Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red... and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!

REVIEW: Hunters’ Crossing

– By Kriss Pickering

I must be honest, when I got asked to review Zach Zeman’s Hunters’ Crossing I was a little apprehensive. I mean, on the surface it looked like another low budget creature-feature to roll off the independent genre film production line, and I always have trouble tempering my expectations to the film in question’s budget. However, once I sat down to watch it, I was very pleasantly surprised! For starters, rather than being your stereotypical Bigfoot film, it focuses more on the relationships between the “hunters”, but we will get to that a little later…

Filmed in the mockumentary style, Hunters’ Crossing introduces us to Hank (Noah Schindler), a novice hunter. Hank has fantasized about winning the “Hunter of the Year” award since he first heard about it and is out in the woods, preparing and trying to hone his skills.

It is while on this hunting session that he meets and befriends Trevor Farleys (played by Rieves Bowers), an experienced hunter whose life goal is to bag the legendary BigFoot! Along with grizzly veteran bear hunter Willis (Mason Taylor), the newly formed trio set out to hunt the legendary beast!

While the story comes across a little cliched, it works well with the mockumentary style that it is filmed in and creates a very awkward, yet entertaining watch. But it’s the characters that Zeman has created that really set the tone for the film. They are balls to the wall clumsy and dumb, and although I feel it would have helped the film if they were portrayed with a bit more subtlety, the chemistry between the cast makes up for it.

It is that chemistry that elevates the film above most of the micro budget fare that I have seen recently. There are times when the chemistry between the trio makes you forget that it is a fake documentary, as it feels like a bunch of mates that have ventured into the woods with a camera for a laugh. It also helps mask some of the classic, low budget acting.

Out of the main cast, Noah Schindler is the pick of the bunch. His portrayal of Hank adds depth to the character and you can really feel his drive to win the “Hunter of the Year” award. I’ve mentioned this already, but the chemistry between Schindler and Rieves Bowers is off the charts and elevates the film massively. Overall though, the casting seems pretty much spot on, except Mason Taylor’s as the ageing huntsman Willis Hampton. See, Taylor looks in his Twenties, and the Hampton character is supposed to be the wrong side 40, but this may be part of the film’s comedy that I didn’t get!

Speaking of the comedy, Hunters’ Crossing has its share of laughs. The dialogue between the characters and the way they play off each other is a massive plus. While watching the film, it feels like a lot of the dialogue may be ad-libbed as it felt very natural.

Unfortunately, and this could also be said about the vast majority of low budget indie films, there are more than a few technical issues. For example, many of the outdoor scenes felt really blown out and over saturated and the sound could have been a little more professionally done. But to say they made the film with a reported $500, there was bound to be issues. I’d also say that unless they could afford a decent suit/make up, not to put a “BigFoot” on screen at all, as the suit they used was terrible!

To sum things up, Hunters’ Crossing was a fun watch. Sure, there could be improvements made and maybe it could have been a little shorter to make more of the limited budget, but it’s shown me that Zach Zeman and his crew have a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing how his film making career goes in the future!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Slaughtered Bird Films’ horror short film, BURN, nabs festival awards!
We don’t like to blow our own trumpets here at The Slaughtered Bird but, y’know, FUCK IT – we’re damn proud of our debut film production, BURN, created in collaboration with Dragon Egg Media! Since post-production finished last year, our 15-minute short has received numerous excellent reviews, been busy finding its feet on the festival circuit and gratefully receiving many Official Selection laurels from around the world, and now it’s picked up its first award… or three! Read on...
INTERVIEW: David Naughton
untitled It’s not every day you get to speak to the lead actor in possibly your favourite horror film of all time. Especially on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are usually rubbish! David Naughton should need no introduction to horror fans. Back in 1981, An American Werewolf In London had unprepared cinema goers laughing heartily one second and jumping out of their seats in terror the next. Its tale of two young American tourists coming face-to-teeth with a legendary lycanthropic beast perfectly married a genuinely funny script with razor sharp editing, groundbreaking special effects and a flawless cast to create a monster movie that is still many people’s benchmark today Read on...
Advertise HERE!
CQJR7SyWwAADBd_ We currently have advertising space available at very reasonable rates, so if you have a product you want to let people know about then please email us at theslaughteredbird@gmail.com with your needs and we can give you more info. Read on...