Ages ago, kinderpal Grokenstein mentioned a public information film from the U.K. entitled APACHES in our comments section. I wrote the title down on a post-it and stuck it on my computer where it has stared me in the face for months. I finally got around to catching the 26-minute-long 1977 film today and let me tell you, Grokenstein was not exaggerating about how disturbing it is. In fact, I found myself flinching more than once. The story concerns six children who play cowboys and Indians on a rural farm in England. One by one their reckless behavior causes them to die painful deaths until only one remains. It’s sort of like a precursor to FINAL DESTINATION, starring kids. Directed by JOHN MACKENZIE (THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY), APACHES shows just enough to horrify (and work as a stern warning) and lets your imagination do the rest. All I know is that I just scrapped all my plans to retire to the countryside in my old age. After APACHES, I’ll take my chances in the far less dangerous city!
Note: Watch APACHES! Here are parts ONE, TWO and THREE!
I’m still not quite sure what happened to that girl in the first still. Did she drink poison? Was it time released?
Wow. Just wow. The names at the end with all the kids who were killed by farm machinary makes you think. I mean, I’m surprised there were any kids LEFT in England in the 70s and 80s!
Now you’ve sparked a new obsession. I came across another Brit PSA called Say NO to Strangers. Only watched the first girl, but YIKES! I can’t wait to go back and watch more.
Does that make me sick? 🙂
Man, just by tone and feel of this it was like watching an all-kids version of Straw Dogs! Suddenly, this other safety film doesn’t seem as kindertraumatic!
According to the wikipedia page the girl died from drinking weedkiller it just took a little while to take effect. That part freaked me out the most because you just hear her screaming. Ugh. The whole thing is freaky. The same director did the “Don’t talk to strangers” one too. We’ll be posting some more tomorrow, I can’t stop watching them either. They’re sorta like after school specials with a body count!
I think it was the first death that really got me. I was sure she was going to hurt the driver and then… BAM! Yikes. That must have sucked.
You have to admit, those kids were DETERMINED to play!
I can’t wait to see what else you unearth!
I think after my second or third friend died I would have gone indoors to make shrinky dinks (with adult supervision of course).
The most affecting death was the poisoning, but come on! Drowning in runny cow shit? We have a new contender for Worst Way to Die Ever.
Makes me glad I wasted my childhood playing ColecoVision.
I am just now getting around to watching these. Dang! The Brits don’t fool around when it comes to cautioning children. If I had seen this as a child, I would have never left the house again. SCARY!
The Wiki article mentions the deliberate “dreamlike” quality of the story’s open timeline, where you can’t tell if this is supposed to be happening over the course of a few days or several weeks, and so you quickly let all that continuity and plausibility nonsense go. That’s pretty dang brilliant for a half-four safety film.
You can torrent a nice quality version from Cinemageddon.org.
The off-camera weedkiller death is also my (um…) “favorite;” the sheer intensity of the horrified screams for Mommy make me forget I’m watching a safety film. The reflex to grab the phone and call 9-1-1 is very real.
Of course, Starsky & Hutch Meet The Iron Gate is another moment that will make you spray anything and everything in your mouth onto your monitor.
The only disappointment is the final tractor crash; obviously, they weren’t able to do a second take. It’s compensated admirably (eurgh) by the revelation of the narrator’s identity and his final lines, which provoke what the wags on 4chan like to call “manly tears.”