If Friday the 13th was a Summer-camp safety PSA.
Apaches (1977): 8 out of 10: There is a fine line between a nasty horror movie and a PSA. Is Hostel a horror movie or a level-headed PSA against the dangers of youth hostels in Eastern Europe? Is the original Friday the 13th a PSA about paying attention to poor swimmers named Jason? Isn’t any Adam Sandler movie simply a PSA about watching an Adam Sandler movie?
The film Apaches is about both the Final Destination style killing of children and farm safety. Guess which part it is known for?
To the credit, of the film it used real children instead of child actors, which makes for a more realistic and natural group of kids. It also makes the screams of terror that much more frightening. This is truly an effective horror film.
Full Disclosure: I have had some close calls with various farm implements at a farm in Ireland in the mid-seventies when this film takes place so it might ring more true to myself than others. The film also has the best version of kids playing kick the can I have ever seen (The way one kid whines about how you have to follow the rules before he is decapitated by a thresher or something)
The film also helpfully lists the names of children killed at farms in the last year and the method used (Impalement, electrocution, etc) to make sure you won’t have a good night’s sleep for some time to come.
I sent a copy of this short to the RiffTrax lads with the intention that they do it. It would make for perfect live show fodder for them.
An honestly effective film about the dangers of playing on a farm. A little too effective to be blunt.