THE BEAST OF
BRAY ROAD

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Kelly Parks
The Beast of Bray Road
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THE BEAST OF BRAY ROAD - 2005
The Asylum Home Entertainment
Rated: UK: 15 / USA: PG-13

The opening text reads "Based on a True Story". If that's the case, then God help us all. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

THE BEAST OF BRAY ROAD was written and directed by Leigh Scott (aka Leigh Slawner: FRANKENSTEIN REBORN, KING OF THE LOST WORLD, DRACULA'S CURSE). It is, in a very loose sense, based on an allegedly true story. There are people in Wisconsin (where the movie takes place) who claim to have seen a Bigfoot-like creature, only not Bigfoot. More wolf-like.

Full disclosure: I'm from Wisconsin and I actually have two relatives (an uncle and a cousin) who claim to have seen this thing. That doesn't mean I believe it exists – I don't. But my cousin Stephanie was terrified by whatever she saw.

The movie opens with a bunch of drunken ne'er-do-wells leaving a bar at closing time. An argument ensues between a pretty girl and her sort of boyfriend as to her sleeping arrangements. She doesn't like his suggestion and drives off alone. This is a horror movie cliché, of course, and faster than you can say, "Hey, what's that?" she's torn to pieces.

I must admit that as soon as they opened their mouths I was annoyed. This is supposed to be Wisconsin yet everyone sounds as California as they come. Was a Wisconsin accent (kind of like the Minnesota accent in Fargo, but more German) really beyond their acting skills? Maybe so.

Her abandoned vehicle attracts the attention of new (just elected) Sheriff Phil Jenkins (Jeff Denton: AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION, DRACULA'S CURSE, FRANKENSTEIN REBORN). He's especially interested in all the blood.

Back at the Sheriff's Department, deputy Dennis (Matt Kawczynski: FRANKENSTEIN REBORN) and recently-voted-out-of-office-but-still-in-charge-for-the-next-two-weeks Sheriff Pamela Fitske (Noel Thurman: DRACULA'S CURSE) think Phil is over reacting when he wants to start DNA testing and file a missing persons report. Phil is from Chicago and not used to their "small town ways."

He investigates anyway and talks to bar owner Kelly (Sarah Lieving: DRACULA'S CURSE, FRANKENSTEIN REBORN) in order to track down the missing girl's friends. This leads to a wife beater and his bruised bride as well as a group of beer-drinking, cop hating brothers, including Billy (Tom Nagel: THE BUTCHER, DRACULA'S CURSE), who was the sort of boyfriend of the missing girl.

These are all dead ends, of course, because the real killer is the Beast. This becomes apparent to everybody very quickly as the monster starts attacking various townsfolk. Local blogger Sandy Brown (Christina Rosenberg: DRACULA'S CURSE, FRANKENSTEIN REBORN) puts the story on the net leading old Sheriff Pamela to dream about selling werewolf hunting licenses to tourists and creating a local economic boom. You'd think the horribly mutilated and partially eaten corpses of the Beast's victims would be a monkey wrench in the works but the old Sheriff is undeterred.

Tourists don't show up but crytozoologist Quinn McKenzie (Thomas Downey: DRACULA'S CURSE, HILLSIDE CANNIBALS) does arrive, convinced immediately that the Beast is some undiscovered species long before there's any evidence to support the idea. He quickly becomes Sheriff Phil's wacky sidekick.

And that's about enough of the plot. Let's stop there for a refreshing

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
I hope I don't ruin the story for you if I say science doesn't really apply to the Beast. That's all I'll say about that. I do want to mention something that a character in this movie says and that is often said by characters in sci-fi and horror whenever the writer wants them to seem "scientific". The phrase (often attributed to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes) is, "When you've eliminated all the other possibilities, whatever is left, no matter how unbelievable, is the answer."

That's stupid, because it assumes you are aware of all the possibilities – that you haven't missed anything. The answer could easily be something you didn't think of.

But did it suck? Oh my, yes! It sucked in a truly cosmic way, so bad that I was afraid watching it would cause me to fall into a door of the Abyss (that's pretty bad). The dialogue was nothing but clichés from beginning to end. I could accurately predict the next words out of everyone's mouth as though I was clairvoyant. Often the dialogue was a blatant reference to the movie itself, like when Sheriff Pamela is talking to computer nerd Sandy Brown. Sandy is a cliché "smart girl", wearing glasses and with her hair pulled back. Sheriff Pamela at one point says dismissively, "I know you're all smart with your glasses...", calling the movie viewer's attention to her movie cliché garb. Bad, bad writing.

The story is very predictable as well, with some pointless nudity and a truly pointless, badly choreographed bar fight for some reason. Speaking of pointless, the DVD extras include a "making of" featurette (as well as Outtakes) that seems really unnecessary for a movie of this caliber. It's almost sad to watch these people, who seem like nice folks having a good time, about to open themselves up for criticism like this: I give it three negative shriek girls. This movie is laughably bad.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2011 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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