NEW ‘ZOMBIELAND’ POSTER HITS THE WEB

Check out the new ZOMBIELAND one-sheet (fancy movie-talk for poster) has hit the web.  Check it out below!  Thanks to ComingSoon.net for this one.

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OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE FOR ‘TRICK ‘r TREAT’

Ok, so TRICK ‘r TREAT, one of the most anticipated films EVER here at the BackwoodsHorror shack has an official, set-in-stone release date of OCTOBER 6th.  I’m crazy fucking excited for this one and I can’t wait to review it!  Check out the trailer before and keep checking back with BackwoodsHorror.com as a new trailer will be hitting the intarwebz soon!  Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!

DARABONT TO BRING LIFE TO ‘THE WALKING DEAD’

Frank Darabont (THE MIST, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) will be writing and directing the mini-series version of the Image Comics hit ‘THE WALKING DEAD’ created by Robert Kirkman for AMC.

This from Shock Till You Drop:

AMC and Frank Darabont (The Mist) are inching ever so close to teaming up to adapt the Image Comics graphic novel series “The Walking Dead,” written by Robert Kirkman.

Darabont will write and direct! Incredible. It’s been rumored that the series would go to Showtime  or HBO, however, Darabont could make this work for AMC.

Variety says that Gale Anne Hurd of Valhalla Motion Pictures and David Alpert of Circle of Confusion are also on board to executive produce.

The story is set among a group of zombie survivors of an apocalypse who are led by a police officer, Rick Grimes, in search of a safe place to live.

AMC Senior Vice President of Programming Joel Stillerman said the series will stay faithful to the tone of the original novels. “This is not about zombies popping out of closets. This is a story about survival, and the dynamics of what happens when a group is forced to survive under these circumstances. The world (in ‘Walking Dead’) is portrayed in a smart, sophisticated way.”

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I know I’ll sure as hell be looking forward to this one!  It’ll be fuckin’ awesome.  Forget the shitty CGI in THE MIST, Frank Darabont is one of the few directors who could really breathe life into this comic and make it a badass fuckin’ flick!

‘POLTERGEIST’ REMAKE TO HAUNT NEXT THANKSGIVING?

Seems the Poltergeist remake will be hitting theaters November 24th, 2010.  Directed by Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog), the remake has been in the works since last September.  Still no word on the rest of the cast and crew as of yet, but you’ll see it here as soon as we find out!

‘WOLFMAN’ LEGACY SPECIAL EDITION DVD

Seems as though a special edition “Legacy” dvd for THE WOLFMAN is going to be released sometime in February or March of 2010 to coincide with the theater release of THE WOLFMAN remake starring Benecio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins.

Below is a list of Special Features and DVD Art from Shock Till You Drop:

Tom Weaver (film historian) contributes a commentary, also look for The Wolf Man: From Ancient Curse to Modern Myth, Pure in Heart: The Life and Legacy of Lon Chaney Jr, He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce, Monsters by Moonlight and The Wolf Man Archives featurettes. There’s also a Universal Horror documentary narrated by Kenneth Branagh.

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DVD ART FOR ‘WRONG TURN 3′

Below is the dvd art for the upcoming WRONG TURN 3, set for release in time for Halloween on October 20th, 2009.  The flick revolves around a group of escaped prisoners coming face to mutated face with the inbred maniacs of the series.  Whoohoo, hillbilly hellrasers unite!

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FORUMS?

I’m thinking about setting up a message board/forum on BackwoodsHorror.com  Chime in and let me know if that’s something you’d like to see!

Thanks Boils ‘n Ghouls in BackwoodsHorror Land!

Your Friend In Horror,

Aaron J. Howell

REVIEW: ROUGH CUT

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ROUGH CUT

WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER • TODD KLICK

WRITER/PRODUCER
• SEAN GASTON

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
• TODD J. SHILL

Would you kill to make a movie? The scary thing is, two independent filmmakers did.

In January 2003 a woman was found beaten, strangled, and stabbed in her Pennsylvania home. 8 months earlier, an independent horror film was shot on the nearby Appalachian Trail.

Rough Cut is a feature length documentary that explores the twisted true tale of two first-time filmmakers who had a dream of making a horror movie and the bizarre events that followed.

This was one truly bizarre fuckin’ story!  I went in expecting one thing, and came out with the realization of another.  First of all, I thought this documentary, upon hearing about it some time ago, was about a director who wanted to make his film so incredibly badly, no matter the cost, had gone so far as to actually kill someone on set…something of a modern snuff film in the “killer in the woods” vein.  Though some aspect of the defunct horror film THROUGH HIKE’s behind the scenes is presented within the context of this documentary, so much more is going on beyond even that.

We have possible love triangles, always hinted at, but never fully realized.  We have the police heavily interested in how Dungeons and Dragons may have played a role (it didn’t, but I always love it when I see authorities going after Dungeons & Dragons).  For the most part, we have a long, twisted, and odd series of events that, for the duration, had me going “huh, who did WHAT now?”  Rough Cut has it all in regard to “the truth is often stranger than fiction” vein.  Let’s get a little more in depth…

We’re introduced, through wedding video at the beginning of the film (after a chilling 911 call in audio with subtitles describing a violently battered and stabbed woman, covered in her own blood, dead in her own garage) to Brian and Randi Trimble, newlyweds with seemingly their entire lives ahead of them (well, not really, I mean, come on, you’re reading about it here, something’s BOUND to go very badly.
Brian-RandiRight after the wedding interviews, we’re led through a series of interviews with family members and detectives discussing the violent slaying of Randi Trimble.  Brian apparently had come home from work to find her, face down in a pool of her own blood, dead.  Beaten, strangled with an extension cord, and stabbed 27 times to death.  The house had been ransacked in what, at first, appeared to be a robbery, but turned out to be staged, perhaps to get the police off the scent in regard to motive.

Cut to Blaine Morris, a wannabe filmmaker, horror geek, Dungeons and Dragons fanboy, lover of books regarding how to kill people as a hitman for hire.  Oh, and there’s also the wall of midieval weapons.  Sounds like a lot of guys I know.  Blaine decides to make a horror film ‘THROUGH HIKE’ (the edited version of which is still rotting in the evidence basement of the local police department).  Much of the documentary is spent taking a look behind the scenes into the making of the film.  Blaine’s personal life, his heavy filmmaking debt (totalling around $18-$20,000), his failing marriage and strange sexual deviences.  More or less, we’re introduced to a very odd individual.
BlaineThough ‘THROUGH HIKE’ looks like a fantastically awful piece of shit, it is interesting to see these behind-the-scenes looks into the making of an independent (albeit awful) little horror film. Within ROUGH CUT, we get interviews with much of the cast and crew on their thoughts on making the film.  This was perhaps my second favorite part of the documentary, what goes on behind the scenes and everyone’s perspective on it all.

We, the audience are lulled into the normalcy of everything.  The married life of Brian and Randi, as we come to find out that Brian has been diagnosed with MS and Randi has vowed to stick by him, though her mom suggests she not marry him as the responsibility of taking care of someone with a progressively degenerative disease is quite the herculean task.  “I Love Him So Much,” Randi says to her mother at one point.  Blaine, against overwhelming financial and technical difficutlties (not to mention it looks for all the world as though he has no idea what the fuck he’s doing), continues to plod along, working to get his own Citizen Kane (a terrible fucking movie, btw) made at all costs.

But then, as sometimes things dow, it all starts to spiral downwards, out of controll…

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scroll On Down Till You See “SPOILERS OVER” in Bold If You Like The Surprises Films Bring So Inherently!

Brian is originally tapped (as he’s a part-time professional wedding videographer) to DP ‘THROUGH HIKE’.  It would seem that Randi isn’t having any of it.  She doesn’t seem to want her husband trapsing about in the woods with a man she’s never met.  So, of course, Brian bows out of the picture, opting instead for a compromise.  He wants to lend Blaine the camera equipment.  Once Randi hears of this, she flips out on the man and plants a solid no to answer the unspoken question of “can I lend Blaine the…”.  It’s not an overly unreasonable response from her.  That’s thousands of dollars worth of Camera equipment Blaine would be taking out into the dangerous woods and though the equipment doesn’t belong to Randi, per se, she and Brian are married and she really sseems to be looking out for his welfare…somewhat overbearinngly.  (Really though, that’s what contracts are for kiddies.  You fuck my shit up, you signed, you pay!)

Brian begins to complain to Blaine about his marriage woes (commradery I suppose, as Blaine’s exceedingly ugly wife, not that he’s a looker, is leaving him and taking the child as well).  Blaine or Brian (it’s hard to tell) bring up the prospect of murdering Brian’s wife.  Brian’s tired of Randi telling him what to do all the time, never allowing him to spend time with his friends, etc.  He contemplates a divorce, but later says he “can’t put her through the pain and embarrassment of divorce.”

At first, the police of course suspect Brian and are curious a bit by Blaine as he hires a lawyer immediately after being questioned by police simply fom the viewpoint of a friend.  Brian moves into a hotel and begins to spend his savings on booze, drugs, and girls, something not very befitting the grieving widow, but, hey, we all grieve in our own ways, right?  An anonymous letter is sent into the police office stating that someone by the pseudonymn TROOPER performed the murders and that he’ll never be caught.  The police take it somewhat seriously, but believe it to be another tactic to lead them off the trail of the real killer.

Bugs are placed in Brian’s new apartment, Blaine and Brian are trailed.  Blaine’s property is seized (perhaps the final end for THROUGH HIKE).  One detective continually harrasses Brian (which, really, I thought was over the line.  The detective was speaking upon how Brian and he would run into each other in strange places purposefully upon the part of said detective.  That same detective would show up at Brian’s apartment at 10pm, 11pm, on into the night, just to “see how things were goin'”.  The detective states that Brian was starting to freak out.  No shit.  I really take issue with this as ANYONE receiving that form of treatment would be freaked and Brian would be well within his rights to pursue a harrassment charge (though, he’s a scumbag, so, in this case, fuck ‘im).

After months and months of police work, Brian confesses to the entire thing stating he didn’t kill Randi, but that he had planned it and gotten his friend Blaine to do the deed.  Of course, that’s not a solid case against’ Blaine, so they confiscate every last stitch of anything from the man’s house and search his car as well, wherein they find a receipt for the clothes he bought specifically to murder Randi.

They are both arrested and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

SPOILERS OVER SPOILERS OVER SPOILERS OVER SPOILERS OVER SPOILERS OVER SPOILERS OVER!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so, likes and dislikes.  I thought the subject matter was interesting.  I mean, it’s a complete Jerry Springer, day time talk, fucked up story to be sure.  Though there was murder and intrigue, something about the story just seemed so, well, ho-hum as the film plodded along slowly (intentionally no doubt), taking its time to reach the “climax” (though I don’t think Climaxes exist in documentaries).  Any twists or turns are seen well in advance aside from perhaps a few aspects.

I enjoyed all of the behind-the-scenes camerawork inter-cut into the rest of the documentary,  which was shot quite competently I might add.  I found the film to be a rather interesting tale, to say the least.  Though, at times I would feel like nodding off, so slowly were things brought about, but carried on for though I found the film boring at parts, I always found the subject matter and sheer “fucked-up-ed-ness” of the situation as a whole rather interesting altogether.  Within the documantary proper (i.e. none of the VHS looking behind-the-scenes shots), the documentary look was upheld with competent lighting and camera placement.  Sound seemed to continuosly go up and down with annoying irregularity, especially this bass hum towards the end that seemed to crescendo without warning to rattle the windows.  Otherwise, however, a dencent early effort from filmmaker Todd Klick into this strange and off-beat tale of nerdy murder for hire and the strange and tangled lives we lead.  I’d suggest giving it a watch.  3 out of 5 skulls.

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‘HEADER': A REVIEW

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I’ve been a bit too long in posting this review.  Perhaps it’s simply because, after viewing HEADER a few times, I was still unsure as to what to say about it.  I’m gonna call this a half-n-halfer because I liked half the film, but the other half seemed like it should’ve been a different movie altogether, much to the detriment of the other.

On one side we have so many things I could ask for in a horror flick.  Just out of jail, Travis Clyde Tuckton (Elliot V. Votek) seeks a place to stay with his crazy, half toothless, wheelchair-bound granpappy, Jake Martin (Dick Mullaney).  With no job or prospects, Travis gets to spend a good deal of time with ‘ol Jake, talkin’ about the good ‘ol days when the old man brings up an old family tradition…a HEADER!  What’s a “header” you may ask?  Well, I’ll tell ya …SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER… a header involves an electric, rusty-ass, blood-caked bone saw (I suppose they used a regular handsaw or hatchet in the old days), a nubile young farm girl, and a BRAIN FUCKIN’!  That’s right, these good ‘ol boys have a way of getting revenge that surpasses all other means of revenge.  Whenever they think someone’s done ’em wrong, the worst possible thing they can do to get revenge is to get a young girl of the offending family, knock her out, cut the top of her head off, and litterally fuck her brains out.  HOLY SHIT! you might be sayin’.  Yeah, that’s about what I said too.  Fuckin’ crazy.  Anyway, these two yokels start thinkin’ about all the different families that’ve wronged ’em and go after young ladies of said clan and proceed to perform a HEADER on ’em.  After a while, Travis just starts lookin’ for girls at random to do it to as I guess he’s bored.  The best part of the film is a touching moment of bonding between grandfather and grandson as Travis helps the old man do his own, er, headin’.

The whole movie could’ve been about this and I would’ve been fairly happy with it.  But nooooo, they had to throw in some bullshit about an ATF agent, Stewart Cummings (Jake Suffian) and his “sickly” girlfriend.  Turns out, to pay for all of her expensive prescriptions (we’re not certain what the hell’s wrong with her), he’s had to turn dirty, runnin’ interference for drug dealers and eventually runnin’ drugs himself.  He’s not a bad man, just a bad ATF agent.  Ok, more SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS.  Ok, well, he gets involved with local police when they come across one of the HEADER victims and he can’t leave it alone.  He starts his own investigation (which leads him to cross paths flimsily with the HEADER boys in an attempt to tie the two stories together).  He finds out what a HEADER is, finds out who a shoeprint belongs to because granpappy Jake makes custom boots, and makes his way out to the cabin to find the two ‘ol boys in the act of a good, old fashioned HEADER party.  Needless to say, he blows ’em away.  I mean, what else could he do, he had just come from blowing away the drug dealers he’d been runnin’ for in a double-cross, takin’ a metric shit-ton (or would it be tonne if it’s metric…um…) of money so he could finally take care of all his girl’s problems.  Afterwards, needless to say, things spiral ever downward into deeper shit climaxing in a crazy ending I actually kinda liked.

So, we know which half I liked and which half I could’ve done without seein’.  Based on an Edward Lee novella I’d never read, the author himself said he thought it was a story that could never have been brought to the medium of film.  He was right…it was brought to video.  I understand it was an independent effort, but, I mean, come on guys, you could’ve made a little bit of an effort to make the flick more, well, cinematic.  Plenty of indie flicks are shot on video, and most of them suck, but some of them cut through that problem by finding fantastic actors, a better story, and better directorial talent.  It feels so harsh to say it because I LOVE independent filmmaking, especially independent HORROR filmmaking (at least when it’s not a certain…OTHER…indie flick I’ve reviewed here that garnered quite a bit of heat).  It’s not complete trash, I actually liked half of it, like I said, and I’d suggest it to others who wanted to see something really fucked up, but I cannot fully put the Backwoods Horror gash of approval on this one for reasons mentioned above.  That’s not to say I wouldn’t like to see more from Archibald Flancranstin (Jeebus, that’s a mouthful…yes…that’s what she said) and MPYREAL Entertainment.  I believe they’ve got the makin’s of an interesting indie filmmaking troupe and I look forward to their next, hopefully, HORROR outing.  I also salute SYNAPSE for distributing indie horror.  Keep ’em comin’!  2 out of 5 skulls.

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TRAILER TUESDAYS: A NEW BWHORROR FEATURE?

Hey there boils ‘n ghouls, I’m thinking of starting up a new weekly feature here on BackwoodsHorror.com called Trailer Tuesdays wherein I’ll feature a trailer I’ve seen that I’ve dug and just, well, want to push out to the viewing audience like cakefarts.com (not for kids…and possibly not the best analogy).  Aaaaaaaanyway, today’s trailer is from the movie AXE by fellow NC filmmaker Frederick R. Friedel, or as I like to call him Freddy “Fingers” Friedel (for no real reason other than it sounds better to me).  So, if you’d like this as a regular thing and I can remember to do it, chime in below where it says COMMENT.