As many horror fans know slasher subgenre movies have a solid baseline and provide a steady diet for cinematic legends, such as Craven and Cunningham, but also generate an easy entry for the budding filmmakers, such as Daniel Benedict and his film Bunni. This marks his second feature film, the other was 13-years ago, called The Unwanted [2000], and like that movie he again wears the hats of many positions, rightly or wrongly the is jury still out on this viewpoint, however it limits costs and shows the labor of the passion of the project.  The movie does not stray far from the core of the subgenre, following the path of other obscure horror films, which came before it, filling with vicious killings, and strange storylines, however, Benedict successfully earned a WildEye Releasing distribution for his low-budget flick.

The true introduction of the movie has the audience witnessing a husband and wife fighting, after he’s caught violating his vows, having an affair with a stripper named Bunni (Cat Geary). Early foreshadowing, perhaps not, the movie quickens the pace to a familiar and common theme in the slasher subgenre, two young couples drinking and being romantically silly for their Halloween party and venture to an abandoned location, a warehouse and/or a factory depending on the viewpoint. Though all know this never adds up to a good thing, the rules all broken, and of course the killer a twisted individual, which has an interesting mask, as shown on the box art lies waiting in the darkness. Oh, who could it be? Now, returning to our couples, first Rick (Daniel Benedict (Harvest Lake [2016])) and Ashley (Sara Ammons), as well as Chris (Kent Blue) and his girlfriend, now to avoid a spoiler and who the final girl is, no detail on who this is, but they venture into the dangerous location, because all warehouse appeal for adventure of teens. One must not forget the character Lisa (Alexandria Hendrick (Volumes of Blood [2015])), while providing a relief to some better acting portrayal, then her counterpart although, they all seem to be in their first productions and horror films, which is never as easy as it seems. While Daniel, strived for an 80s throwback, and keep a simple story structures it slips and slides its way to a conclusion, this mainly comes for production issues and cast problems, but the passion of the craft shines through.

I had a question regarding the artwork of this film, and the process of securing distribution, while it is an odd topic; it does play to a significant aspect, and hence why not ask the director himself. Daniel Benedict stated, “We premiered the film on Halloween 2013, spent 2014 touring the movie with film festivals. Then we self-released it on DVD at the end of 2014 [with vastly different artwork] at that time we also made the deal with WildEye. We had to film additional scenes to make the film longer for distribution.  We shot that at the end of 2014, and I finished the editing halfway through 2015. So, I turned it into WildEye, and they waited till March 2016 to release it. The DVD cover with the killer on it was designed by WildEye.” Now the reasoning for this primarily question, take a look at the artwork from Midnight Releasing film Blood Widow [2014], and see a common theme, however, this has become a norm, many fans note the similarities of the poster art of many movies, for example Nicolas Cage, usually the same angle of his face is show, the right side. As a reviewer and filmgoer, I prefer keeping the appearance of the monster or killer hidden from sight unless it very clear who it, such as a Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise film, thereby adding to the tension and creating a whodunit theme.

The movie suffers from the lack of proper funding, when one hears the term low budget everyone has his or her own level of interest and for this production an estimated accounting suggests $2,000. This blueprint for the checklist of issues, muffled audio regarding dialogue exchanges, poor lightning, filming mostly at night in darkened rooms, bad framing and what every horror with blood-loss, good special effects, that lacks too. An example of poor and unrealistic gore, shaving/cutting the forehead of a victim with what appears as a Bic razor, in an attempt of weird torture porn. The closest one’s every saw a bit of blood from it on a face, Predator [1987] from character Mac (Bill Duke) skillfully done with to convey an emotional moment, not so in this movie.

Daniel gives a short horror film, 60-minutes, and note it needed lengthening for the distribution deal, mixing it with the passion to create a movie, where so many others fail to complete or even start. Now as for the time to invest in viewing the movie, definitely a mix bag, one must decide on the value of the budget equals the outcome of the flick, and no more, the DVD offers a few extras include a little of his production company Red Serial Films.

This review was originally published in August 2016 on the now non-existent Rogue Cinema website.

IMDb Rating: 3.1/10

Baron’s Rating: 3.0/10