» » Sunburst (1975)

Short summary

A pair of college students go on a trip up to the mountains to look for a friend who dropped out of school to find personal fulfillment apart from the norms of American society. Along the way, the couple is warned of dangerous terrain and unfriendly local residents who are not worth the trouble of finding a lost friend. The film stars Robert Englund in the role of the lost friend before he become a household name as the terrifying boogeyman Freddy Krueger.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Xtani
    Well, the other reviewer was right when yelling out that "Slashed Dreams" is NOT A HORROR MOVIE, but it does feature some typical exploitation trademarks. The setting is somewhat similar to the classic "Deliverance", there's the constant menace of imbecile hillbillies and, of course, the obligatory bit of sleazy images of an attractive girl skinny-dipping. So I understand how this movie ended up in the horror section of video stores, but that still doesn't tell you how irredeemably BAD it is! For the first time ever, I really can't determine the "raison d'être" of a film. Seriously, what IS the point? Is this movie supposed to teach young people that it's okay to search for the meaning of life but still always watch out for rapists? If so, that's a pretty lousy and invaluable life-lesson! Or maybe this whole production is a hiking guide to promote the rural sites of Northern California…but, of course, always watch out for rapists. The plot involves a couple as they're on their way to visit a former college friend who exchanged civilization for a spiritual life in the Californian woods. For nearly a full hour, the camera simply follows them walking up mountain paths, climbing down rocks and sleeping next to a lake! Oh, how fascinating! All this time, THE most annoying songs can be heard; performed by probably the lousiest female singer in America! It's basically the exact same song repeated 8 times, but each time the stupid lyrics are different. Eventually two local idiots rape the girl but her "heroic" friends do very little to avenge her. Then the movie ends with the couple walking towards the sunset. Have they found the meaning of life yet? Who cares! In case you're considering to rent "Slashed Dreams" because it features an early role of Robert "Freddie" Englund, well, DON'T! He only appears in the last ten minutes and his character is the biggest weakling to ever hit the screen. I guess that, after starring in this completely pointless movie, Englund decided to exclusively play villains and evil monsters. Wise choice, Robert.
  • comment
    • Author: Vojar
    I saw this movie, as I think most people have these days, on the out of print Academy Home Entertainment videotape under the title Slashed Dreams. I doubt that is the original title, as it appears on the screen via a bad video effect, and appears to be blocking out the original title by being placed on a large green rectangle (probably Sunburst). The videotape dates from 1986, and since Robert Englund (who later played Freddy Kreuger) appears in it (albeit briefly, towards the end), the title is probably meant to suggest A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984). None of the actors' names are mentioned on the box, although my box was cut, so maybe the names just got cut off. "Slashed Dreams" is probably also meant to suggest slasher films, but this is at most a proto-slasher; nobody gets killed, and the only slashing is of one bad guy by another.

    The video box suggests that the movie starts with a skinny-dipping scene, with the characters watched by someone with a knife, and then flashes back to how they got there. In fact, it's entirely presented in chronological order, starting with a bunch of young people in college. In a class, they talk about the meaning of life, and where people have their roots; "in the earth," one suggests, "in heaven," suggests another.

    One of the students, Jenny, brings up her friend Michael, who'd dropped out of college and moved into the mountains. Her boyfriend doesn't think much of a dropout, and he doesn't like Jenny's lifelong brainy friend either. At a frat party, her boyfriend gets really belligerent, and Jenny and her old friend drive off to find Michael.

    On the way, they get directions at a country store. The proprietor is found in a back room, rehearsing his night club act (he says), talking and singing on a microphone. He's a former radio star who's been forgotten (played by the crooner Rudy Vallee). He's about the most chipper old man to ever warn a couple of young people not to go in the woods! He presses some Licorice Nips on them, and tries to impress on them the need for a knife.

    They pass on the knife, and make their way into the woods, where they encounter a bear, and find a cabin they think might be Michael's. It's made out of rather thin branches, so that it is possible to see right through the walls. There are also windows, and at least two large holes in the roof, so that when they say they wish they could lock the door, it sounds rather funny!

    There's an odd sort of rape scene, in which one of the assailants seems to be at most dry humping a sleeping bag (and he couldn't get it up either, we learn), and the other also seems to be doing some dry humping, but also does some bruising face-slapping. Later, some strange advice is given to the victim, to "push the demons out" and to find some "truth" in what happened.

    The movie ends with one of the characters taking a slim illustrated hardcover book down from a shelf in Michael's cabin, and reading: "Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.... And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed." These are two different passages (on pain, and on friendship) from Kahlil Gibran's popular (more then than now, I think) book The Prophet.

    Not much of a horror movie, and may not have been intended to be one. Between the opening scenes in the college classroom, and the reading from The Prophet, and some of the dialogue in between, it seems the filmmakers may have been trying to reach for something meaningful, but...
  • comment
    • Author: Burisi
    There's really only one good reason to see this film and it really only applies to heterosexual males with big breast fetishes, and that reason is '70s uber-hottie Kathrine Baumann, who appears here in her only nude scenes (to date), first skinny-dipping with future TV Dr. Strange Peter Hooten, then later getting (sort of) raped by James Keach. (I know it's totally politically incorrect for me to call it 'sort of' when, in fact, she is assaulted and the assault is sexual in nature, though apparently no actual penetration takes place as Keach has trouble getting it up.) This is a peculiar film. As several previous reviewers have mentioned, it's been misleadingly retitled (via cheap-looking video effects) as 'Slashed Dreams', with Robert Englund's participation played up in order to make a faux tie-in with the then-current 'Nightmare on Elm Street' series. To all you slasher movie fans out there, to avoid disappoint please note that this is NOT a horror movie, or a slasher movie; nor does it contain any notable violence other than some lame fisticuffs and an assumedly unintentionally comical hatchet-vs-knife showdown at the end. This film could, however, be grouped in that unpleasant subgenre of 'Deliverance'-inspired movies from the '70s where naive city-dwellers go into the wilderness where local inbred redneck perverts rape, sodomize and otherwise make them regret ever having left town.

    It starts out on a college campus where students Baumann and Hooten receive a letter from mutual friend Englund, who has gone off into the woods and built himself a cabin, so that he can 'find himself'. Baumann's a-hole boyfriend (very convincingly played by Ric Carrot) senses the threat that the bulge in Hooten's pants represents to his relationship with Baumann, and he antagonizes them both to the point where they do run off together to look for Englund.

    On the way there, they stop in a small town store to ask for directions, where they encounter proprietor Rudy Valee conducting one of his patented radio programs for a phantom audience. Instead of quietly backing out the door, they give him time to spot them and invite them in. Now, in an alternate universe, Rudy Valee would turn out to be the psychopathic killer, who would then proceed to stab Hooten to death and turn his pancreas into a hairnet while Baumann ran screaming into the night...but alas, this movie is nowhere near that interesting.

    What follows next looks like a cigarette ad from Playboy Magazine circa 1973 come to life, with Hooten and Baumann wandering through the woods, climbing a steep gravel slope, encountering a bear, getting into a blueberry fight and generally bringing the film to a grinding halt (and it was only in first gear to begin with).

    Eventually they find Englund's cabin, but he's not home, so they go skinnydipping. Since this is a PG-rated film, Baumann's strip-down is discreetly screened by a VERY INCONSIDERATE bush - but then she skips into the shallows and, because of how she's built, you can pretty much see everything anyway. Hooten soon joins her and then they are leered at and accosted by Keach and his microcephalic companion. Later, back at Englund's cabin (no, he's still not home), Baumann and Hooten finally get it on - and are awakened later by Keach and his buddy who've dropped by for some forced copulation. While a knife is held to Hooten's throat, Keach tries to accomplish the act, but has potency issues. His buddy then, in turn, is more interested in slapping the s--t out of Baumann rather than copulating with her.

    The next morning Englund finally shows up, gives Baumann a little therapeutic pep talk (in which she actually displays more acting chops than she was generally credited with having). Later that morning the three of them run into Keach and his goon-buddy, there's the aforementioned fight, the bad guys are mildly wounded and flee. Baumann and Hooten head back into town.

    That's it. It's taken me almost as long to type all of that as it probably would take to watch this entire movie, which runs under 80 minutes.

    Oh, and be warned: far more horrific than anything you'll see on screen is the truly, TRULY awful soundtrack music by some unknown (and rightly so) female folk-style/soft 'vocalist' whose inane, excruciating, nails-on-blackboard screeching is enough to make one wish that Freddie Kruegher would show up and rip out her larynx with his patented claw-fingers. Now THAT would have made for a memorable movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Alsardin
    This is a terrible movie! It leads you on that it is this really great horror movie! I mean, totally cheesy, but great for a midnight viewing! You wait for blood and gore and violence and loveless lovemaking and nudity, and all of that, but instead, you get a cheesy drama.

    The story claims to be about a maniac stalking down a couple while they are on a weekend camping trip. The box even tells about these two skinny-dipping and being watched. Sounds good, right?! And the cover is amazing! It's so great! So, of course, I had to get the movie! So, I did.

    Horrible idea.

    After a stupid skinny-dipping scene, two guys appear to introduce themselves to the couple. Later on, at a cheesy cabin, the guys return, restraining the guy and somewhat raping the girl. (Stupid still.) The two guys get away, and the girl just cries and snivels through the rest of the time. The next day, the girl is still crying, and their friend Michael (played by Robert Englund) comes. They talk about the incident, the girl cries. Then the guy comes across the "bad guys" and fights with them, but the fight ends with the guys running, and the three "good people" laugh and take a dip in the lake. Then the girl reads a passage of something or other, and they all leave. Confused? I was. The movie is a real let-down. Avoid it!
  • comment
    • Author: Waiso
    Once upon a time there was this sincere, but painfully dated, hippie era melodrama called SUNBURST about life and love and the importance of getting back to nature to find yourself... Then comes the video boom era of the 1980s and a rising star emerging in the horror genre for playing a certain facially-scarred predator who kills teenagers in their sleep. I can see the distributors now... "Well we got the rights to this old movie full of simple-minded 70s philosophy that nobody's going to want to see now, but Robert Englund has a small role in it... Now get this, how about we put England's name on a horror-looking video box and re-title it something like, say, SLASHED DREAMS, that will make people think it's like another Elm Street movie?" Well that precisely what happened with this one. It's not a horror movie and there are only two brief scenes that could conceivably land it in the genre; the first is a somewhat botched gang rape around a campfire and the other is the "revenge" scene with two guys fighting with hatchets and knives that is cut short before any blood could be spilled when one of the characters decides to do the "sensible" thing... So by all means don't watch this thinking you're going to be terrified by a knife killer stalking a random, half-naked cutie by moonlight (the eye catching image on the video box).

    Here we basically have a story of two good-looking California college students named Robert (Peter Hooten) and Jenny (Kathrine Baumann) falling in love. She's dating an immature frat bully named Mitchell (Ric Carrott), but decides to end the relationship because Mitch is a complete d--khead who doesn't understand her and makes one of his pledges do a pool-side striptease wearing female underwear and Mickey Mouse ears. So Robert and Jenny decide to visit a mutual friend named Michael Sutherland (Englund) who dropped out of college his freshman year to live as a hermit in a shack in the woods.    For the majority of the movie we get the pair visiting a general store to listen to the owner (Rudy Vallee) do a monologue and sing, trecking through the forest, trying to go up cliffs, merrily skipping through the fields and getting all mushy on us by giving each other gooey-eyed looks, snuggling and rubbing berries in each others faces. After a bear eats all their food, they do eventually arrive at Michael's lakeside shack only to find he's not home. They go skinny-dipping, get it on by the campfire and are then harassed by two obnoxious redneck goons (played by scriptwriters James Keach, would eventually marry actress Jane Seymour, and David Pritchard). The two half-wits knock Robert out and one starts to slap around and rape Jenny, but they pull out early and leave. So then Michael shows up the next morning, and the three friends work through the trauma. Basically Jenny is spoon fed some bulls--t about how life is sometimes cold and cruel, but you've just got to get over it and move on, which is probably going to come off as being pretty offensive to real rape victims. Robert does encounter the goons once more and basically rolls around in the mud with one of them for a minute to get out his frustrations. The goons run off into the woods and Robert, Michael and Jenny all laugh and give each other a big bear hug. The end.

    So basically it's all a sensitive message movie about the virtues of being a simple-headed pacifist; a sort-of well-meaning but hopelessly naive antithesis of Sam Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS. Much of the soundtrack is composed of a collection of lame songs about how "animals are clumsy, too" and the world being full of "warm-hearted people with warm-hearted reasons" sung by some high-pitched squealer trying to emulate Carole King. The acting and nature photography are both OK. Leading lady Baumann (who has some brief nude scenes) was a former Miss Ohio and Miss America finalist who also appeared in THE THING WITH TWO HEADS (1972). The cast includes Anne Lockhart as Mitchell's ex-girlfriend and Peter Brown as a college professor.
  • comment
    • Author: Taulkree
    1975's "Slashed Dreams" should be on a double-bill with 1973's "Caged Terror", another film that strived for a (pretentious) "deep, man" message and also featured a young, white heterosexual couple out in the woods, skinny-dipping (no frontal this time) and being terrorized by two creepy men. Both films also feature the man smearing something reddish onto the woman's face. Perhaps "Slashed Dreams" is the remake of "Caged Terror". How necessary.

    The set-up is simple: A female college student with a boyfriend who loves her but, conveniently, is a major jerk, heads off to the woods with her saintly childhood male friend, of whom the boyfriend is jealous and so makes of at every opportunity. Deep in the woods is their college drop-out friend, Michael, played by post-Whitey, pre-Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund. He has built an almost see-through cabin in the woods and has apparently found the answer to life's problems and, subsequently, soft-talking inner-peace by doing so. (The jerk boyfriend also made fun of Michael, natch.) The film turns out to be a musical. As with "Caged Terror", there is not much of a story; therefore, there is much padding. An unfortunate selection of songs -- seemingly appearing every seven minutes -- were chosen to make the viewer feel happy or sad, depending on the scene. The songs are mostly sung by a female in ear-splitting fashion, and all of them give 70s folk music a bad name. In one scene, as the woman tries to follow the man up to a cliff, the weight of the camping gear on her back causes her to slide down the dirt. This scene is accompanied by a song apparently entitled "Animals Are Clumsy, Too", a light-hearted song that reminds us that for every time we find ourselves bumping our knee against a bedpost, somewhere there is a calf walking around with one leg stuck in a milk jug.

    Since this happy young couple receive -- yet laugh off -- a warning about wandering the woods alone, it is certain that something bad will happen. And it does. And then the movie meanders along while the bad thing seems to go through the seven stages of grief. Michael finally shows up and apparently has discovered the ways of the Native Americans, and therefore brews up just the right tea for the traumatic occasion.

    A poem found in a book seems to be the key to the film's outcome, and I was left saying "What??" It seems that, as in "Caged Terror", being the recipient of a certain act of violence is actually a GOOD thing for it elevates the victim to a higher plane, freeing her- or himself of physical and spiritual shackles, and leading her or him to a greater understanding of the world, and to a calming inner-peace. Not only does this film give ammunition to anti-70s folk music sentiment, but to New Age beliefs as well.

    This is even less 'worth-seeing' than "Caged Terror".
  • comment
    • Author: wanderpool
    After seeing Sunburst I'm still trying to figure out why Rudy Vallee bothered to appear in it. Certainly the audience this film was reaching at thousands of drive-ins across the country wasn't going to be buying his records.

    This outdoors film which relies on a lot of nature shots to fill in the story gaps has Peter Hooten and Katherine Bauman dissatisfied with college and the imbeciles that they find going there lately. Possibly their friend Robert Englund who has gone back to the Sixties and back to nature with his tune in, turn on, and drop out philosophy may have the answer. He's off in the woods of Northern California and Hooten and Bauman are off to find him.

    Unfortunately before they find Englund they run into a couple of bottom feeding inbreds played by James Keach and David Pritchard. More I cannot say because things do degenerate from here. Let's just say their actions might have stimulated a little of what goes in drive-in theaters so the exhibitors might have booked Sunburst with that in mind.

    Robert Englund of course went on to play Freddy Kruger in several slasher flicks with Freddy as the central character. Vallee plays a small role as a storekeeper who still sings some of his old hits. He sounded a lot better on The Whiffenpoof Song in his prime.

    Nice cinematography and Rudy Vallee, can't think of any other reason to watch Sunburst.
  • comment
    • Author: Fomand
    Filmed in 1975 as "Sunburst" until it was released on VHS in the eighties retitled "Slashed Dreams" to take advantage of Robert Englund's popularity during the "Nightmare on Elm Street" craze, this seventy-four minute exercise in hiking and rape is an absolute waste of film and can't even be saved by the curvaceous Kathrine Baumann's wasted nude scenes. Written by Stacy Keach's brother James, who will always be Deputy Halik from "Moving Violations" to me, "Slashed Dreams" is about two life long friends, Jenny and Robert, who go hiking into the wilderness of Northern California to visit their mutual friend Michael played by Robert Englund who doesn't show himself until the final twenty minutes of the film. Why going to see Michael is so important to Jenny and Robert is never explained only that Jenny really wants to see him. Fair enough. The first forty-five minutes consists of the two traveling north and hiking through the woods. Sound like fun? It isn't. Nothing significant happens at all so why film any of this? While Jenny and Robert go skinny dipping they are spied on by two token hillbilly mountain boys Danker and writer/actor James Keach as Levon. Once the pair set their sites on Jenny's pair, well, what do you think goes through their minds? Later that night they return to rape Jenny. Enter Michael who says little and provides next to nothing as far as support except for some hippie rambling about "driving the devil out of your house". Way to counsel Freddy Krueger. Robert tries to redeem himself by fighting the rapists but, no shock here, he doesn't succeed. Afterwards Jenny comes to the realization that all is well. End of movie. What?

    If this summary doesn't stop you from watching this mess than let me deliver the dagger to your heart in the form of Roberta Van Dere. Who is she you ask? She's responsible for singing all of the songs on the soundtrack and by singing I mean tone deaf caterwauling that is so annoying that I attempted to drive pencils into my ear canals. Her singing is so bad it defies belief that someone listened to her and said "you should do this professionally". Every song sounds exactly the same even her inappropriate howling following Jenny's rape. A cat thrown into a dryer would have sounded better than her. Do yourself a favor a leaf through and old Reader's Digest rather than waste your time on this crap.
  • comment
    • Author: Acrobat
    If you intend to purchase or rent this film be warned that even though it will be in the horror section and the title, box art and description on the box will lead you to belive it is a horror movie, IT IS NOT A HORROR MOVIE. The movie may be horrible, but it is not a horror movie. It is a very weak drama about a young couple who go out into the wilderness looking for a friend (a young Robert Englund) that lives there. They are seen skinny dipping by two backwoods idiots (one played by James Keach in an early role)who later return to rape the female. You are probably thinking that surely now there will be a terrible price to pay for these two redneck morons as the couple will wreak bloody revenge upon them. You would be wrong. The boyfriend goes for a walk the next day and runs into the two dummys bickering amongst themselves and he goes after them with a small tomahawk but no blood is shed and the rednecks run off and everybody lives happily ever after. This is a boring, slow moving, poorly written and poorly acted film. The soundtrack is as lame as the rest of the movie as most of the songs remind you of the latter days of the Brady Bunch. I could continue berating this movie but why beat a dead horse.
  • comment
    • Author: Kagda
    I can now add this worthless thing to my worst 10 movies. It is about as thoughtless and ill conceived as anything put to celluloid. The plot and the motivations are bad enough. But there are so many distractions, I couldn't believe it. First, what's with the old gang. What about the young hothead boyfriend? Shouldn't he have shown up somewhere in all of this? Why even have him get into a confrontation with the lead. Then there's the guy they're going to see. It's Freddy Krueger, playing a nice guy who spouts philosophy. He's some skinny dork who went to the woods. What about the bad guys. How do you know, "We'll never see them again"? Shouldn't someone report the rape and get after those guys. After being accosted by the two, shouldn't someone's guard have been up a bit, just a little bit? How can one analyze something so idiotic? Suffice it to say, this isn't even campy funny. I think a good conclusion would have been an enormous meteor landing on the entire bunch. Oh. I forgot Rudy Valee. What the hell is he doing there?
  • comment
    • Author: Hiclerlsi
    this is one of the darkest films i've ever seen. certainly, it's one of the most politically incorrect. it may have been packaged as a sex and violence exploitation thriller, but it could be thought of as more along the lines of an existential art film. it really goes beyond the need for a numerical rating; it practically inhabits a universe unto itself. yet at the same time it in some ways is VERY MUCH of its time. it's a post-"easy rider," post-youth culture seventies burnout epic. "good" doesn't triumph over "evil." in fact, the fact calls into question the validity of such categories. a woman is raped and learns to "accept" her ordeal as a part of life. the rapists are never punished and the crime never even appears to have been reported. as far as i am concerned, the film goes a BIT too far. it's existential acceptance of human suffering ends up as a kind of complacency. authentic existentialists generally see human suffering as largely meaningless and hence unjustified. yet director polakof seems to ask us to view suffering as justifiable, as part of "the plan," as part of "fate." nonetheless, he takes the viewer on a "realistic" journey instead of giving us fairy tales and revenge fantasies. as a result, "slashed dreams" stands apart from both common exploitation fodder and whatever kind of product the "mainstream" motion picture industry is putting out these days.
  • comment
    • Author: Wnex
    Jenny dumps her jock boyfriend for bullying Robert. They declare their love for each other and decide to go and visit Michael, an old friend who dropped out to live in the woods. They drive out to the mountains and hike up to his empty cabin, so wait for his return. Unfortunately, later that night, thugs invade the cabin and rape Jenny. Michael returns the next day to discover the traumatised couple at his cabin. He gives Jenny some pithy platitudes of 'wisdom' and Robert runs off into the woods with an axe to chase away the thugs. After which Jenny and Robert leave hand in hand into the sunset.

    Apart from the opening 10 minutes of the movie, next to nothing happens for at least 45 minutes. They drive, smooch, speak to an old man, smooch,hike, smooch, encounter a bear, smooch - well, you get the idea! It is mostly furnished with some awful Joan Biez-ish folk singer which only enhances the inexorably dragging pace. When the eventual 'action' comes, you are left welcoming the poor acting, shoddy dialogue, and unconvincing fighting moves. Some philosophical meaning may have been attempted by the writer or director but must have failed miserably, as the whole film just feels aimless as if they made it up as they went along.
  • comment
    • Author: Hystana
    Some say that this film may have inspired Wes Craven and Last House on the Left. It is a similar story, but "rapists in the woods" is not an original concept, and it Craven's film was made three years before this, so it may be the other way around.

    It was the second film for Robert Englund, better known for his role as Freddy Krueger. Here is a a good and happy man living as a hermit in the woods. He is fondly remembered by two students, Jenny (Kathrine Baumann) and Robert (Peter Hooten) who set out to find him.

    The film is slow to form, much of it a happy romp in the woods, and the music is continually upbeat and happy. A sign of of impending doom? Ed Bogas did all thee music. He is best know for the music for Garfield and Peanuts, and before that Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic.

    Finally, Levon (James Keach) and Danker (David Pritchard) show. They look like a pair out of Deliverance. Nothing happens at first.

    When they come back, they rape Jenny. There is nothing to see.

    Michael (Englund) shows up the next day. He tries to comfort Jenny, and then he is gone again.

    No real satisfaction, and Robert and Jenny go off into the sunset.
  • comment
    • Author: Leyl
    Robert (Peter Hooten, the original Dr. Strange) and Jenny (Katharine Baumann, The Thing with Two Heads and now a handbag creator) are going up to the woods to find their friend, Michael (Robert Englund), who has left the world of capitalism behind for a simpler one in the woods.

    Once they're up there, they run into one of a store owner played by Rudy Vallee. In his era, Vallee was one of the biggest teen hearthrobs ever. Here, he's singing and trying to sell our protagonists a knife. You can also see Vallee in The Phynx and Michael Winner's strange family film, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood. Seriously, if you're a fan of old Hollywood, that movie has so many cameos that your head will spin.

    Anyways, while skinny dipping, two hooligans (James Keach and David Pritchard, the writers of the film) attack Robert and rape Jenny. Michael saves them, then Robert has a mudwrestling fight with the two men, who run away. Jenny reads a poem from Khalil Gibran and...that's the end of the movie.

    To no surprise, this slice of 1970's post-hippie weirdness comes from James Polakof, who was also behind the lost woman in the 1970's trying to make sense of it all by having sex with the devil movie Satan's Mistress.

    To make matter worse - or better - the film features seven songs by Roberta Van Dere, including one titled "Animals Are Clumsy Too" and "Theme from Sunburst."

    Why a movie about Deliverance-esque hillbillies raping and attacking a couple ala Straw Dogs needs a legendary jazz crooner and numerous Carol King sounding songs is beyond me. I met James Keach once, as his son's band (he was once married to Jane Seymour) was playing a benefit for the charity my agency did work for. If only I had seen Sunburst, because I would have driven him insane asking a million questions about this movie. Or maybe he would have loved the fact that someone had actually seen it.
  • comment
    • Author: Nothing personal
    This one is not what it sounds like it would be.. it's about "finding yourself" even in the bad times, worst of times (like rape, murder attempt on you) it's one of those deep films and NOT a horror film but a pretty good drama.

    What I was not pleased with is how fast she was suppose to have gotten over her rape and beating... those things take a long time to heal and in fact may never fully heal inside. Yet life does go on because you are still alive and have to live but I don't believe as fast as this film shows - in mere hours she's over it and that I can't believe. What I do believe is her good friends being there for her trying to help her through it.

  • comment
    • Author: Kupidon
    ****SPOILERS*** Sick and tired of the dog eat dog rat race that's going on all around them collage students Robert, Peter Hooten, and Jenny, Kathy Burmann, decide to move to the country and meet up with their good friend former collage student but now full-time nature boy Michael Sutherland, Robert Englund, who's built himself a cabin, dilapidated as it is, in the woods there. It's just before they reach their destination the two meet up with what looks like hardware store owner Rudy Vallee, who warns them that there's trouble in them woods and if they know any better to stay away from them. As it turned out Robert & Jenny didn't heed Rudy Vallee's advice and before you or they knew it ended they up paying for it.

    Going out skinny dipping in the local lake Robert & Jenny are confronted by these two mountain men Levon & Danker, James Keach & David Pritchard,looking for, not fish or sightseeing, action. It's not that long when they caught both Robert & jenny in an unguarded moment the two mountain men gang raped Jenny and beat unconscious Robert who tried to come to her rescue. It's when nature boy Michael showed up he helped Jenny get over her being raped as well as the guilt ridden Robert, in not being able to defend her, from feeling bad about himself by brewing them up a cup of his specially -made herbal tea. The tea seemed to work much better in clearing both Robert & Jenny's heads then then them smoking a joint or taking an aspirin.

    ****SPOILERS**** Of course the movie couldn't end with Robert getting his revenge against Levon & Danker which he did singlehandedly without any help from his friend the pacifist Michael who besides being a nature lover abhorred any kind of violence. Walking together hand In hand into the sunset to a blast of annoying and schmaltzy 1970's type hippie music both Robert & Jenny finally found their peace not yet quite realizing what, living in the woods and away from civilization, kind of hardships is awaiting them.

    P.S Check out Peter Brown as the professor who, in his film debut, was the second voice of the MP in the 1957 Marlon Brando hit movie "Sayonara" as well as a regular on the morning TV soap opera "Days of our Lives".
  • comment
    • Author: skriper
    SLASHED DREAMS isn't a horror movie, isn't a revenge thriller, isn't a romance, isn't social commentary, it's, well, not much of anything.

    First the good news. Pretty much all of the people involved in this continued working and some did well. Robert Englund, of course, made the ELM STREET films. The editor went on to be nominated for an Oscar for DIE HARD. And the movie does have some parts that are fitfully entertaining.

    The bad news is that it's dull. It's dull as dishwater and, at an hour and fourteen minutes, seems endless.

    It's not a musical but it has songs, lots of them. Every once in a while the plot screeches to a halt while a young woman sings (fairly well) and then two or three minutes later the plot gets back in gear.

    The script is the main culprit.

    We start on a college campus. Marshall, a big shot in his fraternity, is dating Jenny, who looks as much like Ali McGraw in LOVE STORY (a college student named Jenny in that hugely popular film) as possible without hiring Ali McGraw. Jenny is friends with Robert, who is strong but sensitive. Jenny has gotten a letter from Michael, (Robert Englund, in a good performance), a man who, like Thoreau, has gone to the woods to find the meaning of life. In Psychology class the professor (Peter Brown from BIG VALLEY) and the students discuss values. Then the scene changes and we never see the professor again despite his prominent billing in the opening titles.

    At a party Marshall humiliates a pledge and treats Jenny like dirt. Finally everyone, including nice girl Tina, heads out to visit Michael. After an incident of road rage Jenny breaks up with Marshall and only she and Robert go on to look for Michael. The other characters and subplots are abandoned.

    After many scenes of driving they come to a small town and go into a general store owned by Rudy Valee, whose career had been revived a few years prior to this film by his work on Broadway in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING and the film version of that show. Valee sings and talks about the old days of show business, then warns Robert and Jenny that they shouldn't hike to Michael's cabin because they might wind up being hunted. He tries to sell them a knife, they decline, and another subplot lies in the dust.

    Rudy Valee's dialog would seem to set us up for a BLAIR WITCH ADVENTURE situation almost a quarter of a century before that film was made. Instead the story goes in more mundane directions. And Valee, seventy some years old, is the best thing about the film: this would be a zero star film but it got two for Valee and two for Robert Englund playing a nice person.

    We watch endless footage of Robert and Jenny walking and walking. They climb a steep hill while a terrible song called "Animals Are Clumsy Too" reminds us how humorless what's happening is. They get to Michael's cabin but he's not home, so they go skinny dipping.

    At this point screenwriter/actor James Keach realizes that he's given us tons and tons of exposition but the title SLASHED DREAMS is not appropriate to the soap opera romance he's written so he introduces two psychos to menace the lovebirds. Keach (who at this point in life looked a lot like Buster Keaton) plays one of them and overacts. The other one gets far less dialog. Hey, if I'd written this I'd have given myself the best lines, too.

    Robert and Jenny get back to the cabin and have a firelit love scene, then the psychos intrude and do the things psychos are supposed to do in movies like this. They have no motivation for this, but the screenplay says they do it. Robert and Jenny survive but are much the worse for wear.

    Michael arrives and they tell him what happened. Since we've watched random story elements from DELIVERANCE, DEATH WISH, and STRAW DOGS we figure that the third act will be bloody retribution. This would provide a nice character arc for these intellectual young people who seem so introspective in nature.

    Instead Robert goes after the psychos with an ax and has a fight and they leave, and Michael tells him they won't be back. He has no way to know that, but it's what the script says.

    In the cabin Jenny reads (I think it's from THE PROPHET, which everyone was still reading in 1975) about pain. Another skinny dipping scene, then the lovebirds start back toward their everyday lives sadder but wiser.

    The closing titles run over a freeze frame of the lovebirds, Jenny's Ali McGraw style hair artfully backlit by the setting sun.

    The romantic triangle on campus could have been a whole film. The idealism/materialism theme introduced in the campus scenes could have been a whole film. The old time entertainer leaving the bright lights of Hollywood to live in a wide place in the road could have been a whole film. The theme of a man turning his back on society to live a life of contemplation could have been a excellent film, with Jenny and Robert the snakes in his Eden ultimately forcing him to make a hard choice. The two (possibly inbred) madmen were a cliché in 1975 and should have stayed on the cutting floor.

    I love horror movies, especially the Friday THE 13TH and HALLOWEEN types where I can shout "Don't go upstairs!" to characters and royally confuse my family because I watch movies with headphones after midnight and we live in a one story house. Watching SLASHED DREAMS I wanted to shout at the screenwriter, "Pick one story and tell IT!"
  • comment
    • Author: Blueshaper
    Probably the only reason this amateur hour snoozefest isn't on the IMDb Bottom 100 list is that almost no one has seen it. If they had, it would have easily surpassed "Manos: The Hands of Fate" and "Baby Geniuses 2" as the most excruciating home movie ever. In fact, "Manos" now looks like a profound work of art in comparison, and perhaps deserves a reevaluation.

    There's almost no way to describe the incredible badness of "Slashed Dreams"/"Sunburst." It goes way beyond the Mystery Science Theater 3000 level... and of course never comes close to hitting that so-bad-it's-funny, level -- just goes on and on in an early '70s, 16mm Ektachrome so-bad-it's-painful mode. Like a couple of high school kids went out in the woods with a camera. But a couple of high school kids with prefrontal lobotomies. We're taking no story here. No pace. No connection to reality and no idea how a film is actually made... however they did manage to obey every single Stupid Rule of horror films ever invented: kids go into woods, kids are threatened by maniacs, kids don't even CONSIDER leaving woods -- check. Girl is raped by maniacs, guy does absolutely nothing, and then they STILL don't even consider leaving woods -- check.

    And in the middle of this lobotomized "Deliverance"/"Easy Rider"/"Last House on the Left" hybrid with a "Friday the 13th" poster, who shows up but of course, Rudy Vallee. Yes folks, Rudy Vallee. Just made sense I guess for the legendary 1920s jazz crooner to be included in a home movie thriller about a woman being raped by inbred hillbillies. All the sense in the world.

    But far worse than Anything Else is the screeching, shrew-like banshee wail of some Joan Baez wannabe plastered over the home movie footage every ten minutes or so in order to convey the Tragic and Sensitive Nature of this very Profound and Serious Film about Rape.

    Nurse, please hand me the leucotome. And welcome to hell.
  • comment
    • Author: SupperDom
    College students, Jenny(Kathrine Baumann)and Robert(Peter Hooten)decide to drive up to a certain mountainous spot where their school chum, Michael(Robert Englund, in one his first movie roles), went to live in nature away from the civilized world. A love blossoming between them, Jenny and Robert, through a rigorous journey to find it, come across Michael's humble abode and rest for awhile. While skinny-dipping in the river nearby, they are met by a couple of nutty backwoods hoodlums, Levon(James Keach, Mr. Jane Seymore;"Moving Violations" and "Wildcats") and Danker(David Pritchard)who later proceed to attack them into the night. Jenny is sexually molested and slapped around a bit while Robert watched helplessly with a knife to his throat before being knocked unconscious. Emotionally devastated by her attack, Michael finally arrives with Robert agonizing and full of rage. This will eventually lead to the eventual confrontation between the boys and Robert as Michael attempts to console Jenny, whose having a hard time coping with her mistreatment.

    Insufferably lame, incredibly corny backwoods thriller(..absent the thrills)has college kids, removed from the comfort of home, thrust into a traumatizing situation regarding menacing backwoods weirdos. The film's supposed key rape sequence is rather tame and doesn't really feature a lot of sexual violence towards the victim, and it happens relatively quickly. The director pulls his punches and the the proceeding scenes afterward also lack any real bite. The villains arrive rather late and aren't even given much time on screen, their threat unable to really nourish in our minds. Viewers like me wanting to see an early performance by Robert Englund will also be truly disappointed as he doesn't arrive into the film until it's almost over, as Michael, his role is of comforting friend, trying to snap Jenny from her emotional turmoil. Thankfully for horror fans, Englund would find his niche as a menacing killer(..often a colorful fiend of some sort), not some gentle soul comforting victims, but, instead, causing the conflicts which terrorize innocents. Keach and Pritchard could've been memorable villains if they'd been given more time on screen, but they remain in the background because this film merely uses them sparingly as a dramatic device. The film is more of a drama about love and the trials facing someone corrupted, not the Deliverance type of terror tale this should've been. The premise shows lots of potential, but much of the film's running time focuses on our couple coming together thanks to a break up regarding Jenny and popular college boyfriend Marshall(Ric Carrott), their travel to Michael's finding his hideaway ,and falling for each other ..nearly 40 minutes or so in, one wonders if this is a thriller at all. The director spends ample time displaying the picturesque setting of the mountainous wilderness with Robert and Jenny having a great time in the process. When the "thriller elements" come into the film, they are given little precious time, leaving those of us, seeking something more worthwhile, wanting. I wouldn't say this is a terrible movie, just not the one marketed to those who sit down to actually watch a thriller. Even the brawl at the end between Robert and scar-faced Levon, which should at least make an impact, leaves much to be desired. The film's music tested my threshold but I made it through somehow. This film deserves a different title than the one it currently has...
  • comment
    • Author: Ral
    A young couple drive to the woods to find an old friend who has decided to live a life in the wilderness. After a kindly man at the local trading post tells them it's dangerous and offers them a knife, they disregard him and his offer. Big mistake! Not long after getting deep in the woods, they encounter two men with devious plans.

    I acquired this film as part of a box set of "chilling" movies (which seems to be a mix of horror and mafia movies). How to classify this one I'm not entirely sure. It is not horror in the standard sense: the mood isn't dark, the movie is not really scary and there's no real supernatural force to be overcome. There are two miscreants, but they are quite ordinary in almost every way.

    This film has what I think of as three Wes Craven similarities, prior to Wes Craven's career taking off. As such, I consider this to be a horror precursor film, setting the stage for horror movies of the future.

    1. The basic plot is not unlike "Last House on the Left" -- two innocent teenagers who come into contact with some violent criminals, and their day is completely ruined from there. "Last House" is far more disturbing and the story continues to a much more horrific ending. Yet, there is something of a similarity here: innocence being overtaken by perfectly human forces. And you will be left a bit disturbed after seeing "Slashed Dreams" unless you're really a pervert.

    2. The music is also like "Last House" in that it is very happy and fits the 1970s "have a nice day" image. For most of "Slashed Dreams", the music is appropriate because the couple really is quite happy. But like "Last House", it seems completely contrary to the film once things begin to happen. Like "Singing in the Rain" from "A Clockwork Orange", happy music over a nasty film is very psychologically disturbing.

    3. This film has an early appearance by Robert Englund, who would go on to play Freddy Krueger. While Englund is the hero in this movie and not a sadistic bad guy, he is associated with horror for many people -- in fact, I would be hard-pressed to name a role he had outside of horror. But if you want to see him smiling and laughing, here's the film for you.

    Despite the low rating, I really do recommend this movie. The main problem is the film is dated and runs very slow -- almost nothing happens for much of the movie. But if you are interested in the history of horror, I think this is something of a missing link. I have to believe this film inspired Wes Craven to make "Last House on the Left" and to later cast Robert Englund. For this to be merely a coincidence would be absurd. So, if you want to see the seeds of Craven, I think you might like this one.
  • comment
    • Author: MARK BEN FORD
    The proper place to see a movie like this would at the drive-in movie theater, on the bottom of a dusk-to-dawn triple feature, at 3:00 am when everyone left in the lot is either asleep or drunk or making out like crazy in the back of the car. Oh yeah,and in the 70's, when filmmakers were trying to make films about those crazy college kids and their search for meaning, when it wasn't so badly dated. There you'd be in your car, preoccupied with being 90% asleep, drunk out of your gourd or well, getting some, and the movie would just be video background that you didn't care about.

    However, seen out of that context on a modern DVD as part of a horror movie 50 pack, "Slashed Dreams" (or "Sunburst") disappoints on just about every level. Naive, self-absorbed college students get into a big plastic hassle with their friends and peers about "the meaning of life" and decide to go visit their friend (who "dropped out and really got himself back together" or some such) in some California woods. There they run into some sinister locals who eventually assault them, then their friend finally shows up and helps them get unsatisfying revenge and comforts them with Kahlil Gibran (Sp?) and they walk off into the sunset. The end.

    The movie tries to combine travelogue, social commentary, philosophy about the meaning of life,suspense,action, and cheesecake. It manages to do OK with the cheesecake because the young lady is fairly hot...but the rest of it is either dull as dishwater (the nature scenes) or badly staged and unconvincing (the violence) or as self-important (and as deep) as Rod McKuen. For all that it was fairly short, it felt like the longest 80 minutes I've spent watching a movie in many months, and I just finished watching a string of non-classics like "The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes" and "Snow Creature".

    I'm rating the movie a bit higher than I really want to because it does try to be about something, and it seems to be a victim of exploitative after-the-fact repackaging.(Someone going to see a movie called "Sunburst" is expecting an entirely different experience from someone going to see a movie called "Slashed Dreams".)
  • comment
    • Author: Samulkis
    Slashed Dreams (1975)

    * 1/2 (out of 4)

    The producer's tried to sell this off to the horror crowd in the Last House on the Left vein but it's more of a mix between Love Story and Deliverance. A guy and girl go into the woods of Northern California to look for a friend who has moved there. That night, while in the cabin, two rednecks beat the hell out of the guy and rape the girl. Will everything be okay? This is one of those movies that keep you entertained because you expect something to happen but when it never does you hit yourself for staying with the movie. Robert England plays the friend living in the woods.
  • Cast overview:
    Peter Hooten Peter Hooten - Robert
    Kathrine Baumann Kathrine Baumann - Jenny
    Ric Carrott Ric Carrott - Marshall
    Anne Lockhart Anne Lockhart - Tina
    Robert Englund Robert Englund - Michael Sutherland
    Rudy Vallee Rudy Vallee - Proprietor
    James Keach James Keach - Levon
    David Pritchard David Pritchard - Danker
    Randy Ralston Randy Ralston - The Pledge
    Susan McCormick Susan McCormick - Susan
    Peter Brown Peter Brown - The Professor
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