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BACKWOODS BUTCHERS DVD SET PART 1

Main Cast: Dan Shaked, Marianne Hagan

Director: Mike Nichols

bread crumbs dvd coverWell, that was just terrible. But it’s my own fault; I woke up today and decided this week’s movie was going to be something bad. So I consider this a success.

Bread Crumbs is a 2011 movie written by Samuel Freeman and Charles Black from a story by Anthony Masi and Kohta Asakura, and directed by Mike Nichols. It stars no one you’ve ever heard of, nor will you unless you watch this movie, so getting into the cast is a waste of words for this one.

The characters, Eddie, Angie, Chuck … some other people whose names I never remembered and who don’t matter … are part of a production company headed to a cabin in the woods to shoot a porn movie. While there, the crew are tormented by two locals, a brother and sister duo, Henry and Patti, whom the victims constantly refer to as “the kids”, but who are clearly in their 20s. I could never tell if the original story called for actual kids but, considering the nature of the movie, they hired people over 18 to play the kid roles or if, for whatever stupid reason, the characters were honestly supposed to think these two were “kids”. Either way, it’s dumb, not scary, and I never could understand how NINE characters are running scared from two lanky weirdos. Sure, they’re in the woods and the “kids” obviously know the area better and, hell, maybe they even set up traps, who knows, but in one scene TWO of the characters come face to face with Patti, and Patti is a short, skinny redhead who looks like she hasn’t had a decent meal in weeks, either one of the other two characters could have taken her out with a half-hearted backhand or even a mumbled, “Outta my way.”

Instead, they run screaming back into the cabin. Because the script calls for it, not because it makes any sense. Nothing in this movie made any sense.

And that really sucks because how hard is it to do a cabin in the woods slasher movie? It can’t possibly be that difficult, the story practically writes itself. Yet somehow this cast and crew managed to mess up one of the most basic plots in the genre.

There is no discernible logic to the antagonists, and some may say “But that makes them even scarier,” and I would argue that, no it doesn’t, it just means someone in charge of this movie didn’t think it through properly and give us villains with a purpose.

“But what about Michael Myers?” those people would say. “He was an agent of chaos with no discernible logic, he was just a killing machine.” He was also a very imposing figure. The guy who plays Henry weighs 120 lbs after a big meal, and that’s a tall 120 lbs. Patti is probably shorter than me, and I’m just barely 5’ 5”. These two are not agents of chaos, they’re two goofy backwoods bumpkins you should be able to chase away with a broom and some harsh words.

These two did NOT just take out an entire 9-person film crew.

And while we’re on plot … was that supposed to be an ENDING to this movie? No, that wasn’t an ending. An ending is an ENDING, you know it’s an ending. This was a scene that stops, and then credits. But an ending to an 86-minute movie it was NOT.

And don’t get me started on the “bread crumbs” aspect. Henry and Patti keep talking about houses made of candy and how their cakes weren’t sweet enough last time, and Henry shoves candies into the mouths of at least two victims before he kills them. He makes reference to being left alone to take care of Patti, and Patti repeatedly calls Angie “Mommy”. In another scene Angie is walking in the woods, covered in blood, and wearing a big red sweater with a hoodie. So I couldn’t tell if they were riffing on Hansel and Gretel, with the candy houses and mom and dad leaving them alone, or if they were actually talking about all such deep in the woods fairy tales. Whatever it was, it made no sense to me. The German title of the movie was “Das Hansel and Gretel Massaker” which would have made slightly more sense had I known that before watching the American Bread Crumbs version.

The acting. I know these guys are all supposed to be porn actors, and the joke is that porn actors are terrible, but Jesus Christ. With almost every single line in this movie, I felt like I was watching the porn they were supposed to be making, we just hadn’t got to the X-rated stuff yet. It probably didn’t help that the director himself, Mike Nichols, plays the director of the porn movie, and let’s be clear, he’s barely a director, he’s definitely not an actor. But then, I’m not convinced anyone else in this thing was, either.

From start to finish, Bread Crumbs is made of shame and regret. No one saw this movie in the final edit stage and said, “Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.” At most, someone might have watched it and said, “Eh, good enough.”

Trust me, it wasn’t.

C. Dennis Moore is the author of over 60 published short stories and novellas in the speculative fiction genre. Most recent appearances were in the Dark Highlands 2, What Fears Become, Dead Bait 3 and Dark Highways anthologies. His novels are Revelations, and the Angel Hill stories, The Man in the Window, The Third Floor, The Ghosts of Mertland and The Flip. He is writing another Angel Hill novel called Return to Angel Hill with co-author David Bain.