Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 12th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2011
Director: Jacob Ennis
Writer: Jacob Ennis, Gregory W. Brock, Paige Kay Davis
Cast: Dave Haney, Jason Crowe, Dustin Roe, Ronica Jones, Levi Brandenburg, Megan Marie Wilson, George Robert Bailey, Sonny Burnette
DVD released: February 1st, 2011
Approximate running time: 78 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Bloody Earth Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.99
Synopsis: Five friends on a relaxing camping trip quickly find themselves the target of a maniac, who believes that he is doing god’s work.
Screenwriter / director Jacob Ennis follows up his director debut Stash. With another backwoods themed horror film Red River. The plot revolves around a character named Roland a self proclaimed man of god, who is behind all of the killings. He has a deformed character named Hamburger Head that Roland takes care of. This character lives in a dog house and is kept chain leash. Given the chance he will mangle and eat his prey. The Roland character is equally as brutal in his slaying’s. With the main difference being that he approaches them with an absurd amount of joy. And without a doubt the biggest quirk either of these characters have. That would be a device that Roland uses to communicate with. The film’s two main sub plots are a nosey reporter, who is investigating all the recent missing person’s in the area and five friends, who on a weekend camping trip.
Content wise while there are many similarities to the aforementioned Stash. There are many areas in which Red River shows Jacob Ennis’s growth as a filmmaker. Most notably his direction and ability to create tension. Another area where this film shines is its set design, especially the location used for Roland’s house of horrors. The gore sequences in this film are not for the faint of heart. Some of the more memorable of these moments include a woman who have her tit cut off and feed to Hamburger Head. And a girl in a sleeping bag who is beat to a pulp. Other stomach turning moments include the left over body parts which Roland feeds those he has trapped and has not killed yet. Performance wise the majority of the cast are at best adequate. With the only cast members leaving any lasting impression being Dave Haney in the role of Ronald and Jason Crowe in the role of Hamburger Head. One area where this film comes up short is that there is a lack of back-story for Roland and Hamburger Head. Another area where things tend to get dicey is when it’s come to injecting humor in the story at hand. Thankfully these moments are far and few in between. Ultimately Red River is a fast paced horror film that heaps on the gore.
Bloody Earth Films presents Red River in a letterboxed widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones fare well. Black levels range from average to good. Even though there are some mild instances of combing and edge enhancement. They never become distracting.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio sounds balanced and dialog generally sounds clear. It should be note that one character uses a device to help them speak and this sometimes makes it difficult to understand what they are saying. There are no major issues with background noise or distortion.
Extras for this release include 4 minutes of deleted scenes and behind the scene segments, “Red River Video Blog: On Location” (8 minutes – 4:3 full frame), “Creating a Monster” (9 minutes 20 seconds – letterboxed widescreen) and “The River Runs Red: The Making of Red River” (36 minutes 30 seconds – letterboxed widescreen). The ‘Making of’ segment is the strongest of the three. It is a well made looking into the production that does a great job balancing comments from cast and crew with behind the scenes footage and clips from the film. Also included with this release are trailers for A Feast of Flesh, American Punks, Blood and Sex Nightmare, Shock Festival and Stash. Overall Red River gets a well rounded DVD release from Bloody Earth Films.