Backwoods Bloodbath (Insomnifest 2008)

Backwoods Bloodbath: Curse of the Black Hoag review!Starring Angela Lowe, Jesse L. Cyr, Joshua Mijal, Dwight McMillan, Travis Ruhland, Amy Quinn, Seth Chilsen

Directed by Donn Kennedy

The title alone had two effects on me; one, it piqued my curiosity and two it made me cringe at the thought of yet another mutant redneck rampage. I’m seriously getting sick of being more frightened by the prospect of how bad a film is going to be than by the actual film itself. Yet, I still somehow held out hope that Backwoods Bloodbath might surprise me … The jury is still out on that; I’ll let you know the verdict when I finish the review.

The bloodbath itself begins in the film’s opening sequence where we see the typical country bumpkin beauty nearly naked in a setting that just screams that she’ll get an infection if she touches anything, and that includes her farm-fed boyfriend with his lip full of chewing tobacco. The first thing that stands out is the fact that the sorry excuse of celebrating the boyfriend’s birthday is really just a ploy to have this girl practically nude when she is slaughtered by the unseen killer. Annoying? Yes. Forgivable? We’ll see.

We then meet the also typical college crew who has reunited after years of separation because of a friend’s death. They are obnoxious to the locals, even to the guy they are renting a cabin from, who holds his own when he calls one of the snooty girls “Cheese Tits”. Class acts all around! Their first night in the area is spent conveniently learning about the local legend of the Hodag in a cookie-cutter “Hick-town, USA” barroom. They return to the cabin now even more obnoxious due to their recent over consumption. Let the killings begin! PLEASE! I’m begging you for the love of everything that keeps me able to feign sanity … KILL THESE FUCKS BEFORE I DO IT MYSELF!

In the next sixty minutes we are treated to a plethora of inane stereotypical characters who serve as nothing more than fodder for the enigmatic yet somehow uninteresting human eradicator known only as the Hodag. With all of the potential that this moonshine-invoked myth had at its mercy, it sadly ended up being a watery lovechild of the Creeper and Jason Vorhees. To its credit though, it slashed and gashed its way through the Black Forest leaving a trail of dripping crimson humanity chunks in its wake. YES! Score one for the beastly film before me! Backwoods Bloodbath delivers gore by the gut load! Too bad it’s the wrong color and scenes usually got too dark to see what’s going on when it gets juicy!

It was easy to see that this film and the director had some decent promise throughout the movie. I found it hard to sit back and hate the film. If Donn Kenndy would have had a bit more faith in his abilities as a director it may have more than made up for his shortcomings as a writer. He had a relatively decent cast for an independent film, an effects team that showed a fair amount of talent and a quasi interesting concept for a different kind of slasher-style villain. Unfortunately, the plot tripped in its own holes and he even relied on the weak-assed montage that is intended to “catch-up” the morons who didn’t quite get what was happening. This was used during the even more unnecessary plot twist at the end that was about as pleasant as a kinked dick during sex.

Don’t even get me started on the lack of concern and proper first aid for friends who have had handle sickles buried in their chests or the fact that one motherfucker actually sat in a room clutching a radio in order to listen to a football game, bitching about beer and bratwurst while all of his friends were being picked off one by one by the Hodag; one was essentially bleeding out on a couch in the other room! I would have gone in there and dragged him out by his balls with a fork and he would have had to bend over to hear the rest of the game, but hey, that’s just me! Instead these fuck tards had gratuitous sex with no nudity to even make up for how out of place it was.

Still, why am I finding it so difficult to hate this movie? I really can’t. With all of its problems I just can’t come right out and say it sucked. The acting was okay, but the writing was cluttered and had the actors tripping over themselves. The direction was all right, but the editing was inconsistent. Backwoods Bloodbath was like a piñata at a party full of seven year olds that is stuffed with cat turds in Tootsie Roll wrappers. Looks good on the outside, but once you really get into it you can’t help but notice there’s a bad taste in your mouth.

As for the verdict on whether or not this movie was a surprise or not…

The jury hung itself!

This film can be seen as part of Insomnifest 2008!

3 out of 5

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Melissa Bostaph

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