Bonehill Road Movie Review
Written by Stuart D. Monroe
Released by Wild Eye Releasing
Written and directed by Todd Sheets
2018, 106 minutes, Not Rated
Released on October 9th, 2018
Eli DeGeer as Emily Stevens
Ana Rojas-Plumberg as Eden Stevens
Linnea Quigley as Suzy
Millie Milan as Tina
Dilynn Fawn Harvey as Lucy
Douglas Epps as Coen Anders
Bonehill Road is a bit of a first for me. I’ve never really been torn on what to consider a film – gleefully grindy trash or poorly executed unintentional comedy. It’s a weird metaphorical fence to sit on top of; the gaudy wrought-iron is just begging for a bodily orifice to impale. Help me figure it out without getting penetrated, would you?
Bonehill Road is the story of Emily Stevens (Eli DeGeer; Dreaming Purple Neon) and her daughter, Eden (Ana Rojas-Plumberg; Dreaming Purple Neon), on the run from an abusive home and a violent confrontation. They’re on their way to stay with family when they’re attacked by a pack of werewolves in the middle of nowhere, and Emily is scratched in the escape. Now on the run from abusive men and werewolves, they take shelter in a farmhouse where old-timey music is blaring from. Once inside, they find a pair of beaten and bound women, Suzy (horror legend Linnea Quigley; Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Demons) and Tina (Millie Milan; Dreaming Purple Neon). That’s right; on the run from abusive men and werewolves, they’ve landed in the home of a cannibalistic serial killer, Coen Anders (Douglas Epps; Dreaming Purple Neon). Some people just can’t catch a break.
On the one hand, you’ll be agog at how painful some of the acting is. Aside from young Eden, the characters all seem to be very extreme. They’re either overselling the situation or utterly unfazed by the batshit lunacy around them. Rojas-Plumberg is the only one who seems to have a grasp of the gravity of the events unfolding around her. The exception is (of course) the great Linnea Quigley, but we are robbed of her awesomeness by the fact that it’s a cameo. She’s there one second and gone the next. It broke my heart.
The continuity (particularly in the abuse makeup on Emily) is so far out of sync as to be genuinely shocking. One scene she’s bleeding from the left side of her mouth, the next she’s simply bruised on the right side. It’s as if no two scenes are the same makeup job. The illogical procession of events combined with the lack of urgency on the part of the hunters or the hunted is downright bizarre as well. It is all so disjointed.
On the other hand, the makeup is spectacular for a $13,500 budget. The werewolves are full suit jobs and very effective (barring a female at the end that looks straight out of bad ‘80s television horror). The gore is excessive and revels in the extreme nature of it all. There’s disemboweling, overshot wound prodding with sharp implements, gut munching, deep wounds, and people eating other (cooked) people. It’s pretty hard to find fault with that! When you top it off with one of the best posters I’ve ever seen, it changes your perspective even more.
The tone isn’t meant to be overly comedic, but it comes off as an unintentional comedy of the highest order. In fact, I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard (certainly not in any intended comedy in recent memory). I finished the movie thinking it was a shitfest, but seeing director Todd Sheets’ resume (Dreaming Purple Neon) helps me to see it for the intended schlock that it is. He’s working with his regulars and having a good time doing it.
Had I known that going in, I might have seen it differently. Then again, Bonehill Road is cut from such a unique cloth, mashing tones and styles with insane glee, that I might have come out feeling the same. Great. I’m still confused…but I enjoyed the experience like you enjoy that burger with all the ingredients that shouldn’t mix.