Movie #7: 31-Days of Horror Challenge
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A group of High School photography students, their teacher, and her former-Navy Seal boyfriend go on a weekend camping trip to Sapphire Lake. Once night falls, they are attacked by a horde deformed, inbred folk who live in the forest around the lake.
This is Paul Logan’s first, and so far only, credit for writing a film. He played it nice and safe by sticking to the “hillbilly cannibal/slasher” formula and tropes. I even managed to recognize his “save the cat” moments.
Unfortunately, the film wasted absolutely no time in normalizing public displays of sex between characters who are supposed to be minors being accepted by the teacher, who is supposed to be chaperoning them. Then further emphasizing the sexual tone by showing Paul Logan, our aforementioned former Navy Seal hero, John Crenshaw, in nothing but a towel. Had more thought been given to the story as a whole, it would have been better if the characters were college students, then the behavior of the kids would be more age appropriate, as it is, it’s just kinda skeezy. One of the notable character issues in the film was Wilson, played by Devin Reeve, whose direction must have been “Do your best Clint Howard impression.” I’m sorry, folks, but only Clint Howard can get away with acting like Clint Howard, I’m sure there’s a rule somewhere.
But on a more positive note, the movie had lots of violence and lots of blood, not all of it is bad CGI. Also, there was some very good and inventive makeup for the inbred cannibals. Some of my favorite genre faces are in this, including bit parts by Bill Moseley, Vernon Wells, Matthew Willig, and Nestor Serrano. Our villain, horror veteran, Costas Mandyler, does a solid job as the escaped murderer turned leader of the meth-cooking, inbred cannibals, Cylus Atkinson.
This is the kind of movie I’d put on in the background to watch as I’m doing something else. It’s not really original and it takes itself too seriously, but it is a good first attempt for Logan. As far as recommending it… it has good production value, so if you like your films pretty but don’t pay too much attention to story, you might find it entertaining.