REVIEW: DARK WAS THE NIGHT (2014 / Released 2015)


Distribution/Production Company(s): RLJE/Image Entertainment, Caliber Media, Sundial Pictures, Foggy Bottom Pictures, Molecule, Preferred Content
Directed by: Jack Heller
Written By: Tyler Hisel
Starring: Kevin Durand, Lukas Haas, Bianca Kajlich, Heath Freeman, Sabina Gadecki, Steve Agee, and Nick Damici
Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.
Rating: Not Rated (As Far As I Could Tell)


Maiden Woods is a remote and quiet town of decent hard-working people, but something stirs in the dark woods surrounding this isolated community. After a logging company decimates an area of the forest, a rash of increasingly violent and unexplainable events transpires. Sheriff Paul Shields (Kevin Durand) and his deputy (Lukas Haas) struggle to confront their own personal demons while facing down a new breed of raw terror that is possibly older than humanity itself… And much, much hungrier.

When DARK WAS THE NIGHT began with images of trees being cut down and sawdust & wood shavings being spewed out of a chipper, I was worried we were going to have to sit through another “don’t mess with nature, or you’ll piss nature off!” kind of film. Thankfully we get out of this without yet another speech drafted by the PR folk over at Greenpeas. That being said, it’s the very action of logging (and the swift, bloody death of a logging crew and Steve Agee) that sets the beast on it’s rampage 90 miles to the south in the little, isolated, backwoods town of Maiden Woods.

We’re first introduced to Sheriff Paul Shields and his deputy Donny Saunders as they are investigating the strange disappearance of horse number 88 (they all have numbered bridles…don’t worry, like Chekhov’s gun, this comes into play later in the film). With other things on his mind, and what seems to be nothing more than a possible open gate (though the farmer denies it) and an escaped horse, Sheriff Shields leaves stating that he’ll look out for the missing horse 88.



Honestly, I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Butcher Brothers. In addition to having a name scheme I’ve felt pandered to a certain audience, I was never really that drawn to their films. Maybe I’m just not that into vamps and haven’t given ’em a fair shake. But I think that’s all about to change. Taking a look at the trailer for HOLY GHOST PEOPLE, I was blown away. But y’all know me. Anything “dirty south,” with backwoods carnage and insanity and I’m in like Flynn. Now, thanks to XLrator Media, those of us unlucky enough to have been in Austin to check out the film will finally get a chance to see it as they’ve just acquired the North American Rights to the film


LOS ANGELES – XLrator Media has acquired all North American rights to the Southern Gothic thriller, HOLY GHOST PEOPLE, following its world premiere last month at South by Southwest. The film is directed by Mitchell Altieri – one half of the Butcher Brothers (The Hamiltons, The Thompsons) – and written by Kevin Artigue & Joe Egender, Altieri & Phil Flores (the other half of the Butcher Brothers). XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon announced the deal today.

“Following our great experience working with the Butcher Brothers on the vampire epic The Thompsons, we’re thrilled to be releasing Mitchell’s extraordinary new film which created such a sensation at SXSW,” said Gordon.

HOLY GHOST PEOPLE was produced by Jeffrey Allard, Phil Flores & Mitchell Altieri and Joe Egender & Kevin Artigue and executive produced by L.C. Nussbeck. The deal was negotiated by Gordon and the Paradigm Finance Group on behalf of the filmmakers.


In the film, 19-year-old Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, “Shameless”) enlists the help of alcoholic ex-Marine Wayne (Brendan McCarthy) to find her estranged sister who has gone missing deep in the Appalachian Mountains. Their search leads them to the Church of One Accord and the enigmatic snake-handling preacher Brother Billy (Joe Egender), who’s devoted congregation of outcasts knowingly risk injury or death seeking salvation in the Holy Ghost. What Wayne and Charlotte uncover during their time on the mountain – about themselves and the nature of faith – will shake them to their core, as the mystery of Charlotte’s sister and her fate unravels. 



Posted on 26th August 2009 by aaron in News - Tags: , , , , , , ,

If you head on over to ShockTillYouDrop, there are quite a few new pics from the upcoming WRONG TURN 3.  Just click on the still below to check ’em out!



Hey there, guys ‘n gals.  Just wanted to be sure to remind you to check out the podcast THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW.  You can find a link to it on the right or subscribe via iTunes.  We update it somewhat irregularly, but I’m lookin’ to rectify that situation relatively soon as I settle into my groove with my new job.  Thanks for visiting the site!



I know, I know, I haven’t been keeping up with the site as much as I should be.  Getting acclimated to the new job has been more than a handful, but rest assured boils and ghouls, big plans are in store for BACKWOODS HORRROR.  Within the next few days, expect a full review of the new DELUXE EDITIONS of FRIDAY THE 13th IV, V, and VI, and a review for the horror/western THE BURROWERS, along with a slew of independent horror releases.  THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW will be coming back soon…WITH A VENGEANCE, and I have been working out plans to turn it into a video production, making it, with any luck, the first real kickass video horrorshow on the ‘net.  Along with everything else, I’m working towards redesigning the site a bit and getting away from the plain jane that we’ve all come to know and love, moving towards more of a bloody, backwoods feel more in the, ahem, vein of what I’m trying to do here.  So peel off your eyelids because you ain’t gonna wanna miss what I have in store for YOU!


Posted on 16th May 2009 by aaron in Personal - Tags: , , , , ,

Sorry for the delay in updates fellow boils ‘n ghouls!  Backwoods Horror has switched servers and it took a while to get everything back up and running correctly.  Expect your delicious dose of creepy horror radness to get back to speed starting…well…probably later today!  Also, I haven’t heard back from Rev3 about THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW *THE VIDEO SHOW* as far as helping towards putting that together, so, in the next few months, I plan on doing it all myself.  Look forward to something along those lines in time for THIS HALLOWEEN!!!  I just scored a new job, too, so I’ll be attempting to go to a few horror conventions this year, so expect coverage and, perhaps, INTERVIEWS!  A new episode of THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW (maybe 2 of ’em) will be coming down the line soon as well so clean the blood outta yer ears, ’cause it’s COMING…HARD!  Heh…

Keep it Creepy!


Though we recorded this episode a couple of weeks ago, I’m just now getting it up on the site (AND iTUNES…SUBSCRIBE).  My apologies for the delay (and I still need to get that iTunes Description right), but, at last, in all it’s glory, the FIRST EPISODE of the SECOND SEASON of THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW.

You can either click on the link above to listen in your browser, right click and “save as” to download it, or subscribe to THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW on iTunes for updates automatically.



Witches’ Night

Posted on 9th July 2008 by aaron in Indie Horror News,News - Tags: , , , ,

Came across some news of an indy pic entitled Witches’ Night.  I confess I haven’t seen the movie, only the website with a trailer and stills, but from those, and the synopsis, the movie promises to be one heck of a good time.  Read on for the synopsis…

“Halloween weekend.  A jilted groom.  A hastily-organized canoe trip.  A pristine river.  A deep, dark forest.  The strange old woman behind the bait shop should’ve been a warning, but too much beer dulls the senses.  When they stumble upon four beautiful women deep in the woods, it all seems too good to be true.  And slowly they realize they’ll be lucky to escape alive…

Witches’ Night is a throwback to the horror classics of the 70’s and features many of the same elements: well-rounded characters, titillating sexual scenarios, an indelible villain, and a plot that builds slowly and inexorably toward an uforgettable conclusion.”

Check out the website here, and keep looking for the release of this flick on dvd.

Pumpkinhead 20th Anniversary DVD!

Posted on 29th June 2008 by aaron in News - Tags: , , , ,

HOT DAMN! Pumpkinhead is a movie that I’ve loved since I was in diapers.  For whatever reason, it’s never been given the respect it deserved on dvd.  This being Backwoods Horror, with emphasis on BACKWOODS, those of you out there in horrorland should know why I’d have such an affinity for this film.  For the rest, I’ll explain.  The film takes place in the Appalachian mountains (that look curiously like California…hmmm), and revolves around this guy Ed Harley, played by the always kickass Lance Henriksen.  These punkass “city kids” happen to come round and start tearin’ ass all around the place on their motorcycles.  Well, Ed Harley’s little boy goes chasing after his dog because it went apeshit about all these kids on motorcycles.  The kid gets run over and most of the kids (I call them kids, though they look to be in their late twenties in the movie) take off, leaving the kid to die, except for, of course, the “good” ones who stay after to tell Ed Harley about what happened.

Ed gets pissed and goes to see this old witch way back in the woods who tells him about this demon, Pumpkinhead, that’ll do the dirty work and take revenge out on these kids who killed his little boy.  So Ed Harley has to go out to this cemetery, dig up this old, rotting corpse, and bring it back to the witch.  She does her hoodoo and we get a pissed off demon hell bent on revenge for ‘ol Ed.  Only, there’s a catch.  If you haven’t seen it, I’m not going to give the rest of it away, but it’s a pretty damn good, Backwoods Horror seal of approval flick, so get off your ass and rent the dvd, but don’t buy it because the 20th anniversary edition is coming out September 7th (this news courtesy Fangoria).  On the dvd you’ll get commentary by co-screenwriter Gary Gerani and creature FX creators Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis, moderated by Scott Spiegel (Stan Winston, unfortunately, couldn’t participate as he was ill when Mike “slipcase” Felcher was putting all of the bonuses together), seven all-new featurettes (in one of which they got the old woman who played the witch Haggis to do a rare little interview, thanks to the Deadpit boys for that one), behind-the-scenes footage and a still gallery.  This is fuckin’ Christmas as the previous dvd didn’t have shit other than the movie itself.  I can’t wait.  So save your pennies, kiddos, because September 7th is just around the corner.

Keep away from Pumpkinhead,
Unless you’re tired of living,
His enemies are mostly dead,
He’s mean and unforgiving,
Laugh at him and you’re undone,
But in some dreadful fashion,
Vengeance, he considers fun,
And plans it with a passion,
Time will not erase or blot,
A plot that he has brewing,
It’s when you think that he’s forgot,
He’ll conjure your undoing,
Bolted doors and windows barred,
Guard dogs prowling in the yard,
Won’t protect you in your bed,
Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead.