The 1980's saw the explosion of the slasher movie genre and of all the films released some are more well known than other. Until recently I had never heard of this one but I read a few good things about it and once I had the chance to pick it up for five bucks at this years Monster Mania Convention I decided to give it a chance. The film stars Chris Lemmon (son of the great Jack Lemmon), Gregg Henry (a character actor who has appeared in film and television for forty years, Jamie Rose (Falcon Crest and Lady Blue), and George Kennedy (Cool Hand Luke, Airport, and The Naked Gun series) who are the only actors you've possibly heard of before with the rest of them not doing much other than this film. Jeff Lieberman ( Squirm, Blue Sunshine, and Satan's Little Helper) directed and wrote the screenplay. He claims he was heavily influenced by Deliverance while he was writing it and it definitely shows in the final product. The movie was called Survivance when it was released overseas to try and cash in on the fact it resembles Deliverance which was still very popular in Europe at the time.
While most of the cast does a serviceable job here the best performances come from Katie Powell, John Hunsaker, Hap Oslund, and Barbara Spencer who play the hillbilly mountain family that the group of twenty somethings run into while camping in the Oregon woods. The other best part of the film is the scenery which is captured beautifully by cinematographers Dean and Joel King. Also setting the creepy atmosphere is the music which is supplied by Brad Feidel who also did the score for the first two Terminator films, Fright Night, The Serpent and The Rainbow, and Gladiator just to name a few.
Some of the films best moments come when the killer laughs which he does throughout the film. It sets a contrasting creepy feeling to the kills and it gives the same effect that the "dahhh-dum" piano notes do when we know Jaws is about to eat another victim. There's also some creepy whistling that can be heard in the soundtrack as well that gave me chills whenever I would hear it. Not to be confused with the horn Chris Lemmon blows, well that thing was just annoying. Mostly everything else is forgettable or at least there's nothing new here so it doesn't offer a memorable viewing experience but it good enough for a $5 special. So with all that being said I can string together 3 Rope Bridges out of 5 for this one.