19 user 6 critic

Back Woods (2001)

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.


Grant Woodhill


David C. Hayes (as Hayden Davis)




Credited cast:
David C. Hayes ... Luther (as David Hayes)
Anna Shmieka Anna Shmieka ... Mandy (as Anna Schmeiekka)
Jim Edberg Jim Edberg ... Mama
Patrick Hazen Patrick Hazen ... Johnny
Yuj Wang Yuj Wang ... Leroy (as Jug Wang DDS)
Mara Goldman Mara Goldman ... Lisa
The Widowmaker The Widowmaker ... Deke (as The Windowmaker)
Mike Thallemer Mike Thallemer ... Sammy (as Jim)
Gregg Elder Gregg Elder ... Cannonball Boy (as Lord Andrew Backhawk III)
Jay Roma Jay Roma ... Crazy Al (as Crazy Larry)
David Lawrence David Lawrence ... Sheriff Taylor (as Lawrence Smythe)
Mangina Mangina ... Itself (as Joseph-Patricia Buck)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Miano Ferrari Miano Ferrari ... Truck Driver
Joe Roberts Joe Roberts ... Tow Truck Driver
Grant Woodhill Grant Woodhill ... Stepfather


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

Plot Keywords:

backwood slasher | See All (1) »


Dark, Demented and Obnoxious!


Comedy | Horror

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Originally filmed in 1987 and remained unreleased for over a decade. See more »

User Reviews

7 August 2017 | by dmsesquireSee all my reviews

BACKWOODS is a comprehensively bad movie, and I don't mean of the so-bad-it's-good variety: I will spend more thought writing this review than the filmmakers put into it.

The "film" (shot with videotape) opens with random shots of the woods, seen through what looks to be the eyes of the beast in WOLFEN. (That's a really popular effect in these cheapos.) Our narrator has obviously had his voice artificially slowered. (I just coined a phrase: "slowered" means slowed down and lowered. Remember when we used to play our 45s on 33-1/3, and we thought it was hilarious? Apparently, the sound department, accredited to Nick Clemente, still does.) Only here it's meant to be scary. It's not. That is the first of many "nots" in this "film".

This is followed by a random and gratuitous scene of humping in the woods, then the obligatory "30 Years Later..." title card. Our killer-du-jour is Luther, who is dropped by his mother in the woods, fully grown. The labor scene is the first of many such grotesqueries in this freak show. Mama (Jim Edberg) hops around the woods as if she's about to unleash a mammoth turd. Well, she does, but his name is Luther. This is played for laughs. Yes, apparently shitting out a full-grown child passes for humor these days. This is another "not": Not funny. There is an unwritten rule to these things: If it's going to gross us out, at least make us laugh; It's only offensive when it's not funny.

We can tell from the first few seconds that David Hayes' portrayal of Luther is going to have all the grotesquery and none of the funny. After Mama is struck down by a van full of college kids, Luther loses whatever mind he had and dons his mother's dress and wig and goes on a killing spree. Again, this is all played for laughs: It's funny to see fat men in women's clothing, right? Let's make fun of fat people, rednecks and transvestites in one swell foop while we're at it.

Then we focus on the kids for a while: Mandy (Anna Schmeiekka) and Johnny (Patrick Hazen) are an item; Leroy (Jug Wang DDS) and Lisa (Mara Goldman) are too. Sammy (Mike Thallemer) is the fifth wheel. The table is set for some gratuitous sex and pot-smoking, two mainstays of any killer-loose-in-the-woods entertainment.

Our filmmakers (David Hayes wrote the script in addition to giving us a performance that is unforgettable in all the wrong ways, and Grant Woodhill, who is responsible for the character of the stepfather, also directed) were not content to just make an awful, irredeemable video: They also decided they were clever enough to parody other films in the genre: Friday the 13th, Halloween, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Just Before Dawn, Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are all borrowed from or alluded to in some way. There is only one problem with this: If you're going to parody a film, you'd better make sure your product is better than the film you are parodying.

Once this mess of a film is set up, it is mercifully time for the killings. I don't say that because I'm bloodthirsty: I say that because I desperately wanted it to be over, so I was happy to see the countdown begin. Again, the brain trust behind this production was not content with simply knocking off the characters one-by-one. They had to do nasty things to them physically and sexually and linger on them like lascivious voyeurs. These set pieces reminded me of the cat who drags in some nasty rodent from outside and has a look on his face that says, "Look what I brought you." Patrick Hazen, who doubled as the film editor, should have been given free reign to chop these scenes to pieces, saving himself and his co-stars at least a little public humiliation.

There are undoubtedly some who get off on this fare. Honestly, I could have forgiven the whole thing had it just been funny. It's not. When you look at a film and find yourself wondering if they had left the tape blank, would it have been more entertaining, you've gotten hold of a real turd. This film should be a reminder for everyone that just because you have a video camera doesn't mean you should make a movie.

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Release Date:

1 January 2001 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$900 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Abnormal Entertainment See more »
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