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Back Woods (2001)

Video  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  1 January 2001 (USA)
3.2
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Ratings: 3.2/10 from 158 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 10 critic

When Luther's mother is killed, what's a boy to do? Why, put on a dress and slaughter many, many people as the world's first 300 pound, retarded-redneck transvestite serial killer.

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(as Hayden Davis)
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Title: Back Woods (Video 2001)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Luther
Jim Edberg ...
Mama
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gregg Elder ...
Cannonball Boy
Miano Ferrari ...
Truck Driver
Mara Goldman ...
Lisa
Patrick Hazen ...
Johnny
David Lawrence ...
Sheriff Taylor
Mangina ...
Itself
Joe Roberts ...
Tow Truck Driver
Jay Roma ...
Crazy Al
Anna Shmieka ...
Mandy
Mike Thallemer ...
Sammy
Dr. Yuj Wang ...
Leroy
The Widowmaker ...
Deke
Grant Woodhill ...
Stepfather
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Storyline

When Luther's mother is killed, what's a boy to do? Why, put on a dress and slaughter many, many people as the world's first 300 pound, retarded-redneck transvestite serial killer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dark, Demented and Obnoxious!

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

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Release Date:

1 January 2001 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$900 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
A Serious Review, by Someone Not Associated with the Movie
24 January 2004 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I cannot honestly say that director Grant Woodhill's Back Woods is the worst movie I've ever seen. The problem is that I've seen Tony Malinowski's Night Of Horror (1978) (which you'll only be able to find on an old copy of the VHS, if they haven't all been burned by now). Back Woods is probably the second worst movie I've seen, and I've seen thousands (including lots of no-budget horror).

The positive reviews on the Internet for Back Woods can only have a couple explanations. One, they were written by someone involved with the disc. If so, they must have been written only by someone in a position to gain financially from your spending a couple bucks on this turkey (they are probably trying to recoup the $20 they spent on the production plus the thousand or two spent to manufacture the disc and hire the sole professional associated with the project--whoever created the artwork for the case). The other cast and crew can't possibly want you to see this. The only other option is that they are written tongue-in-cheek by people who like to perversely mislead, who think it's funny to say that something is good if it's in fact terrible, and/or who aren't going to go down with a sinking ship unless everyone goes down.

If you read the box text, Back Woods sounds like it might be worth watching, especially if you like your entertainment on the bizarre side, or if you really enjoy "so bad they're good" films. Both of those descriptions fit me. I love John Waters. I'm an Al Adamson fan. I like Ed Wood--I even enjoyed watching Orgy of the Dead (1965), which is basically 90 minutes of moderately tame go-go dancing. I love Troma. I think that Andreas Schnaas' films are entertaining in a perverse way. Heck, I even gave Cabin Fever (2002) a 10 out of 10!

The problem is that if you hadn't read the box, and you tried to give an "objective" description of the film to someone, you'd have to say, " 'Filmed' on a digital camcorder with low resolution by someone overly amused by a couple cheap optical effects, Back Woods is what Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) might have been like if made by a nine-year old who grabbed a handful of people at random in a county park, armed with bottle of strawberry jam for blood, and just made up the film on the fly, with the state park as the only location, in about three hours."

The most aggravating thing about the film, perhaps, is that it wouldn't have to be as bad as it is. It seems like the "filmmakers" made absolutely no effort, in any respect. There is no reason that the whole film has to be shot in a county park, with no sets. At one point, a picnic pavilion is supposed to be a gas station. You know this because they wrote the word "Gas" on a piece of cardboard with a magic marker and placed it on top of a garbage can. The villain, Luther, and his mom, both played by fat men, supposedly just live in the woods. Not in a house, they just stand around in the woods. During a flashback, one character has a moustache that was drawn on with an eyebrow pencil. There is little concern with editing or pacing (of course). There are scenes where the camera just travels through the woods slowly for a couple minutes, and nothing else happens; there are scenes of someone walking through the woods and calling a name for about five minutes; the scant 60-something minute running time is further padded out with a nonsensical 'fast reverse' replay of the whole film at the end; and the director was so amazed that he got the lead actress to show her breasts that he lingers on them for about a minute.

They don't even really try to create any gore effects, which usually are the best things about these kinds of no-budget horror films. People like Andreas Schnaas convey a true love for the horror genre, despite the fact that maybe they're not that talented and can't get together a lot of funding for their films. They still make the best horror films they can with the resources at their disposal. On the other hand, people like the crew and cast of Back Woods only convey that they'd like to rip you off for a couple bucks, and want to spend as little money as possible to do it.

Surely someone involved with Back Woods lives in a house or apartment. It's not that hard to take a couple rooms and dress them. It's not that hard (unfortunately) to find talented make-up and effects artists who'll work for free, just for the chance to do something in a genre they love. It's not that hard to learn how to shoot coverage and do some computer editing. It's not that hard to find writers who'll donate decent, or at least passable, scripts in exchange only for credit on the film. It's not that hard to locate someone with a home digital multitrack who would record some looping (dubbed dialogue) and maybe some foley (sound effects) for you, so that viewers can actually hear lines the actors say and it doesn't sound like they're inside a plastic cup. But you'd have to care about what you're doing, and care about the genre to make those efforts. The Back Woods team didn't care.

Some have erred on the side of kindness in interpreting Back Woods as a spoof, and have even claimed to laugh while watching the film. Unfortunately, I can't buy that attitude. Yes, the plot is ridiculous and could have humor potential, but the film would have to not suck on a technical level to even begin to approach that. As it is, it's as funny as watching paint dry.


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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