchestral score, odd pacing and mood, and its overall “story” content. After all, this is sort of a vampire movie: a flick where old ghouls kill young fools, sucka.

There are some moments of goopy Herschell Gordon Lewis style gore as the ghouls feast on some youngins, but these moments are few and far between, as are most of the horror elements of this flaming turd on wheels. The bulk of it is hardly scary, but it doesn’t matter, because it maintains momentum and jaw-dropping watchability by being so unabashedly and amazingly bizarre.  What begins as typical vampire fluff goes completely bat-shit. So if you enjoy bad movies, you should go very near this park indeed, and stay a while. Aunt Patti won’t mind. Just stay out of her ancient weed.

  • RATING: A high 4 out of 5. Too insane to miss.
  • CHICK OF THE LITTER: Gotta go with Quigley as Bondie’s mother. She’s young here and she has Farrah Fawcett hair that sort of makes up for that cut-away when she disrobes.





This one takes some consideration on your barman’s part. This is an 80’s movie that is a throwback to 60’s horror, making it a double flashback, so it might be fun to revisit a golden oldie brew, something you drank behind the 7-11 when you were growing up.

Anyone got any Billy Beer? No? Okay, then pass the King Cobra.


Great Lakes "Nosferatu"


However, you’re gonna want to get pretty buzzed to really enjoy the Ed Wood style terribleness of this crap sandwich. I would therefore suggest a hefty triple perhaps, maybe a big bottle by Allagash.But if you really want to tie it all together while you tie one off, I would suggest visiting Great Lakes Brewing company and grabbing a bottle of Nosferatu. It’s a heavy 8% brew that will supply you with hefty hops and slather your tastes buds with frothy malt that hints of nuts and caramel. Plus, baring Max Shrek’s ghoulish image on the front, you can imagine yourself as a guts-eating vampire with laser vision too.

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  2. Well I love 60’s horror and I love 80’s sensibility. The combo sounds like a psychedelic mind fuck with bad hipster fashion choices. Bring on the stoned ghouls with feathered do’s! Love the beer choice to. I’ll have to check this out.

  3. This is a great one for fans of 60-80s horror. One of the best bad movies I have ever seen!


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