It’s no secret that the SGM ethos endorses giving a fair hearing to up and coming independent horror regardless of the resources. Through my reviewing exploits I have been lucky enough to have uncovered some real gems that I would normally have not have been exposed to. PORKCHOP 2: RISE OF THE RIND was laden with blood, boobs and a truly zany charm that culminated in repeated viewings. Bradley Scott Sullivan’s I DIDN’T COME HERE TO DIE astutely conjured an element of originality within of the well-trodden slasher genre. Then of course anything Chad Ferrin puts before the camera usually results in a fervent mutated thumbs up from the team at SGM towers.

But this apparent allegiance to budget deprived horror fare definitely needs to be mixed with a large degree of honesty and responsibility. What I mean is simply supporting a picture because its ‘low budget’ is not being fair to punters who could be persuaded into laying down their hard earned cash for a movie that sounds great fun on paper but whose highlight stops at the vivid artwork on the discs packaging.

Bountiful nudity, copious depictions of narcotic abuse glazed over with an abundance of blood and guts if crammed into a punchy 80 minute feature in many cases can offset substandard acting, scripts and special effects in some cases. But this is where the latest movie from Matthew Bora called FOREST OF FEAR fails, fails and fails again!

The ominous demonic face gracing the front cover with the words UNRATED EDITION hovering below alludes to at least a few moments of enjoyable mayhem. What we get however is a truly mundane and nonsensical mess, pretty much devoid of any gore that will cost you a whopping 1 hour and 45 minutes of your precious viewing time if you stick with it till the final credits roll.

Apart from the covers artwork, the packaging also succeeds in another way. Its brief synopsis on the rear actually moulds semi comprehensible synopsis out of the absurd slapped together excuse of a narrative. It reads: "Ten Years ago, there was a "Ghost-like something" seen killing people in the woods as people were culled away one by one and some never to be found. What really happened? This year reports have surfaced that it was all just a "Hoax." A local philanthropist believes differently and puts a $2.5 Million Dollar Bounty on this "Beast" in the woods and a team of expert hunters go out looking for the "Silent Killer."

If only the movie itself was that simple. Before we get to the woods there is scene after scene introducing a tedious array of tiresome characters. Female rivalries culminate in mind-numbing "you’re a slut" insults being bandied about while their male counterparts simply appear to be making it up on the spot. The ‘expert hunters’ are hackneyed redneck folk who appear more intent on killing each other than actually vying for the $2.5 million bucks! Then we have our main heroine Barbara (Anna Kendrick), who is the governors’ daughter and a Tae Kwon Do expert heading to the Olympics. That is all fair enough until the ill-advised slow motion sparring sequences expose her inability to kick above waist height!

We eventually get to the week long stint in the woods by our main protagonists which is annoyingly portrayed by regular black screens with "DAY 1", "DAY 3" etc. The fact the ‘even’ numbered days fail to appear fills me with dread that somewhere out there exists is a 3 hour long ‘directors cut’ of this inane take on the Sasquatch legend. Production values of the movie plummet to pitifully poor depths. Wind drowning out certain passages of monotonous dialogue for example. By all means make a movie of however you wish and put it on YouTube for all to see for free. However, to expect horror fans to actually pay for such shoddy fare is self-indulgent and disrespectful quite honestly.

But the real nadir of this flick is the beast itself. It was like Rainbows’ Bungle with a cheap Gruffalo mask on! I loved a movie called the SEXSQUATCH that was a sincerely madcap affair. The costume used for the wood dwelling fiend in that movie was of equal ridiculous quality, but in such a screwball affair it worked. FTF however almost seems to believe it’s a terrifying piece of cinema (albeit with a 4:3 aspect ratio, devoid of atmosphere due to glaring digitized aesthetic) and in doing so really starts to grate.

The disc does at least attempt to redeem itself with a healthy bundle of extras. Firstly we have a "Directors Interviews" chapter which runs at 50 minutes. It’s remarkable just how highly Bora and his team rate their picture. Whether it is the characters, the "double twist" or the scoring of the movie, they seriously discuss the intricate details behind it. A healthy segment is dedicated to how they developed the costume for their Sasquatch which was fun but did little to change my opinion that is was a silly looking creature. The ‘behind the scenes’ documentary finishes with the cast confessing as to whether they believe in Bigfoot with the director having the last word informing us there will be a sequel!!! Brilliant! Moving on, the disc also offers two music videos. Firstly the punk infused band New Dead Radio and their rockier counterparts Santeria both donate a music video each promoting the movie. Both are directed by Bora and the combined 9 minutes was by far the highlight of the whole disc for me!

A 5 min 36 sec segment of deleted scenes put us through more torture before we get to a Directors BIO chapter of 1 min 36 secs. The original trailer completes the disc.

In summary, if poorly shot movies with an unforgivably long runtime, a slapdash meld of characters, a muddled narrative, no gore worthy of note and a childish looking ‘monster’ is your bag - give it a go! If nothing else, I dare you not to be honestly bewildered by the deluded high esteem the director and crew hold their project in.

Review by Marc Lissenburg

Released by Lost Empire
Region 1 NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review