Director Josh Bear grants the horror fans, an incredibly outrageously silly but wonderfully created exploitation, b-movie, found in teen sexual comedies such as National Lampoon and American pie. Lumberjack Man firmly and clearly assures to everyone that this movie does not intend to become a serious horror film, the premise defines it early on, and shown throughout the screenplay from Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin, with a story from Bill Muehl. The script supplies a ridiculous storyline, bizarre subplots, and definitely not politically correct, as the sexism rains down supreme on everything and everyone in a colorful barrage of bloody kills and T&A galore. In addition, Bear shows a touch of insight to the slasher genre and the intention of dumbing-down the audience with stranger stories of why a killer stalks numerous teens, and the reason for this one, a demon logger upset because someone stole his recipe for his syrup used on pancakes – honestly. This film had the inclusion in the 2015’s “8 Films to Die For” packaging from After Dark Films, and delivers with violent bloody beheadings, impaling, and devastating slashing of all who cross his path, all thanks to Madisonian Films, pleasing the wishes of the male teenage gore-hound market.
The film starts with the staff of Good Friends Church Camp preparing for a spring break filled with “Fun Under the Son”, and good, innocent nature film, spoiled by the exploits of a demon logger, hauling his sap boiler unleashing vengeance upon all that cross his path and grounds. He enjoys the satisfying kills, slathering their blood on his stack of pancakes & feast on each bite. The Lumberjack Man film sticks to the usual slasher rules a group of random characters in an isolated setting place. Before all this takes place, the group of teens ventures onto the bus ride for a week-long retreat to honor the Lord at a bible camp, with bolstering position of the young men, to sexual dominance while condemning anything not manly. The film is definitely not for anyone who is sensitive, thin-skinned, easily offended, unable to find and understand the satire excluding in all avenues. A vast assortment of oddities fills the checklist for most rudimentary horror fans to enjoy the campy and silly tones, and brutally ridiculous and bloody deaths including a double beheading in one shot. As for those characters, truly run the gambit of taste, from Faith (Ciara Flynn (Stonehearst Asylum ) as a main principle role and likely candidate for the final girl, with incredible tact with words, line delivery and right balance of attitude; followed closely by the lunacy and corny silliness of camp director Doug (Adam Sessler). However, Reggie (Jarrett King) the camp cook, brings a wonderful charm and Theresa (Andy San Dimas, yes the adult film star), delivering a fun bouncy character performance as a main camp counselor, with a local Officer LuAnn Potts (Brina Palencia) delivering a hilarious contribution, and far-fetched gun toting scene hinting back to funny shootout scenes where no reloading occurs. Lastly, Michael Madsen’s character Dr. Peter Shirtcliff (mixture of Crazy Ralph and Dr. Loomis) establishes him smartly and even a tad serious, as he drives a smart car, though knowing having immense fun with role. Although, others filter in with smaller roles, the actors all work very well together, never taking the role too dramatic, it all feels natural and easy going for example Alex Dobrenko (Jeff) a light comedic take at all situations. The scenes truly catering to all sorts of unchristian activities, providing more hypocrisy, such as skinny dipping, drugs, peeping toms, naïve girls, and Leon snorting coke off a school bus steering wheel, all it feels as update version of Animal House. While other movies have better horror comedies within them, this one resonates in the bowels of low budget, guttural humor in the lowest common dominator. Although one must not forget the killer, Lumberjack Man (Brandon Ford), complete with overwhelming size glowing red eyes behind tree bark mask.
Many of the kills have points for originality impaled in the forehead with an old faucet, which the killer then turns on to let her blood flow out and another’s body folded into the shape of a table quickly against a tree for no apparent reason, again providing a bit of satire, to slasher fans. While it’s easy to just simply brutally kill with a machete no real intention needed for the physical mayhem to shape the human body into new abstract positioning. Another interesting killing has one character sliced in half by a tree saw and watching his lower body run away while he’s still alive, similar to either Jason X (2001) when half a victim tries to crawl away, or in the remake of Thirteen Ghosts (2001) when the lawyer splits. In addition, watch for the similarities of the killings between an oversized fellow and the large size woman from Friday the 13th, Part 4 (1984) something a bit fruity. Lastly, Michael Madsen’s brief impression of Julius from Friday the 13th, Part VIII (1989) is a fine homage performance, of funny proportions.
Aside of the corny dialogue lies an amateur film to some degree, but exactly where the satire starts, and ends is difficult to place clearly, aimed at teens, with violence and sleazy tactics layered over each other repeatedly throughout the film. As the countless parodies line up of sadly only one slasher film, Friday the 13th, why the others weren’t include, unsure of the reasoning, a missed opportunity, which likely had the chance to broaden the reach of the movie. The clichés of other films, all seem slightly off, and outdoes the welcome by 10-minutes, another pass at the editing definitely needed to tighten the film.
The Lumberjack Man film is worthy of at least a rental, a onetime sit through, though it doesn’t measure to Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) while set in a camp atmosphere, the campy style seems left out and the jokes which rest on the laurels of becoming hearty laughs. The generalized market of male teens and college students, looking for a one-off flick to enjoy the sleaze factors often found in exploitation movies, though this movie does not equal that group either, rather just a low-budget creation for entertainment value and nothing more.
This review was originally published on Rogue Cinema’s website in July of 2016 with 1,870 views.
IMDb Rating: 4.2/10
Baron’s Rating: 4/10