BreadCrumbs

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BreadCrumbs
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BreadCrumbs
Horror, Thriller
Green Apple Entertainment, Industrial Motion Pictures
2011
Release length: 1:28:00
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BreadCrumbs, or also referred to as Bread Crumbs – Das Hänsel & Gretel Massaker, is an independent Horror/Thriller flick from Industrial Motion Pictures. It’s also a film that doesn’t have much information about it on the internet, even on it’s own IMDB.com page. Released sometime in 2011, it seems to have fallen into obscurity right away, and the only place it seems to be found is on a four disc set titled Backwoods Butchers that made it’s way into the local Wal-Mart five dollar (US) drop bin through Echo Bridge Entertainment. But, is this lost piece of modern cinema as unimpressive as one might assume, or is it a hidden gem to be unearthed?

The film introduces our cast during a pit stop in the middle of the woods. Some of the actors in the van take time to talk amongst themselves, while others use the open world facilities to their advantage such as urinating on the van itself, or racing out with a camera to film another crew member urinating without their knowledge. The group happen to be heading out to a remote set, a plot point not established until a little later. On their way, they nearly slam into two kids who are played by people clearly older than their characters are supposed to be, Jane (Darbi Worley) and Eddie (Mike Nichols). The two were standing in the middle of the road, and as the actors talk to them, even offering them a ride home, they are warned of the forest and even the Woodsman (Jonathan Whitcup) before leaving them alone. Eventually the group arrive at their location, and all but Angie (Marianne Hagan) get wasted. As the party continues, the caracters are developed, revealing Angie wants out, but the director isn’t going to let her, much like with others in the past.The main focus eventually becomes that Angie is pushing forty years old, and has no family or kids at this point in her life.

Not too long after the party, it’s revealed that the back of the case neglects to inform the viewer that these are adult film stars. as Angie disrobes entirely, facing the camera in the buff to begin the sex scene with Billy (Steve Carey). It’s handled in a slightly humorours way, with her being coached on when and how to give the face for the money shot, as well as introducing Chuck (Jim J. Barnes) as the nervous first timer who has wanted a chance with Angie, but also can’t remember his lines. All of this is interrupted, however, when they catch Eddie watching the sex scene from outside. This leads to the best scene of the film, involving running outside after them, one of the crew shouting “Screw you!” and prompting the man in the distance using a chainsaw to stop, and start up again only when a frustrated “Not you!” is shouted to clarify the issue. Sadly, this is also one of the few memorable moments of the film.

Throughout the night, the two seem to play games with the actors. Whenever you hear Jane hum a slightly different version of “Ring Around the Rosie,” you’ll find another attack happening, but none is more memorable than the first when the crew hunt the kids down after they attack Chuck and leave him hanging to die. Jane tells them she is playing Indians, causing Eddie to attack them with arrows. A few don’t make it back to the cabin, and one of them does with the two arrows still in her back. But, one of the main issues becomes the ever constant concept of “They slashed the tires, we can’t go anywhere,” leading to the group being stranded instead of just riding on the rims. But, as the death toll rises, Angie begins to care about Jane, learning she is just a pawn to Eddie, and the quickly forgotten for most of the film Woodsman who they initially warn of, continuously killing off characters before the long-winded final chase scenes.

This is where the film will start to lose viewers. While the main chunk of the movie still retains a nice flow from start to finish, keeping a decent pace with the action and luring people to wonder what Eddie means when he goes off about living in a house of candy, you are given plenty of scenes that are just running, and even antagonizing between Angie and the kids. This also includes a brief cameo by the Woodsman, who was only mentioned twice up to that point and becomes a throwaway scene only beneficial to the birth of paranoia within Angie since the two started terrorizing the group. It throws various nods to the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale into the mix, such as using peppermints as the “bread crumbs,” which were also fed to some of the people they tortured before killing them. According to Eddie, it was to make sure their cookies were sweet, insinuating that they would cook and eat these people. It also leads to a huge conflict, as they admit to their hatred of people who live in houses of candy, which all the actors are meant to be, yet reveal that they too live in their own handmade house of candy.

The story to BreadCrumbs actually isn’t as bad as you would expect, but it is greatly held up by the acting. Not everyone here puts on that genuine a performance, though some do a surprisingly good job. Henry (Dan Shaked) evolves nicely into a manipulative self-concerned jerk who will do what it takes to get his way as the producer, as well as survive. Eddie doesn’t really seem to be that convincing at first, but when he feels that Angie abandons him after she talks her way out of being killed, he starts to panic like a little child, and watching that progression grow with a quick realization of isolation is impressive for that brief scene. Angie, however, is portrayed in a manner that is similar to how a modern Comedy would handle the ego and desire for fame of an aging black and white film actress, which actually really suits the character despite how downplayed it actually is. Everyone else does a decent job for the film, but rarely do the characters come alive or even become believable when being taunted, or in pain.

One thing that really was surprising is that, considering the smaller companies involved, this looked and sounded like a big budget major motion picture most of the time. The first two-thirds of BreadCrumbs all had decent lighting, much of it done in the rural setting of the cabin out in the backwoods in isolation, where the cell phone deadzones are. The big issue is that some of the night scenes are a lot darker than they should be, and sometimes it can be a little rough to see what’s going on in the cabin. But, the biggest gripe is when the chasing occurs. The survivors make a break for it out of the cabin with Jane and Eddie hot on their heels. However, it starts at night, and almost instantly there’s light. You could argue at the time it’s a day-for-night shot, but then everything just becomes very erratic, going from dawn to noon to dusk to day again, and ending on dusk despite it clearly meant to be during the middle of the day, if not more than just those changes (it’s easy to lose count).

While BreadCrumbs really hasn’t received plenty of press, or even positive comments, the film itself isn’t that bad. Well, at least until you reach the final thirty minutes. The acting could have been a lot better, and even the story could have used some work, but the cinematography and even the production all look great. The story becomes a bit confusing and even implodes upon itself with contradictions, and the concept of the Woodsman simply seems forgotten about and often just forced in as more of a cheap red herring that doesn’t live up to expectations. There are a few tricks involving the doll and some other issues of judgement that can realistically throw people with parental instincts, enough to keep viewers invested in a good amount of the film. However, the ending is just horrible, and it seemed like they padded things out with stock footage to meet a certain length while not having any money left in the budget to shoot a better fitting climax. BreadCrumbs honestly is a forgettable film, in fact this review may have the wrong people listed in their roles, and if they are I’m sorry. But, the first hour admittedly is a decent way to kill an hour if there’s nothing else going on, but once the chase scene starts, you’re better off just concluding that everyone dies and walking away, as it simply is not worth sitting through.

Overall Score: 4/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.