“Rituals” Finally on DVD



First up, a confession… I shamelessly neglected to mention this terrific flick in my “Great Red North” piece about Canadian slasher flicks a few months back. Truth is, it should have been front and centre in the piece.


“Rituals” is an entertaining 1977 Canuck horror flick directed by Peter Carter about a group of doctors lost in the Canadian wilderness who are stalked by a killer while on a camping trip. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the great “Deliverance”, “Rituals” generates its own vibe by focusing on the stalking and killing aspects, generating a canoe-full of suspense in the process. Hal Holbrook stars as the, er… Final Doctor(!). Of the slasher films to come in its wake, “Rituals” most reminds me of “Just Before Dawn” (or vice versa since “Dawn” came a few years after “Rituals”).

“Rituals” has had a tragic history on video/DVD. Available on an OOP Astral VHS, on countless awful quality DVDs usually under its goofy alternative title “The Creeper”, and in a perfect and uncut presentation screened from time to time on Canada’s Scream Network, Code Red DVD is finally giving “Rituals” the release it deserves. Struck from original vault elements and presented uncut, “Rituals” will either see the light of day on November 17 (as Amazon’s website pre-order service promises) or on December 22 (as Code Red’s web site says). Either way, “Rituals” is a creepy must-have for those looking for an interesting take on the slasher genre. Stephen King is a fan; with gore effects by Carl (Friday the 13th Parts 2 & 3) Fullerton, you probably will be too.

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About the Author

A Writer/Project Manager at Graphcom Group (an advertising agency) by day, and a freelancer at night, I’ve written, mainly about movies, for Retro Slashers.net, The Buzz, Rue Morgue, and Cathay Pacific’s in-flight entertainment magazine Studio CX. I’m a grad of Humber College’s (Toronto) Film & TV Production program, and I’ve directed and co-written short films, one of which (Florid) won the Viewer’s Choice Award at the 2004 Reel Island Film Festival. I’ve been heard as a movie reviewer and pop culture commentator on CBC Radio, and I’ve edited and contributed scripts and ideas to television productions including My Messy Bedroom and Thrill on the Hill (CBC-TV’s Canada Day Celebration). My movie review cartoon strip And Yet I Blame Hollywood was adapted and animated as 26 two-minute television interstitials for CBC-TV’s late night program ZeD, and I wrote every single stinkin’ last episode.

16 Responses to “ “Rituals” Finally on DVD ”

  1. That’s good news, Snake – err, Dave! What a demoralizing movie. i love it.

  2. Cool. I wrote Code Red a while back asking if they planned on releasing RITUALS. They replied: we don’t tell anyone what we’re releasing because when we did, some guy (asshole) spread the news on forums.

    I’m pre-ordering it now.

    Tanks dare, eh Retro.

  3. I’m glad to see Rituals get a good release. The old vhs has all of the gore removed. Even without the gore, Rituals is still a creepy little backwoods slasher.

  4. I will be eager to snatch this off the shelves when it hits in Nov. or Dec. 2018.

  5. I’ve already pre-ordered. I saw itonce on one of the bootleg, and even thrpough the grain and the hiss, it was obvious that there was a powerful, mature horror movie behind it. Fnatastic film, glad it’s finally getting a proper release.

  6. The beauty of going on websites like this one is finding out about lesser known movies. Honestly this is the first I’ve ever heard of this movie. Of course I will buy it to add to my collection.

  7. Amazon lists a release date of November 17th, while Code Red lists a release date of December 22nd. So, which is it?

  8. guess we’ll find out next week, kim. i’ve pre-ordered, so if it doesn’t ship on the 17th, i’ll post here.

  9. Wow. Glad I didn’t fork out the cash for this on VHS via ebay.au a few short months ago. Will be nice to finally see a “first” not on some cruddy, chewed VHS tape, with a crappy transfer and horrendously muffled audio. Yes, I’m talking to you, “The Nesting”!!

  10. Okay, so instead of “Rituals” shipping yesterday, I got a notice from Amazon saying that its estimated shipping date is now December 14. I think we can safely say that Code Red’s posted released date of December 22 is accurate, barring any further delays.

  11. anyone know what is going on with Rituals?

  12. Took the words right out of mouth horror_guy…this was meant to be out yesterday from Code Red, but as is typical for their releases, not a sign of the thing….

  13. Well, I sent an e-mail to Code Red quite some time ago, but I haven’t heard back yet. As William at Code Red says in his Xmas message on the company’s web site (http://codereddvdblog.blogspot.com):

    “For everyone, the Code Red fans and the Code Red complainers, who have emailed the company and did not get a response, I would like to apologize. It’s just very tough and time-consuming running things all by myself and this is a one-man operation. I do try to read all of your emails (except for the one nut who continually sends me death threats ), but I can’t personally respond to every email so please don’t take it personally. I do appreciate all the youtube videos and even a facebook fan-page created by a supporter who took the time and energy to do it. I wasn’t even aware of this until recently and it’s terrific. All of you guys are the best! Please check this blog from time to time to see updates for our future titles as we have many coming in the new year.”

    That having been said, December 22 was still the relese date posted on the web site, however, this release of “Rituals” is not available on Amazon and my HK Flix order (www.hkflix.com) has not yet shipped and is listed as “still out of stock and/or on pre-order”.

    Stayed tuned for future devleopments. “Rue Morgue” magazine’s December issue featues this movie and the Code Red release on its cover, so things must have been going as planned at press time. Code Red is a terrific company that provides optimum releases of some pretty obscure titles. I’m sure “Rituals” will make its way to those of us awaiting its release, but the question is… when?

  14. Update: Code Red have updated their web site. It looks like Rituals is still going to be released, but the site posts the release date as “To Be Announced”. Lots of rumours online about what’s going on at Code Red, the most positive of which is that the DVD has been delayed in order to obtain an interview (commentary?) from star Hal Holbrook.

  15. Dude! I had this on vhs and lost it. I am so stoked! I have been looking for this movie forever! It’s like an off-brand deliverance with Hal Holbrook haahah. Even so, it is AWESOME.

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