(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

CAPSULE: The wife and the daughter of a violent abuser flee his wrath and his sadism. They escape is only to be captured by another man who is every bit as bad as the first. When the second man's captives try to escape they find themselves sandwiched between a psychotic and a band of werewolves. At one point the premise had the potential to make a strong social statement, but it is lost and in large part wasted in a pile of sadism and predictable plot twists. Still, the werewolves are visually effective. Writer and Director: Todd Sheets. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

One popular category of monster films is the werewolf. Of the classical Universal monsters we have Dracula who is usually pure destructive evil; we have the Frankenstein monster who has psychological problems after his inhumane mistreatment; and perhaps most interestingly we have the werewolf who lives in fear he will lose control and release his own powers. After the film THE WOLF MAN internal forces that rob them of their self-control transform werewolves. I would say that the last, the werewolf, is the most conflicted and hence the most interesting. Todd Sheets has written and that directed a new werewolf film that could have been much better. He did not give it the psychological depths that were possible with his werewolves. A scriptwriter who has not dealt with this issue is just using werewolves as scary monsters.

Eden Stevens (played by Ana Rojas) and her mother Emily (Eli DeGeer) have both lived too long in the shadow of Eden's abusive father and have had enough. They decide to run away hoping to get help from Emily's father. But racing down the road they have one road accident and then a second one. It seems they are going to go from one personal disaster to the next. And the disasters come one after another. They are in the hands of another sadist worse than the one they have just left. It is hard to imagine being in the hands of someone worse than their new tormenter. But werewolves are a different matter...

The script of BONEHILL ROAD was written and directed by Todd Sheets. From the style it could have been a film from the old HOWLING series, but with gallons more gore and violence. But too often Sheets just falls back on making his werewolves just scary monsters.

In the end the film has nothing much original for werewolf films. It pours a little (well more than a little) stage blood on the proceedings, but otherwise the werewolves made up in different make-up could have been George Romero's breed of the Undead. The werewolves are just one more hazard for the main characters of this story. When I saw the original THE HOWLING what really impressed me was the vision of the man transforming into a bear-like werewolf. I was sorry we did not get more scenes with that sort of intimidating beast in the older film. I have not seen too many werewolf films in the interim, but that seems to be the visual design they used for the werewolves in BONEHILL ROAD. The effect is impressive. These werewolves would have easily sent Lawrence Talbot off yelping. Stick around through the closing credits for a coda, just trying to being amusing. I rate the film a: October 27 low +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. The film was releases October 27.

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					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2018 Mark R. Leeper