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directed by Donn Kennedy
USA 2007

 

After the unexpected suicide of a college buddy, a group of childhood friends take off to the Black Forest in the Wisconsin wilderness. There's douchebag Brent - known as "The Brent" - (Josh Mijal), unconvincing jock Cooper (Travis Ruhland) and bi-curious ex-soldier Paul (Dwight McMillan), nice girl Jessica (Angela Lowe), slut Becky (Amy Quinn), and arty social reject Mark (Jesse L. Cyr). Not deterred by stories of recent disappearances in the area, nor the discovery of ripped-apart bodies, the group rent a remote cabin for the weekend. While various locals are getting their faces ripped off and their hearts ripped out by local Bigfoot-type urban legend "The Black Hodag", Becky is sleeping around and intimating her interest in Mark who has a crush on Jessica who is unhappy with crass boyfriend Brent while Paul is the butt of sexually-ambiguous sight gags and Cooper cares more about drinking and listening to the game than the fact that someone has cut the phone lines, slash the tires, and left one of their number hanging from a tree with a sickle in his chest.

Described by press materials as "a shamelessly entertaining throwback to the non-PC horror movies of the early eighties" and by the director himself as "American Pie in the woods, where the pie eats the kids" BACKWOODS BLOODBATH really isn't that much of either. The weaknesses of BACKWOODS BLOODBATH are not unlikable, unsympathetic characters (two of the characters are designated onscreen as 'douchebags') but weak, unconvincing performances, bad rock music slathered over the soundtrack (sometimes burying dialogue), a cliché-ridden but unconvincingly rendered backwoods setting, a lack of even attempted suspense (leavened by the subsequent gore), odd tone shifts, behavior that is uneven and stupid even by eighties slasher standards, and predictable, sophomoric humor that ALWAYS falls flat. The gore, on the other hand, is over-the-top and heaped on with gusto; as such, things really pick up during the stalk-and-disembowel climax (which also gains some novelty from an unexpected third act twist which might have been more predictable in any other slasher film) although the director is audience-savvy enough to spread several more gory kills throughout the uneven first half.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release:

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DVD Review: MVM Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

MVM Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:28:57
Video

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.71 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo)
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MVM Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (16:9; 1:20)
• Trailers for ZOMBEAK!, DR. CHOPPER, RAZOR RING, HALLOWEEN MAN, and THE HAUNTING OF MARSTEN MANOR

DVD Release Date: 26 April 2010
Amaray

Chapters 6

 

Comments

As expected for a film shot on DV, MVM's transfer of BACKWOODS BLOODBATH is an NTSC-PAL transfer with ghosting that only becomes truly distracting during shakycam-type horror moments). The feature is fullscreen but looks squeezed compared to the 16:9 trailer (since it seems odd to have shot a 2007 DV film in 4:3, it may be that the film was incorrectly converted to PAL in 4:3 or the disc is incorrectly flagged). Music sometimes buries dialogue on the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack but that is likely the fault of the original mixing.

Disappointingly, a trailer for the feature and other American DTV horror outings are the only extras (which is odd since most independent horror auteurs - good and not-so-good - of late usually pile on the supplements whether they are interesting or not). Of course, the discs' demerits will probably not deter a viewer in the mood for some bad acting, vulgar humor, bare breasts, and a flood of guts and syrupy blood.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

MVM Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

 




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