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DVD Review

DVD cover

Backwoods Bloodbath


Starring: Scott Ash, Ryan Buth, Jesse L. Cyr, David Lephardt, Angela Lowe and Amy Quinn
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 18
Available 26 April 2010

Following the death of a fellow student, a small group of college friends decide to reunite for a secluded get-away in a cabin within the Black Forest of rural Wisconsin. It all begins with the expected drinking, bickering and sexual activity, but when a rustic local warns them of a deadly creature stalking the woods, almost immediately they become aware of distant screams and grunting noises. The creature is believed to be the Black Hodag, who walks on two legs. It's legendary existence is said to date back to 1877. Of course, the group is sceptical - that is until they begin to discover mutilated corpses. Something has turned its attention to the old friends, but there is more than one enemy in their midst...

The structure of this film is very similar to that of the recently reviewed The Caretaker; however, whereas that film featured a canon fodder group of college kids taking their girlfriends to the site of a notorious killer to scare them and discovering to their detriment that the stories are true, in this film the kids are oblivious to the danger until helpfully informed by the locals. Ultimately, both films share the pretty lame attempt to create a horror icon franchise, such as Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Chucky, and many others. For a creature that is supposed to have lived for hundreds of years, it doesn't cut a very dashing figure. Like the slightly substandard scarecrow from Jeepers Creepers 2, the deadly perpetrator is simply a man dressed in black and carrying a scimitar.

Furthermore, the acting is a little stilted, as you might expect in a low budget first directorial feature, and character reactions to events don't always feel authentic. Writer-director Donn Kennedy describes his project as "American Pie in the woods, where the pie eats the kids." Yes, there are Friday 13th-style scenes of semi-nudity (the girl in the opening scene certainly makes the grade, and Angela Lowe isn't difficult to look at), but the lack of originality just reduces this to yet another pour copy of a slasher movie. This may well have won the Best Horror Feature award at the New York Independent Film Festival, but it did very little for me.


Ty Power

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