Bloody-Disgusting Selects is quickly becoming the ultimate movie experience for horror fans. It’s not only because we’re so committed to bringing you the best films that we can find, but also because we love hearing your voice and seeing your reviews for each film. That’s why BD Music is beyond excited to announce that Shannon Larkin, drummer of multi-platinum hard rock band Godsmack, will be doing movie reviews for all future BD Selects films! Having spoken to Shannon, I can assure you doubters that he has a huge knowledge of horror and his love for the genre is just as deep and passionate as the rest of us.
In celebration of this partnership, we’re bringing out the second half of Shannon’s review for the newly released BD Selects film, Yellowbrickroad
. You can check out the first half here
. Check it out after the jump and keep an eye out for a Bloody-Disgusting exclusive interview in the next few days!
Yellowbrickroad – Shannon Larkin:
Hell-o fellow horrorhounds! It is my pleasure to review scary films for the mighty bloodydisgusting.com. A dream gig, actually. This is my first official review, so for the record, and for the last time, I will say that I am a long time working musician that has been blessed to drum with my idols and peers alike in the course of over thirty years. I have been in Godsmack for the last nine years.
My passion with horror began in the mid-seventies when I was a kid, and my father would wake me on Saturday nights at midnight for the Creature Features that featured mostly the classic Hammer films and monster movies like Godzilla and the like. My love for the genre far exceeds my modest collection of horror films, but I’m sure that if it is a movie that has made (or will make) my collection, it must have that something that makes the mind take the undeniable journey to the darkest and most uncomfortable place in the human psyche – fear. Horror. The bloodier the better. I will give a true fan’s review of each film and …enough about me! Bring on the nightmares…
So, Yellowbrickroad, an official selection at the Slamdance Festival in 2010. First time directors and writers Andy Mitton and Jesse Holland conceived this idea in 2007 and developed it over a couple years. What they came up with is a typical plot (a group of eight people head into the woods on a mission to solve an urban legend), but what they did with it was very original. The character development was nice, with solid acting and good dialogue, and some authentic sounding New England accents. The script is smart and moves well, building tension and conveying a scary, isolated and lost atmosphere by the time the first kill occurs. Although they make you wait, the first kill is brutal and unexpected.
For a quick synopsis, we learn about the bizarre tragedy in the small town of Friar, NH in the 1940’s when all the townspeople left their homes and marched up a mountain trail, never to be found (except the massacred bodies that didn’t make it up trail). We then meet the group of scientists and writers wanting to investigate and document the story of Friar, and learn of the urban legends shrouding the town with mystery. The “leader” of the expedition, Teddy (Michael Laurino), gets a hold of the trail’s coordinates, and it’s game on – except when they arrive there is no trail, but a creepy old movie theatre. With a little luck, Teddy meets Liv (Laura Heisler), a local girl working at the theatre who knows where the trail is and will take them there, as long as she can tag along.
What is at the end of the trail? Heaven? Hell? There will be no spoiler here, but I will say this is a well-shot film that is quite prolific with deep dialogue and insightful, thought provoking themes (especially when Liv and Cy (Sam Elmore) break off and eat “bad berries” that are apparently like magic mushrooms). We only get four kills, and a couple suicides, with a little blood and gore sprinkled in effectively, but it still kept my attention and was an interesting thing to watch the well-developed characters spiral into their own madness with each step along the “road”.
The best part was the way the music was used as a kind of magnet (or should I say lure?) to draw the characters along the path to madness and beyond, then becoming a violent, punishing thing. The idea was very original and believable in its direction and delivery, and ultimately sold me on this film.
If you like a bit of deep thought and beautiful, dark cinematography in a tense, isolated atmosphere outdoors, you will like this film.
My way of rating is simple. “One” to “Five”, with “three” being really good and worthy of my collection. “Ones” go right to the trash, “twos” may get in if there’s something really special or memorable (like say an unforgettable eye gouging or the like), but very rarely. However, I do rate with “halfs”, as in “two and a half - the movie sucked but earned the extra half simply because it stars Bruce Campbell, therefore makes my collection”. You get the picture. Oh, “fours” are brilliant must sees, and five stars means you should own and turn on to as many people as possible, or you aren’t a horror fan.
Yellowbrickroad: 3 stars. I will proudly add this to my collection and recommend it to horror fans of the thinking variety. Personally, I say “more gore!” Give me chaos and carnage and cannibalism and torture and zombies, beheadings, monsters, boobies, Satan, headshots, blood, MURDER…
But alas, I digress…
Until next time, Apocalypse!