INCIDENT

ON AND OFF A

MOUNTAIN ROAD

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Incident on and Off a Mountain Road
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INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD - 2011
IDT Entertainment, Industry Entertainment, Nice Guy Productions, Reunion Pictures
FeoNote: If this was a theatrical release, it likely would have got an R for rape, violence, and foul language

In INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD, another in the series of short films/movies in the Masters of Horror series, Don Coscarelli does what Coscarelli does best: making twisted freaky horror movies.

The plot device itself is so worn there are holes in the knees: Serial killer in a rural area preys on passerby. The only reason these kinds of stories and movies get any play at all is because there really are serial killers in rural areas who prey on passerby. From the two real life serial killers of the Australian Outback who were melded into one for the film, WOLF CREEK, all the way back to Ed Gein of LaCross, Wisconsin, who inspired movies as diverse as PSYCHO, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and even a film directly about his life called DERANGED.

There are people in the city who are just as dangerous and psychotic (The Boston Strangler, Son of Sam, Stanley "Tookie" Williams), and there are far more of them - but they tend to be weeded out by their own kind or caught by huge dragnets when an entire city turns its attention toward them. Out in the boonies, serial killers tend to have long careers that last for decades.

The story is pure Joe Lansdale, but the direction is pure Don Coscarelli. Lansdale loves to work against type and expectations and Coscarelli even more so. Combine that drive with good actors and you have a winning combination.

Ellen (Bree Turner: JEKYLL+HYDE) is driving through the long night, having flashbacks about the love of her life, an edgy, passionate "survivalist" named Bruce (Ethan Embry: EVOLVER, THE PROPHECY II, DISTURBING BEHAVIOR, RELATIVE EVIL). A storm is coming on in the night, and so is a turn. As she rounds the corner, she sees a car right in her path. Merry Mishaps occur. - and things only get worse.

Fearing for the person in the other car, she finds it empty. Searching around, she sees a tall man walking back up the hill off the side of the road. She thinks he is the man who may have been injured in the other car, then she sees something else.

It would have been easy to do this film as a "By the numbers" slasher flick, and in the DVD extras, Coscarelli alludes to the idea that he may have been tempted ... were it not for the other directors. While making Incident, he kept hearing about the ante that directors on the Masters of Horror series, people like Dario Argento, John Carpenter and others, who were all filming simultaneously, were competitively upping. So Don turned it up himself.

The outcome is one of the smartest, trickiest, and layered slasher movies I've ever seen.

Adding to the twists and depth is longtime Coscarelli stalwart, Angus Scrimm (aka Rory Guy: SWEET KILL, SCREAM BLOODY MURDER, PHANTASM - all, WITCH'S BREW, CHOPPING MALL, MINDWARP, SUBSPECIES, FATAL FRAMES, VAMPIRELLA, WISHMASTER, AUTOMATONS, SATANIC), who is totally out of "Tall Man" mode as the cowering and untrustworthy Buddy.

INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD kept coming at me with unique surprises and twists that made sense. This is one of the best of the series. As always, the DVD is a huge buffet of trivia treats. From interviews with the actors to a huge retrospective of Don Coscarelli's work, this is one for the fans.

4 Shriek Girls.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2005 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Incident on and Off a Mountain Road (28 Oct 2005) on IMDb Bookmark and Share

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