Allow me a moment to fully disclose that I met Todd Sheets for the first time at the NJ Horror Con and Film Festival #4 in Atlantic City, NJ, I saw the artwork for his werewolf movie, and thought this looks interesting. After some discussion of his film, I promised him that I wouldn’t reveal any spoilers of the movie. He informed me, he called in a lot of favorites to make this passion piece, on a very extreme low budgeted amount roughly under $20,000, while providing full werewolf costumes and practical effects. Many critics and fans know of Sheets’ work, normally covered in vast amounts of blood and gore, it dates back to Sorority Babes in the Dance-A-Thon of Death (1991) to one of the directors on the anthology movie Hi-8 (Horror Independent 8) to the highly anticipated Clownado, whatever he does it’s always with the horror fan in mind for rich splatters in his films, achieving a successful distribution from Wild Eye Releasing. I’ve had a fondness for the werewolf subgenre, dating back to The Wolf Man (1941) to the classic practical effects films of An American Werewolf in London (1981) and The Howling (1981), to some fans the conceptual design of the species centers around screenwriter Curt Siodmak, while implementing some myths, legends, and a hint of historical religious facts. Whichever the case, this movie provides not just one beast, rather a pack of vicious monsters, ready for feeding time.
As typical in his films, things get started quickly, no endless title cards or company logos, an intense domestic fight rages on between husband (Aaron Brazier) and his wife Emily (Eli DeGeer (Empire State of the Dead )), which spirals to involve their daughter Eden (Ana Rojas-Plumberg), with the women getting the upper hand on their abuser as they flee in desperation to a friends’ home, and head down Bonehill Road. All horror fans know this going to get much worse as their vehicle either hits something or that something hit them, whichever the case they crash and enter into a new world of pain, suffering and trouble. They escape or do they, as the burst into a farmhouse in the middle of the woods, and stumble upon a weird subplot of the storyline, finding a group of women Tina (Millie Milan), Lucy (Dilynn Fawn Harvey (Sleepless Nights ), and Suzy (Linnea Quigley (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers )) bound and beaten. Once the maniacal captor Coen (Douglas Epps) appears, one wonders who’s more dangerous him or the werewolves. Unlike the creatures of other films, this pack doesn’t storm the home, rather tormenting those inside, knowing the wilderness and darkness both play soundly into their claws. What comes next from these devilish hounds of hell, a delicious feeding fest or something disastrous will take you viewing the movie.
Sheets’ movie provides many good chemistry points throughout the film, first between mother and daughter both actresses establishing their strengths and weaknesses, and using that in those tension filled moments scattered in the flick. Then the incredible usage of shifting camera angles showing that talent can and does excel the limitations of a budget, this extended the clear and crisp night shooting, with lighting working very well, Often in low budget indie projects both lighting and sound suffer the greatest downfalls, however that’s not the case here, in fact they (the crew) overcome and push out to make sure the practical effects explode on the screen, thereby delivering a smorgasbord of blood-splatter and gore. Todd generated gallons of blood usage in and on his movie, and showed full scale werewolves, not just upper torso, or mere claws, rather going through the process of transformation and to complete standing characters.
One critic, claimed, that Bonehill Road was the only werewolf feature in 2017, this is vastly incorrect, actually quite a few werewolf films came out in 2017, Blood Moon River, Another Wolfcop, Good Manners, Predatory Moon, Carnivore, and Night Howl just to name a few, and no this subgenre didn’t die off in the last ten years. In fact, using the action-thriller Underworld (2003) as a benchmark there’s been at least 100 lycanthrope flicks to present, and over 800-films in this subgenre since it all started back in the 1920s.
Sometimes one finds a film with the perfect title, it tells enough information of where it takes place, and the word ‘bonehill’ makes one think of a western aspect. Best of all, the movie never shies away from the blood, guts, and gore, and incorporates plethora of political incorrectness. Lastly the werewolves, are superbly designed and executed on the screen, never copping out rather a full display for the audience to enjoy old style practical effects. The movie made one recall those trips to a West Coast Video, choosing a grimy VHS title, which this film appears as a classic b-movie that the fans seeking something different crave even more for their carnage junkie fix.
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Baron’s Rating: 6.5/10