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The Beast of Bray Road

Directed by Leigh Scott

Written by Leigh Scott

Starring Jeff Denton, Tom Downey, Sarah Lieving, Joel Hebner

Produced by David Michael Latt, David Rimawi, Sherri Strain

Rated R

80 minutes

***

Leigh Scott launches yet another remodeled classic horror pic for The Asylum with “The Beast of Bray Road,” another in The Asylum’s growing series of classically-inspired pictures.

So what we have here is the partially true story of werewolves in Wisconsin. And the new sheriff of Walworth County is the one who’s got to face them down. Apparently there’s been a lot of killings in Walworth County, something that’s rather unusual for rural Wisconsin. The manner of the killings, an extremely messy M.O., plus the various eyewitness reports and the infighting inside the sheriff’s department, makes for an even more confusing scenario. And when the sheriff finally gets to the bottom of things, what he finds will astonish him and leave us all wondering just how true this is.

Now, naturally, whenever someone says “based on a true story,” I immediately begin wondering how true it is. Asking a couple of buddies who lived in Wisconsin all their lives turned up nary a thing, so I hit the web for the rest of it. The handy thing is they actually feature headlines from the “Waukesha Gazette” written by “A.B. McKorkendale,” among others, so it certainly LOOKS authentic.

At least, until one of the articles comes up toward the end, credited to “Rick Walker” and featuring an interview with “Local man David Latt.”

Astute readers and viewers will remember David Latt as being the fella who directed “H.G. Wells War of the Worlds,” covered here not so long ago. He’s also one of the three partners who owns and operates The Asylum Home Entertainment.

Ironically, he also produced this one.

Nice try, Leigh.

But anyway, about the movie.

I heard someone not long ago compare The Asylum to the old British studio, Hammer. And I guess in a very real way it’s not so far from the truth, at least not lately. This is the sixth updated horror concept from The Asylum. “H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds” is self explanatory. “Frankenstein Reborn,” ditto. “Legion of the Dead” is just a redone “The Mummy.” “Hide and Creep” is a rebuilt “Night of the Living Dead,” now a bona fide classic and don’t you forget it. And Dracula gets his groove on once again in “Whatever Movie That Is Involving Van Helsing.”

Which makes me wonder what they’re going to dredge up next. The Thing from the Black Lagoon, maybe? Or perhaps some good old fashioned ghosts? But if they get Dave Chapelle to say “Ooooh Lawsy, this yere boy is a-scaird of de ghosties!” I think I’m gonna have to boycott.

And what’s up with the bar at the fourteen and a half minute mark? “Pudweiser” logos everywhere! What’s wrong, couldn’t you guys get any product placement money out of the good folks at Bud?

Plus, you’ve got to love the redneck’s speech at the nineteen minute eight second mark. He delivers it with such an odd, atonal speech pattern that I don’t think even HE believes what he’s saying.

You know, overall, there’s not a whole lot wrong with “The Beast of Bray Road.” This isn’t one of those special, spectacular ones that I can recommend over and over again, but I tell you, if you’re into monster movies, especially werewolf pictures, then “The Beast of Bray Road” is going to be right up your alley.

Even the bar fight. I can’t believe there’s an actual, honest-to-God, Dukes-of-Hazzard BAR FIGHT in the middle of a werewolf movie! Okay, yeah, it’s set in rural Wisconsin, but still.

The ending is about what you’d expect from a movie like this, from the not-so-surprise cache of illegal weapons in a country barn to the not-so-surprisingly available amount of junk silver to the firefights and the inevitable destruction of the werewolf. Though finding out who the werewolf actually is is a bit of an actual surprise, and there’ll be a couple others packed in for a note of variety.

The special features include a behind the scenes featurette, an outtake reel, cast and crew commentary, audio options, and trailers for “Frankenstein Reborn,” “H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds,” “Legion of the Dead” and “The Beast of Bray Road.”

All in all, despite some extremely minor flaws, “The Beast of Bray Road” is going to prove worth a rental. Especially if you love monster movies or movies involving werewolves—and even if you don’t, you’ll still find something to like.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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