Backwoods Bloodbath Review
Written by: Goon
When it comes to indie films or movies that are made on a lower budget which unfortunately are doomed to go straight to DVD there is two different kinds. There are those that are made by guys like Ulli Lommel who make them just for the money and to have something on the shelves. Then there are the real indie film makers who make a film because thats what they love doing. A lot of times when I review these types of films I always take into account the heart that they put into the film. Director Donn Kennedy had a great vision for this film and even though I don't think he had as much money as he had wished, I can see exactly what he was going for and he came pretty damn close to achieving exactly what he wanted.
Backwoods Bloodbath is a mixture of the old 80s slasher films with the backdrop of some of the more recent cryptozoology legends. This particular legend is one from Wisconsin about a black looking creature that hunts down wildlife and whatnot. A typical kind of "bigfoot" sighting. Only they call their creature The Black Hodag and the actual legend looks a lot different than how it is portrayed in Kennedy's film. I am going out on a limb here but my guess is that budgetary restraints kept them from creating the creature from the myths. But to be honest I think the way they did it was much better because it allowed them to do some very cool effects and create some death scenes that would have otherwise been impossible.
The basic premise is pretty simple on the surface. Some kids go out to have some fun and go camping in the woods. Only when they arrive they soon realize that there is something out in the woods that is living and breathing just like them. As the body count rises we soon are thrown another curve ball which I can say I never saw coming. It is pretty cliche and kind of a deterrent from the real story I think they should have followed in the film but nonetheless it brings the characters some more back story and kind of makes you choose sides on who you want to see live and who should die.
The FX in this film were pretty bad ass. I really liked the blood spray and you will get plenty of gore in this one as well. For the most part you are looking at real guts not something you would make with latex which adds a little more to it. Now the actual killer is always important and is something that should always be brought up. I liked his look but not necessarily as The Black Hodag. I think he would have worked as more of a "Jeepers Creepers" type creature. But again at this point it really doesn't matter because the movie is just a fun little flick that you can pick up and watch with a group of your friends.
I was also really pleased with the music they brought to the film. All original music and none of that keyboard stuff that the director threw in as an afterthought. For an indie production they really put together a nice sounding score that not only works for the ears but compliments whats on screen as well. It really helps any indie film when they can put together original music that fits the film. They were really lucky to be able to have access to so much great stuff for the film.
The actors as you can always expect are indie level. They don't really stick out to much in my mind which is probably a good thing. You never want to have "Sci Fi" original actors who go completely overboard and you don't want the friend next door acting either. These guys managed to put together a good enough team to carry the film along. I also applaud the female actresses you were willing to bear it all for this one. All to often when a film maker makes some kind of tip of his hat to the 80s slasher we are left with nothing more then a tease in the nudity department. So we salute you fine women.
Overall I have to say I had a lot of fun with this one. You just have to grab yourself some ice cold brews, some buddies and slap this one in the DVD player for a good look back at what slasher films use to be like with a healthy dose of Wisconsin Cryptozoology to boot.
- Luke Franklin