The jagged, blurry snippets of past scary events involving a car crash while driving drunk -- seemingly going on around-the-clock in the mind of the enigmatic lead -- are all-too-obvious clues that things are not as clear as they seem in the two-bit potboiler "Blackwoods".
A woeful nonplayer at the boxoffice, the Velocity Entertainment release, directed by Uwe Boll
, will be banished to the rental/retail hinterlands as one of countless low-grade studies of cinematic psychos.
In a less-than-hypnotizing, herky-jerky jumble of scenes and memories, "Blackwoods" makes one quickly leery of writer Matt Patrick
Muldoon), who is preparing to go on a trip to meet his girlfriend's family outside the safe confines of the city. Every few minutes hit with flashbacks -- that for the audience become a regular and eventually boring jolt to the senses -- Matt heads off in a Dodge convertible with young and frisky Dawn (Keegan Connor Tracy).
After a few pit stops and an intimidating encounter on a lonely road with gruff Sheriff Harding (Michael Pare), Matt and Dawn don't quite make it to her family's place in the "Blackwoods", so they check into the gloomy Yellow Rose Motel, run by bozo-haired eccentric Greg (Clint Howard
). After some energetic lovemaking, Dawn goes out for a walk, while Matt hides when a man with an ax comes into the room. But the Mystery Man
disappears and Dawn never comes back.
Soon enough, Matt finds where Dawn's family lives and goes to investigate. He is promptly made captive and put on trial by Dawn and her family -- including dictatorial Pa (Matthew Walker), revengeful Ma (Janet Wright
) and two berserker brothers (Ben Derrick
, Sean Campbell) -- for the death of her sister in the drunk-driving accident seen many times leading up to its revelation here, and replayed again a few times for good measure.
But who exactly did sloshed-on-wine Matt run into on a slick road while speeding, smoking a cigarette and changing his radio? It appears his old girlfriend (Sarah Deakins
) -- seen in many of the flashbacks as the one who can't stop him from driving off -- was right. Matt is a big loser in the game of life and doesn't seem to know it. Unfortunately the filmmakers forgot to make his "Beautiful Mind"-like meltdown a halfway engaging trip.
The performers have only serviceable dialogue to work with, and the production values are similarly backwoodsy.
Boll KG, Shavick Entertainment, Cine Media
Credits: Director: Uwe Boll
Screenwriter: Robert Dean Klein
Producer: Shawn Williamson
Executive producers: Wolfgang Herold
, Philip Selkirk
, Uwe Boll
Director of photography: Mathias Neumann
Production designer: Jason Sutherland
Editor: David Richardson
Costume designer: M. Livingstone
Music: Reinhard Besser
Casting: Katy Wallin
Matt: Patrick Muldoon
Dawn: Keegan Connor Tracy
Sheriff Harding: Michael Pare
Greg the Motel Clerk: Clint Howard
Johnny: Ben Derrick
Jack: Sean Campbell
Sarah: Sarah Deakins
Running time -- 92 minutes
MPAA rating: R