19 October 2018 | moocowmoo-581-89188
Solid Effort from Vet Indie Director
Todd Sheets has been around; from his direct-to-video releases back in the early 90's up to the latest rejuvenated films of the last 4-5 years, Todd Sheets has been making low to micro budget horror flicks that generally satisfy the desires of his fans for gore, violence, and overall good horror story telling. His early efforts do not compare at all with his current work, although they are wacky fun in their own right. But Todd Sheets has served an apprenticeship in his craft, and we as fans and viewers have gone along for the ride for close to 40 pictures.
Bonehill Road is Todd Sheets' werewolf peon to the classic fur-and-fangs shredders of the early 80's, like The Howling and American Werewolf in London. But its also a mash-up of those traditional werewolf stories with his own traditional sadistic stalker/torture victim tales. This is both a strength and a weakness, IMO, because it opens things up story-wise that might not have been done before, especially with werewolves; however, it also feels as though the gore effects are in there mainly to cater to his longtime fans - Sheets isn't known as the King of Splatter for nothing.
But he has really grown as a director and writer: the cinematography is very good, the shot selection really stands out, the pacing is good, and all of the actors really shine, thanks to the director. In a way, my feeling is that he has grown beyond the splatter effects and should concentrate on telling a good story with good characters - he has shown with this film that he can do that, and maybe even jump to the mainstream. He's done the splatter thing and the sadistic killer thing, and now I feel that he is ready to move on - after Clownado, of course!
Shouts out to Eli Greer and Ana Rojas-Plumberg, who made for an excellent, believable, and sympathetic mother and daughter team, and really carry the movie. And as usual, the always wonderful Leanna Quigley only adds to the panache of the cast, although I personally would have liked to have seen her with a beefier role. Douglas Epps's schtick is a bit much for me, personally. The splatter effects are decent, though not always believable, and frankly not always necessary, especially in the scenes where the camera lingers on them for gross-out effects. Maybe its because I am old and ready fer the glue factory, but I cud do with a lot less than that. The practical effects are pretty darn good, cowsidering the budget, and are refreshing to see - no obvious CGI here! The transformations are a bit slow and laborious, but overall believable, and the werewolf suits and masks were very well done.
Todd, you've come a long way since Prehistoric Bimbos in Armageddon City (still my personal favorite!), keep up the good work. And for those of you who want a good werewolf movie with a couple of twists, this cud be the one for you!