Coming Soon: Feeders, a short story by P.Meredith
The Backwoods
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Directed by Drew Cullingham

Written by Drew Cullingham

Starring : Doug Bradley, Rita Ramnani and Jonnie Hurn

In the Old West, the assassination of an ageing cowboy is thwarted by a sultry vampiress, the would-be killer left for dead in the dust. A hundred years later an ancient obsidian mirror, unearthed from the Mesopotamian desert, is liberated from an American collector's vault and illegally transported to Europe. Jacob, an unscrupulous antiques dealer, moves to a remote farmhouse with his pregnant young wife, Lauren, and his difficult ward, Rachel. His goals are clear: to pass this near-priceless mirror to the highest bidder, and to prevent these two women from ripping each other apart but something has been unleashed into the dark of the night...

Review :Watching Doug Bradley play a role other than Pinhead is a real treat. Unfortunately his lines aren't anything special, not that any of the lines are particularily special, but it is in many ways highlighted by the presence of such a memorable screen icon. This results in some very good ideas failing to reach their full potential. I think that is an adequate description of the whole film. Its is quite ambitious for its suprisingly low budget and it does try to achieve a little too much. The problem isn't the scope or the ambitious reach but rather the small details.

The film has a diverse cast consisting of an Irish, Bible-quoting cowboy, who happens to be a vampire, a Hebrew Sex Demon and Satan. The scope of the movie encompasses the wild west, the garden of eden and a more contemporary setting. It starts as a western and this part of the film is beautifully shot, otherwise the flashbacks and mythical storylines are forgettable and don't mesh well with the rest of the film. The whole story of the mirror is very confusing.

All the film violence seems to happen off camera, and as such the film is suprisingly lacking in gore. The only scene that seems to have any impact is an overly graphic rape scene that may have been designed to be funny but just comes off as insensitive. There are no special effects to speak of but there is a close up of a severed penis and a bit of blood. There's a bit of nudity towards the end of the film but otherwise there's nothing overly scary or suspenseful here and it all seems a bit too forgettable.

I think that this film was trying to be a Lars Von Trier or a Lynch look-a-like but didn't work out that way. The film takes itself very seriously apart from a handful or quips, one-liners and references to other films. I felt that there was a clear attempt to pay homage to An American Werewolf in London but this film doesn't come close to that films greatness. There is a strong feeling that the director was influenced by the Preacher comic books and fans of the series will probably enjoy this film.

In Short :My hat goes off to Drew and the cast and crew. This is a superb debut movie that suffers due to its low budget and occassional script problems.

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