Memorial Valley Massacre – USA, 1988

‘Just when you thought it was safe to back in the tent…’

Memorial Valley Massacre – aka Valley of Death, Memorial Day and Son of Sleepaway Camp – is a 1988 American slasher horror film directed by Robert C. Hughes (Hunter’s Blood) from a screenplay co-written with George Frances Skrow. It stars John Kerry, William Smith and Cameron Mitchell.

Despite some horrific warning signs, a greedy land developer opens a campground to the public… and sets the stage for a bloodbath.

Whatever it is that stalks the camp kills with the strength of some powerful beast, and with the cunning and vengeful hatred of a human. The most experienced campers don’t know the law of the land and their ignorance is no excuse – because the killer will not forgive, forget, or bury the hatchet – except in someone’s chest!

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Reviews:

“Hughes’ direction never seems to draw you in and that’s why I couldn’t buy into what I was seeing. By no means is this a horror comedy but it would only take some minor script adjustments to make it one. There lies its biggest flaw.” Luisito Joaquin Gonzalez, A Slash Above…

“The cast of victims are even less likeable than usual for a film of this type, so there really isn’t anyone we’re not sad to see go. Further, the one minor plot-twist the film features is both predictable and so far-fetched that it’s something you’ll be groaning at when it comes along.” Steve Miller, Terror Titans

“Most of the deaths are pretty standard in MVM and it’s a relatively gore-less film. There are a few cool scenes however, like a spike pit death that would make Rambo proud.

 

There’s also a nice explosion (which was probably half of the film’s budget) and a triple truck crushing! It’s a semi enjoyable little slasher flick, but has a ton of flaws…” Ronnie Angel, Slashed Dreams: The Ultimate Guide to Slasher Films

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” …an incompetent mix of Friday the 13th, Eegah and Meatballs. The script is poor, the direction a notch below that and the acting even farther south. But how can you beat slutty chicks who like to dance in the rain or aged bosomy women with names like Pepper Mintz? Well, you can always throw in a teenage caveman!” Rod Lott, Flick Attack

It’s not all that gory per se, but the body count is high enough. I don’t see anybody in this cast going on to win an Oscar anytime soon, but I still liked most of the amateurs they used. Especially good are Mears, who is genuinely talented and appealing in the lead […] and Jimmy Justice, who’s pretty charming as the camp caretaker.” The Bloody Pit of Horror

“There’s enough, bad hair, fashion and music here, though, to convince yourself you’re in 80’s heaven (or hell). It delivers handsomely on the cheese (it’s main aim I’m sure), and is certainly trashibly enjoyable throughout, but if you’re after a few solid chills then steer clear…” Justin Kerswell, Hysteria Lives

“In a film that manages to rip off not only Friday the 13th but also some of its other knock-offs, such as the lamentably dull Final Terror, director Hughes avoids some of the more obvious clichés and makes Valley of Death quite a fun little movie with one or two pleasant diversions thrown into the barrel. Three people squashed by a truck tumbling down a ledge is darkly amusing.” Vegan Vorhees

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Main cast:

  • John Kerry
  • William Smith (Evil Altar; Invasion of the Bee Girls; Grave of the Vampire)
  • Cameron Mitchell (Cataclysm; The Toolbox Murders; Blood and Black Lace
  • Lesa Lee
  • George E. Mahlberg
  • Mark Mears
  • John Caso
  • Lesa Lee
  • Jimmy Justice
  • Eddie D.
  • Charles Douglass
  • Dan S. Fambeau
  • Lyvingston Holmes
  • Karen Russell [as Dusty Woods] (Hell High; Blood Nasty; Murder Weapon)
  • Christina Sullivan
  • Zig Roberts
  • Michael Inglese

Filming locations:

Gold Creek Ranch – 8807 Gold Creek Road, Lakeview Terrace, Los Angeles, California, USA

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Categories: 1980s, ecological horror, rural horror, slasher

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