Horror Movie Review: Don’t Go Near the Park (1979)

A video nasty to avoid, Don’t Go Near the Park was directed by Lawrence D. Foldes, and stars Aldo Ray, Meeno Peluce, Tamara Taylor, Robert Gribbin, Barbara Bain, and Linnea Quigley.

Do you feel like watching something nonsensical? Something with horrible effects, acting and a plot that is eye-wateringly all over the place? How about something that has such abrupt shifts in tone that it got marked as a video nasty?

Well, if you answered yes to all of the above, you’re ready for Don’t Go Near the Park. Trust us, you’re going to regret this.

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Tra and Gar are caveman brother and sister cursed by their mother, Petranella to age at an unnatural rate. The only way for them to sustain their lives is to feed on the entrails of young people. After 12,000 years of living like this, they will have the chance to break the curse and achieve immortality. Simply by one of them having a child that will then be used as a virgin sacrifice.

It’s a very specific curse.

Many millennia later, Gar marries and conceives a child with his bride. He calls the child Bondi and she grows up under the watchful eye of her father. At her sixteenth birthday, her mother walks out on them having had enough of Gar showering Bondi with all his love and attention.

Upset, Bondi runs away and is almost gang-raped but is saved by a magical amulet Gar gave her. She ends up staying at a dilapidated house in the park where Tra has been staying. Tra is not able to get sustenance and is withered and old so Bondi and two other youngsters, Nick and Cowboy stay with her. All are unaware of just who she is but for Bondi, time is running out. The ritual must be completed and her life is to be sacrificed.

Will she escape or regret not heeding the warning of not going near the park?

To be fair, Bondi and the actor that plays her (Tamara Taylor) are pretty likable even if her acting stinks. She’s not alone though, no-one does well here. Even GBHBL favourite Linnea Quigley struggles, which considering it was one of her earliest credited roles, can be forgiven.

The poor acting can be forgiven, the messy plot that throws up question after question can’t be. This film makes no sense. At first, the whole curse idea seems fine but it all falls apart once Bondi reaches 16. Gra makes no effort to finish the job, Tra just disappears and is seemingly not in contact with Gra anymore and a magical amulet just appears as a plot device. Then suddenly, we’re at the end and the sacrifice is to take place leading to a hilariously bad final sequence.

It might sound bat-shit crazy so must be fun but it’s not. It’s down-right yawn-inducing most of the time. Nothing interesting happens. The violence and gore are poorly done and the make-up looks even worse. The best bit is when they clearly put latex over a woman’s chest so Gra can dig into it but forgot to add any nipples.

So, what makes this a nasty? Mainly it’s what it implies. Which is incest and paedophilia. There’s some questionable sexual conduct such as upskirt shots of Tammy Taylor and the 8-year-old Nick attempting to grope Bondi’s breasts while she is sleeping. Cut out, you would never know so an uncut version or cut version isn’t going to make any difference. It’s just a bad movie.




Don't Go Near the Park (1979)
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7.87/10 (3 votes)