Don't Go Near the Park (1981) from Tuna

Lawrence D. Foldes had a desire to make a horror film; an accountant father who raised enough investment money ($100k) for a modest indie film; and an intriguing true story of people, mostly children, disappearing in LA's Griffith Park. These cirsumstances led to the film best known as Don't Go Near the Park.

Honestly, the story of this film is very hard to follow because it was neither well conceived nor competently made. Fortunately, the DVD has a commentary from director Foldes and Linnea Quigley, and they explain the plot. It takes place in three time periods:

  • In prehistoric times, there was a culture that used a cannibalistic ritual to preserve youth, but when two of their number started eating children in their own clan, they were given a thousand year punishment to age even more rapidly, but never die, until their one chance at redemption, when they would have the chance to offer a virgin, descended from the clan, as a sacrifice.
  • Cut to 16 years ago, when one of the pair (Aldo Ray) meets, marries, beds and impregnates a young woman (Linnea Quigley). Once baby Bondi is born, Ray loses interest in Quigley.
  • Cut to the present. Bondi  (Tamara Taylor) is now 16, and her parents have a huge fight. Bondi splits, but ends up at a ranch in Griffith Park, where she meets a young man who will become her love interest, and the prehistoric woman who was exiled with her father. That is pretty much it, other than several scenes where the prehistorics rip open the stomachs of victims and eat their organs.

Mr. Foldes was amused when he started researching the film on the Internet, and discovered analysis after analysis of the symbolism he had put into this film. In his own words, it was simply an attempt to make a movie with nudity and gore, with no intended deep meaning at all.

The most notable thing about this effort was an early appearance from scream queen Linnea Quigley, who was then a mere scream princess of 22 or 23. Linnea does full frontal nudity in a deleted scene, and again behind a glass shower door, and she also provides some topless eye candy in an after-sex scene. The film was originally given an X rating. Linnea's full frontal, however, was cut from the first video distribution version, as were some of the more gruesome of the cannibal scenes, and some additional nudity from both Tamara Taylor (breasts in a rape scene) and Cambra Foldes (breasts as a victim). Even after all those cuts, the expurgated version was banned from the UK! The DVD restores all the cuts and the extra features even include some deleted scenes, which include more topless footage with Tamara Taylor.

  DVD info
  • Commentary by director Lawrence D. Foldes and actress Linnea Quigley
  • Extended and deleted scenes
  • "Grue!!" (workprint gore outtakes)
  • Still gallery



see the main commentary

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 2.9/10, making it a contender for their Bottom 100 of all-time.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C- because it has a cult following of low-budget horror fanatics and Linnea fans, but it is of no interest to mainstream moviegoers and is hence an automatic C- on our scale. If you are not interested in low budget indie horror films or Linnea Quigley, consider it an F.

Return to the Movie House home page