Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Blood Moon River" Review

Combining a "found footage" feel, with an old school "creature in the woods" mentality, "Blood Moon River", the new feature from HM&M Films ("Night of the Dolls", "House of Whores"), is quite a departure from the rapist clown antics we've come to expect from Tom Komisar and Daniel Murphy. Have these whackos gotten serious on us? Read on...

After opening with a super hot lesbian sex scene in a tent involving Crystal and Angie (Nikki Strange and Sara Ingram respectively), 6 twentysomethings, shooting a reality haunt show called "D' Bunkt", go off into a wooded area, notorious for strange disappearances, to shoot footage and look for a missing friend (the aforementioned Crystal). Strange noises interrupt the requisite partying and skinny dipping, and soon a run in with some local rednecks (played to brilliant perfection by Murphy, Komisar, and my pal, Cam Scott) adds to a thickening plot and a sense of impending dread. Things go from not-so-bad, to really-fucking-worse in the 56 or so minute running time, culminating in a twist of an ending that even the most jaded fan of fright flicks may not see coming.

 "We're not in Kansas anymore..."

The cast, including frequent HM&M co-conspirators like Strange, Lindsey McIntire and Eric Reaume, is heavy on the good looking: Stan Traylor, RJ Cecott, Naphatia Edwards, and the awesome Sydney Dean all combine to bring an excellent sense of chemistry and believability to the proceedings.  And in the "holy-shit-where-have-they-been-keeping-HER?" column is Cara McConnell, easily the hottest indie horror actress this reviewer has seen in a while, Yowza!

Nikki Strange needs a Motrin
Murphy, in particular, seems to be channeling Edwin Neal as "Skeeter", especially in a scene that is very reminiscent of the dinner table setpiece in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Lofty goals, but Komisar and Murphy manage to reach them more often than not with "Blood Moon River". It draws from a lot of obvious influences, but never ends up in danger of becoming a "Blair Witch" knock off (BMR has actual likeable characters, more action and lacks the crushing boredom elements of TBWP).
"Them's some purty words yer sayin' 'bout us"
Chilling, suspenseful and seriously entertaining, "Blood Moon River" shows what two knuckleheads can do when they doff the clown masks, pen a truly frightening story and couple it with elevated direction and an amazing ensemble cast, it's a triumph in micro budget film making. Hands down, HM&M's best film to date!

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