Seasoned horror veteran director Todd Sheets delivers his latest indie horror opus upon the masses with Bonehill Road. This film is a love letter to classics like The Howling, Silver Bullet and American Werewolf In London – minus the comedy. Although Sheets has been creating gloriously gory films for over 30 years, he has not run out of things to say, and in 2016, the filmmaker unleashed another diatribe of voracious horror titled Dreaming Purple Neon (read our review of the film here), a film that played out as this trippy, drug-induced, satanic gore extravaganza. This year, he offers a 180 degree turn with Bonehill Road.
I can honestly say that, for me, Bonehill Road is possibly his best and most mature work to date. Sheets is well respected in the horror community. He’s a people’s champion who keeps a positive outlook and whose energy and creativity is inspiring. His creation is the result of years of wisdom and experience in the industry and it shows. Bonehill Road features 100% practical effects and in this age of CGI horror, it is a refreshing yet challenging approach, especially on such a meager budget. The Midnight EFX crew teamed up with legendary effects artist Joe Castro (Terror Toons, The Summer Of Massacre, Jackhammer Massacre) to give time and passion to this project to create something many thought was not possible, especially considering the time, budget and practical effects involved. This film is the result of an Indiegogo campaign where Sheets collected a mere $13,700 to complete the project. Sheets has made this film a personal labor of love and, despite the setbacks, it is now completed. The result is literally one hell of a monster of a film.
Bonehill Road is a film Sheets does not want classified as a gore-fest per se, and although it does contain some very gruesome material, it also manages to highlight suspense, atmosphere and some rather tight performances, especially from the leads Eli DeGeer (Emily) and Ana Rojas-Plumberg (Eden). These two women play a mother and daughter who have escaped their abusive patriarch, only to find themselves in a broken down car and isolated in the back country on Bonehill Road.
The two hole up in their car for awhile after hitting what seems to be some sort of animal, an accident that leaves the vehicle out of commission. They are then attacked by a horde of werewolves and flee the scene, only to end up hiding in the secluded haven of a sadistic madman named Coen Anders (Douglas Epps), who already just happens to have three female abductees in his possession. While the madman continues his reign of torture and degradation, they all have a new problem to worry about… the werewolves have followed Emily and Eden to the house.
For me, Bonehill Road is definitely Sheets’ best work. He manages to weave a story that sets itself up in the first 30 minutes and then lets go with some serious carnage in the latter half. The characters of Emily and Eden are so well developed that we actually care for them, and we can really see the mother/daughter bond they possess. Plus, we find out how strong their will to survive actually is. No werewolf movie would be complete without a transformation sequence, and Joe Castro and crew deliver an amazing one in this film, which is reminiscent of what Rick Baker did in American Werewolf in London or what Rob Bottin did in The Howling… except on a much lower budget. My hat goes off to them with much respect.
Gore fans will still not be disappointed, as Sheets manages to bring some rather nasty gore effects to the forefront and the make-up on those lycanthropes is just spectacular, especially for this type of production. Bonehill Road is an indie horror project the horror world needs to see, as it speaks volumes to fans such as myself. Bonehill Road is proof that hard work and perseverance pays off.
Linnea Quigley (Return Of The Living Dead, Creepazoids) also makes a cameo appearance as a female victim, as well as and Gary Kent (Bubba Ho-Tep, The Forest). I also enjoyed the music in the film. I loved how Sheets used a slowed down version of “Bad Moon Rising” by Arborea in the opening credits. I felt this added an extra creepiness to the project that only the right choice of music can provide. There are also some mentions and quirky nods to films like Day Of the Dead. Bonehill Road is on my top of top indie horror for 2017 and it is a strong entry that needs to be seen. This is how you do indie horror in 2017! I hope Sheets continues his legacy of kicking ass and taking names in movies, especially after what he has achieved here.
Are you planning on seeing Bonehill Road? Have you already seen it and you have something to say about the film? Drop us a like in the comments and let us know what you thought!