The Legend of Bloody Jack (2007)

If the cover blurb, “Based on the the terrifying true events behind America’s scariest campfire story,” is accurate, then I must confess that I’m really out of the loop on my lumberjack legends.

Is there really a ghost story about an ax-wielding hayseed who practices black magic? I must have missed that one. If the campfire tale is anything like this low-wattage lump of shit, I’m glad I did.

A pair of quickly dispatched investigators summon the spirit of the swinging sorcerer. Two days later, a van bearing seven soon-to-be-butchered mannequins from Abercrombie & Fitch arrives for one of those idyllic camping trips that never seems to materialize.

Whether it’s the abysmal acting, the seemingly random and feckless decision-making of the characters, or an irritatingly banter-filled screenplay that sounds like it was written by a miserably untalented college freshman, there’s plenty of blame to be shared for this stink bomb—but since it was written and directed by Todd Portugal, the lion’s share should be reserved for him.

The questions accumulate as the action (I guess you could call it “action”) slowly unravels like a third-generation Santa sweater. Why are the doomed 35-year-old kids who are trapped at the cabin in the woods waving flashlights around? The entire film takes place in bright sunlight.

How come when Tom (Josh Evans) disappears, his supposed “best friend” Nick (Craig Bonacorsi) won’t go look for him because “it’s too dangerous,” but later he decides that they should go in search of Deputy Vince (Jeremy Flynn), whom they saw drive away in a truck about 15 minutes before?

Why is Lisa (Jessica Szabo) so blasé after seeing her boyfriend George hacked into jerky? Why? Why? Why?

On the positive side of the street, the gore is plentiful (though amateurish), and there are three nude scenes by the 30-minute mark. That’s about it.

There’s also a nitwitted “surprise” ending that feels like it was hurriedly tacked on after Todd Portugal looked at his footage and smelled dead fish.

And what the hell is up with the title? Unless I was really asleep at the switch, I didn’t hear a single mention of anyone called Jack, bloody or otherwise, during the interminable 84-minute running time.

Author: oldsharky

Sensible writer/editor with sparkling credentials who would happily work for you at a reasonable rate. I moonlight as a bass player, beer enthusiast, Trail Blazers fan, dog fancier, and horror movie fanatic. Sometimes I think about daily events too much and require a little help to clarify and process the deluge of information.

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