Backwoods (2006) Review
Written by: Goon
Now I have watched more independent films than alot of folks and I have seen it all. I really think that the term Indie in a lot of cases is misused or we should use another term to describe other films like this one. The one term that came to mind is micro-budget. This film is probably the most independent film alot of you will ever see. This is like one of those films that you see guys hawking at Horror Conventions. Backwoods and films like it will likely never get a distribution deal. Its a sad and harsh fact that because of the very very small budget most distributors don't take into account "charm". Some movies exude it and others don't. Usually it comes from movies whose directors live for the genre and make films as a love letter to the films they grew up with. Robert Elkins is a perfect example.
Backwoods is really your standard slasher film that you would expect to see from the eighties. A crazy mutated guy in the woods hunts down a rag tag group of teens who have lost their way. In the middle of all of this is the local sheriff who seems to know to much for his own good. The Sheriff also has a major problem with alcohol which is never a good mix. One man with the dual role of the sheriff and the crazy guy who warns the kids of danger. Of course one by one the kids begin to disappear and from their the surviving few have to figure out exactly what is happening.
You really have to stick with this one for awhile because it does start off a bit slow in the beginning as you are being introduced to the teens. But once the action begins it you can expect plenty of gore. Now the gore in this movie isn't really all fake I mean there are scenes where they take real animal insides and use them which adds to the effect. Of course don't expect any Tom Savini type stuff going on here but it is definetly enjoyable to see what Elkins could do with the limited budget he had.
The film really falls back on all the fundamental things that a slasher film needs. A warning beacon, the sheriff, the thoughtless and horny teens. This movie has all that except what I feel is almost a requiste when making a slasher flick, boobs. We do get a tease here and there but none. Which is a little disappointing considering every other aspect of a good slasher flick is here. But of course this also includes some of the downfalls of a good slasher flick as well.
I really can't remember the last time I watched an old 80s slasher flick that had good acting in it. So don't bother looking here for that either. Of course there were some borderline decent job nothing so awful that you just can't bear it but, no oscars for this one. The plot is as I mentioned above pretty formulaic but it is a slasher film. The only thing that sets this one apart from say an 80s slasher is the production value. I mean it looks like it was shot on a home video camcorder and the sound is a bit off. But by far the biggest complaint I have about the film is the soundtrack. It was basically the same thing over and over. It was almost like creditors blowing up your cellphone trying to get you to pay (not that I know what that is like..).
However... One thing that every slasher horror picture must have his a killer that looks bad ass. If you got something silly like a scarecrow or Frosty the snowman its just dead in the water. Elkins just so happened to create a kick ass slasher Caleb. If you remember potato-sack Jason from Friday the 13th Part II thats really close to what he looks like. Caleb has a real arsenal of tools in this flick and comes across really nicely. He is definetly one of the best looking slashers I have seen in awhile from an indie film.
Bottom line people if you don't like indie flicks you definetly won't be able to appreciate what Elkins is doing here. That means you MTV generation! Everyone else will be able to see that the director really had his heart in this project and did his best with what he had at his disposal. The good news is that I have recieved word that he is already gearing up for a sequel, so hopefully he will take this review and improve upon this already decent flick with a hell of a lot more gore and boobs!