Don't Go Near the Park (1979)

Produced & Directed by: Lawrence D. Foldes

Written by: Linwood Chase & Lawrence D. Foldes


Crackers Phin .... Mark / Gar
Tamara Taylor .... Bondi
Barbara Bain .... Patty / Tra / Griffith's Wife / Petranella
Meeno Peluce .... Nick
Chris Riley .... Cowboy
Linnea Quigley .... Bondi's Mother
Aldo Ray .... Taft

Release Dates: Paris Festival of Fantastic Films: March, 1979; Theatrical: September, 1981 (USA)





Two prehistoric cult members named Gar (Crackers Phin) and Petranella (Barbara Bain) keep alive and remain ageless by cannibalising children.
They are damned by the tribal Queen to an eternity of old age when she discovers their lurid exploits and in order to stay young they must eat the guts out of young people as they do this for centuries till present day.
Gar finds a hideout spot at a house renting a room and falls in love with the owner there and get married.
Then they give birth to a little girl named Bondi as he has plans for his daughter when she turns 16.
After Bondi (Tamara Taylor) turns 16, her father gives her a special necklace and then Bondi's Mother (Linnea Quigley) has a dispute with her husband out of jealousy of Bondi which causes the two to separate which causes herself to run away as she hitches a ride with a group of perverted dope smokers.
Bondi is nearly raped but her necklace causes her to safety.
She encounters a closed down ranch where other runaway kids are living run by an old woman.
One of the children named Nick (Meeno Peluce) is selling flowers at a local town and finds out from a resident there named Taft (Aldo Ray) that where he's living is cursed by demons and the kids fear for their safety and Daddy has deadly plans for his darling Bondi.


We spot an odd prologue dealing with both Gar and Tra in the prehistoric age while being lectured by the old Petranella as it has a cheesy low budget feel to it and not looking overly convincing but amusing for a low budget grindhouse like this one.
Then when the story takes place much later we spot a young fishing teenage boy as well as Gar watching him and strangling him to death which looked a little off key and not intense enough like you'd think in a horror picture as well as some canniballistic gruesome moments on what he does to this teenage kid as there's good close up shots on this but you can tell the effects looked too obvious. We have a camera shot looking down on an aged Tra but this somewhat didn't look effective at all in which this character looked like she was in a Halloween costume.
Nice shots and locations with Gar walking around some tombstones at the graveyard while the opening credits start to occur which was an impressive touch for a 70's flick such as this one.
Neat shots on a parade occuring and then spotting Tra in the parade with a voice over on what she last told him but still looked like she was in a costume and not looking effective as she was supposed to have been.
Some nicely focused moments with nice close up shots on Gar checking on the front of a home with a room for rent while we spot the Blonde lady of the home taking a shower which is of course a target in a horror film and making you wonder if he is gonna go in and kill her or not as it makes the moment look a little mysterious as well as her wrapped in a towel coming out in which this was nicely done too.
In another scene we spot a girl chasing after her dog as it looked like a foreign film with a voice over actress calling for the dog in other words the audio seemed off as well we spot nice close up camera shots on her feet walking as it leaves a clue that she will fall into a trap and then when Tra comes in for the kill with her speaking this also looked off on the audio and unconvincing too. Plus the intensity looked a wee bit campy.
A nicely still and dark moment with the Blonde wandering in the halls of her home as it leaves a mysterious feel that she could be in danger as well as looking into Gar's room. When she's caught in the act the scene drags a bit with the different camera shots between her and him as I was thinking to myself that the people in the cutting room floor didn't pay enough attention to this.
Then there's the wedding scene as the camera shots looked fine but the audio is a bit off. Also a good moment with Petranella at the church watching them.
Then we have the scene with the Blonde going into labour which again the audio sounds like it's someone else struggling in pain which wasn't well done at all. Also the scene once again take a little too long.
However there seems to be a fairly decent romantic type of discussion between her and Gar since it flows well along with them nearly having a heated argument as this moment seems to be well focused.
Nicely done disucssion between Gar and little Bondi going to the zoo which looked like a peaceful moment on a father and daughter outing as well as the shots on the animals there but sometimes it drags a bit with the writing involved.
There's the odd interesting dysfunctional moments with the Blonde being jealous of her daughter which grabs your attention as to what will happen next into the story on her leaving him on Bondi's 16th birthday but we hear an overdub at the party with them arguing which seems to sound just that due to a poor audio budgeting.
Then we have Bondi running away and a group of freaky looking guys picking her up which looked a little too planned out as well as we spot them trying to rape her as well as a close up shot on her necklace lighting up which looked effective but when we spot this happeniong the struggling moments looked sloppy and a little overly long too. Seemed a little too planned out as well as what the magic from that necklace does to the vehicle which also needed to be cut a bit shorter instead if it dragging a bit. Yet an interesting shot on the vehicle exploding.
Also we spot the little boy Nick running away from his Mom which looked too obvious on the situations as well as some trashy writing too.
However there's a nice and charming discussion between Bondi and Nick when they first meet at the rundown home as well as Cowboy introducing himself too as this looked mildly entertaining.
The story becomes a little different ignoring Gar and focusing on Bondi along with the runaway friends she's made as this seems fairly unorganised within the writing.
We spot a cute moment on Nick selling flowers and then a teenage mugger causing problems which looked terribly phony and rough to watch.
We do spot an average moment with Taft having a discussion with Nick and discussing the missing people ads as well as a tale told on the canniballism some people do since the prehistoric age which grabs your attention proving the story is still focused on what happened in the beginning of the film.
Nicely done nightmare sequence involving Bondi and spotting her opening some coffins but the corpses that were revealed you could easily tell that they were wooden dummies. But then when we spot what happens to her in the dream looked terrific as I found this to be the best scene of them all.
Thne the story comes together with Gar returning and the terrors that surround Bondi as well as interesting cheesy special effects on his eyes shooting lasers towards Tra and her in return. The effects get better when we reveal Bondi changing and then campy camera shots on some corpses rising up from the cave and going in for the kill withg a blazing fire starting.
Bottom line is the story was a bit unorganised but the low budget was fairly decent. At the same time it was a very obscure horror film and barely known. It was trashy in alot of spaces as mentioned but fun touches too. Yes it took me a awhile to consider this one an average flick instead of bombing it.

The acting is very stale in as they need to show more character and energy. Crackers Phin (Mark / Gar) tried his best to pull off a character but seemed pretty rough in certain spots like when he tries to act dark or aggressive and is a bit over the top. He does seem to do fairly okay as a family man showing a nice decency to his onscreen daughter and can get into this fairly well. His reactions to acting disturbed is a bit mellodramatic at times. Also when he tries to act vicious with his energy he is a bit unconvincing.
Tamara Taylor
(Bondi) was a bit too much in her performance especially when she shows off an upsetting attitude as well as her freaking out or sobbing which she herself is too over the top. However does an okay job showing her warm and friendly attitude coming across as a nice girl next door type of appeal. Plus focuses nicely when she reveals her powers later on showing an expressionless type of personality.
Barbara Bain (Patty / Tra / Griffith's Wife / Petranella) however, seemed to be convincing when she disguises herself with different characters in the film as you'd think she was someone else so a gold star for her. Does well with her emotional attitude and her intensity too which shows off nicely. Plus was good with her stern behavior as well. She was the best in the cast.
Meeno Peluce
(Nick) shows off a nice little boy tyep of charm who shows a believeable curiousity on stuff. In the beginning of his performance though he was a bit off when he runs away but that was due to trashy writing. Shows alot of great spunk nevertheless as well as knowing on how to be happy and getting into a conversation.
Chris Riley (Cowboy) wasn't too shabby in his role as someone who has a good teenage charming type of role and seemed to do okay acting outgoing or stressing stuff which he deserves a pat on the back. At times though when he does this it's a bit stiff. He shows off sokme passable energy into whatever he did though which was a nice pointer and came off well onto the camera.
Linnea Quigley'(Bondi's Mother) whom I called the Blonde in the comments makes her horror film debut before earning her scream queen status in numerous cheesy b-films. She seems to show off an okay innocence during the beginning of her performance acting leary on stuff but at times when she screams or gets scared she overdoes it. Was decent with her conversation in bed with her onscreen husband. Seemed to do okay acting dyfunctional and showing an attitude near the end of her performance.
Aldo Ray
) is quite interesting in his supporting role but was a bit off during the start of it. However he makes it up a great deal when getting into a good conversation as well as offering a fatherly type of charm. He seemed to have fun by doing on what he had to do and also had the perfect appeal for all of this too.

Linnea Quigley's character is taking a shower behind a closed glass door so it's not too see able but she shows off her breasts while in a bed scene.
Tamara Taylor briefly shows her breasts after her character is nearly raped when her shirt is torn open.
A female victim has her shirt torn open breasts fully exposed.

Victims have their stomach's torn open and their guts eaten.

The orchestra for this film was well composed with the violin and horn playing as well as flute playing too which sounds very mainstream and fitting for a 70's film sounding quite well done. However, it doesn't fit for a horror film and more for those crime adventure shows like Rockford Files. Yet there's some versatile playing with high violin music for certain segments like a nightmare sequence which sounded incredibly effective. There's also sliding sounds in odd spots of the film too. So there are some nice horror sounds the odd times which works like a charm and sounding like a b-film type of fashion.