Screenwriter and director David Ryan Keith employed at least three cast members from his first production Attack of the Herbals (2011) for this 1980s throwback to the glorious reign of slasher dominating carnage flick, along with a crew of only three others on set aside from the music composer and the producers. He carefully spent the investment of $75,000, with $25k for shooting the feature and the rest on both post-production and delivery, as this creation hails from the UK and local actors in and around Aberdeen, Scotland, achieving distribution through Uncork’d Entertainment.
The Redwood Massacre doesn’t break any new ground, except to show that the influence of America’s horror market of slasher descended on Scotland. A typical group of five friends venture out into the woods for a camping trip and party at an old urban legends area (celebrating the 20th anniversary of a legendary mass murder mayhem at a farmhouse), and shockingly an overly large folklore killer wearing a sack as a mask, is on the loose. This mask, reminds one of The Town That Dreaded Sundown meets Kane Hodder’s melted face near the end of Smothered (2016), and still has the tormented killer exacting revenge for his past treatment. The Redwood Madman simply makes his way by trekking through the woods in the darkness, heading in the right direction, as if GPS (Guaranteed Preferred Slashing) knew the victims’ location, no difference between him and his counterpoint Jason Voorhees. Benjamin Selway, listed as Evil Highlander, does a fine job of clearing the landscape of trespassers, and sporting the classic overalls with a red checker flannel shirt. The group of young adults shuffle through the woods, with enough racket to alert anyone of their annoying presence and unsure why the whispering of doomed legend when alone in the woods, filter in talks of sexual references. There’s no character development, exploration or involvement just the build up to the full slaughtering of another collection of the teens with a killer interested in some hide and go kill games. Pamela (Lisa Cameron) the ideal good girl and Bruce (Mark Wood) her interest; Kirsty (Lisa Livingstone) the diva character, no horror movie complete without one along with her boyfriend Mark (Adam Coutts) and his ex-girlfriend Jessica (Rebecca Wilkie) always searching out a party. Quite easily to discern who’s the final girl likely becomes and actually the one, everyone strives to have the ability to flee the monster. The teens truly mind their own business, except for talking about the monster killer otherwise nothing, just blameless in their existence the justification for blood loss. While the concept of killing in a horror film, takes many facets, a hulking creature presents unlimited supply of murderous actions. In addition, there’s no true possibility of the film, The Redwood Massacre spawning a franchise tag or future trademark of an iconic killer, perhaps a sequel for the twisted horror fans.
The quality of acting in horror films, always suspect, especially the lower end of budget productions, yet it surprisingly stays sharp, and constant jarring between Lisa’s and Rebecca’s characters, as they thwart through troublesome and unnatural flow of the dialogue. Keith’s production never muddles down into the bog with regard of tone or the pacing of the movie, filling a swift 82-minutes of slashing mayhem pleasures for the horror fans. All the kill scenes reportedly combined spilled over 100 pints of blood, and due to power issues, Keith’s tight and yet experienced crew made wonderful usage of the location, allowing to speak volumes where their movie lacks is the voice. A sight offset with the killing, centers on the speed of the killing, a bit too quick although, adds to a high quality on screen with stellar production values.
A chilling display of grotesque, authentic multiple violent deaths displaying an explicit quality of gore for the blood lusting, not merely by destroying his intended victims but with a resonating bloodbath, which gives deep evasive to the main word in the title Massacre. Some may not want or like the excessive violence cascading all over the screen, this movie wants one to abandon all reasonable thought and allow the explicitly violent evil doer, rampage his brutality into a ferocious blast from the past.
This review originally posted on Rogue Cinema in June of 2016 with a view count of 1,864 views.
IMDb Rating: 3.3/10
Baron’s Rating: 3/10