Saturday, November 7, 2015

Welcome Back, After Dark! (2 of 4): Lumberjack Man (2015)

Five years since their last batch, 2015 marks the return of 8 Films to Die For, now with a new partnership with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment! 

And making this return more special for me is the fact we got half of the line-up packed with interesting slashers, so, for this 4-part review, we will be looking at these new masked terrors bodycounting their way through the festivities that is After Dark Horrorfest 2015!

So without further delay, let's get hacking! This is...

Lumberjack Man (2015)
Rating: ***
Starring: Michael Madsen, Hector Becerra, Jasmin Carina

Many years ago, there was once a lumberjack named Easterday who made flapjacks so good that one of the folks he generously shared it with murdered him for the recipe and made millions out of it. This of course angers the spirit of Easterday and it wasn’t long before he came back from the grave as a murderous demon logger with glowing red eyes, immense strength, and an appetite for giant blood-soaked pancakes, slaughtering anyone unfortunate enough to encounter him.

At the present, a bus full of either sex-craved or religiously-confused counselors is making its way to Good Friends Church Camp where the teens in question are tasked to prep up the place before the kids arrive the following morning. As these people go through the chores, spy on girls, and/or smoke a joint or two, little do they know that ole Easterday is around and this camp might just be their final resting place as they gorily fall victim to the logger, one staff at a time.

Boasting a fair level of camp wherein plot points like pancake syrup being an effective weapon against evil or a giant pancake bludgeoning is a thing that can happen, Lumberjack Man is a silly yet watchable throwback to 80s backwoods hack-a-thon, differentiating itself from other slasher-in-the-woods flick ever so slightly with its cheesy premise, gratuitous sleaze, and loads of gory kills that are quite fun to watch.

With a rather competent looking production and some okay set of casts spewing ridiculous writing, one can say Lumberjack Man does a rather straight approach as a hammy horror flick with boob jokes as early as the post-opening credits and the first kill coming in around fifteen-ish minutes later. Thankfully, despite the staggering 100 minute running time, the film only had a couple of scenes that felt the need of trimming down for pacing purposes, thus it is far from boring with its worthwhile moments (such as the cafeteria massacre and a cool animated origin story) easily outshining the bad ones.

Said moments worthy of trimming would be the last act (without spoiling) as it was drawn out for some forced additional gags and last minute sexy shenanigans that hardly worked at all, nearly going on forever before having the killer gets dispatched rather easily. (Though they tried to hype it up with a random explosion) I do hope this wasn’t the case since this killer lumberjack was just too cool to be done away at a snap of a finger.

There’s also the fact that not many of the characters are that memorable, may it be because they’re poorly written, hardly have enough screentime, or just simply there to be killed off and/or be a recurring background filler. I try not to look into this a lot since the main focus of the story is on Easterday’s rampage and a few characters did make themselves work with their cheesiness (Adam Sessler as an overly enthusiastic camp manager who thinks free pizza still works as a bribe) or over-the-top portrayal. (Michael Madsen as an Ahab who can be a bit too sure of himself)

With all of this, the totality of Lumberjack Man is a cheesy yet awesome slasher flick that truly delivers the kills and tits, and is a welcome addition to any horror fan’s viewing. Down-to-earth basic slaughtering never looked this fun, funny, and sticky sweet; see it with a whopping platter of fresh pancakes and you are good to go!

2 females beheaded with an axe
1 male impaled through the jaw with a javelin
1 male had his head torn off
1 male crushed by a falling tree
1 male strangled, head torn off
1 female mangled, thrown to a tree
1 male bludgeoned against a wall
1 female stabbed on the head with a spout
1 female bashed to death with a giant flapjack
1 male drowned in a vat of syrup (flashback)
1 victim seen being dismembered (flashback)
1 male hacked to death with an axe
1 female gets a thrown hatchet to the head
1 male decapitated with a hatchet
1 female slashed with an axe
1 male thrown to a fusebox
1 female had her silicons pushed out from the back
1 male gets a falling knife to his neck
1 male ran through the chest with a javelin
1 female found sliced to pieces
1 male ran through a logging saw, sliced in half
1 male had his heart torn out and shoved down his throat
Total: 23

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