Gordon Price and Chapter 11 Films are back with another feature length film following 2013’s Music Store Massacre and 2016’s The Devil’s Door. If you’ve seen any of his previous works, you know that Gordon is a master of truly independent media, with most of his films looking like 1990’s z-budget movies. Luckily, that’s the type of material we champion here at HorrorSociety, so I went into my viewing of his new movie, Crawford Road, with an open mind. Based on true events, Crawford Road sees a wooded area and stretch of parkway that’s been home to multiple murders since the mid-1800’s. When another series of murders occur in modern times, an investigative team starts digging into the mysteries that the road has to offer…and they discover that evil and blood run deep. Written and directed by Gordon Price and James Person, Crawford Road stars Ricky D’Alonzio, Billy Cobb, Elysa Kirby, Jeff Hunt, Hailey Louise Dollar, Rich Burke, William Kyser Cooper, Price and Person. It’s available to rent or own directly on the Chapter 11 Films website here.
I went into my viewing of Crawford Road thinking it was going to be a supernatural/ghost narrative, and then when I saw the events unfolding withing, I thought it was going to be a surprise slasher; what with the housewife hanging herself and the depiction of the Colonial Park Murders. In reality, Crawford Road is a crime thriller and dark drama more than an in-your-face horror film. Sure, there’s a lot of gore and an incredibly high body count, but in this case, it all belongs in a different genre outside of terror. It’s also styled in a retro way, as are most of Gordon’s titles, so you feel like Crawford Road is the type of movie you would’ve found on the shelves at a VHS store in the 1990’s. I’m down for that. Again, I just wish this one was more horror than dark thriller. Crawford Road sees cinematography from James Person and editing from Gordon Price, and I do have to say this venture looks better than Chapter 11’s most recent release, The Devil’s Door. While it does succeed in some areas – the audio is way better, the effects are way better, the acting is way better – there is still substantial work that needs to be done behind the camera. The picture quality is out of focus for the majority of the movie and I can’t dismiss that.
Same goes with the editing. The opening CGI and graphics were great, but the end credits look like they were made with a free application like Movie Maker. Gordon, James and Chapter 11 Films have talent, but they need to learn how to put it to use in a more polished way. Although, the boys aren’t afraid to take risks. Both in story and in design, Crawford Road is just as unpredictable as the ravenous murders taking place on screen and the detectives who are flawed, genuine and bad-ass. I enjoyed that flash back sequences were shown in black and white, and I enjoyed that this movie saw a lot of location changes, interesting character introductions, and capitalized on the graffiti-ridden bridge/overpass. Plus it has death after death after death after death. While this movie does have its slow points and what the fuck moments, really, the only thing I’m knocking Crawford Road for is camera work and not staying within the genre. Other than that, it’s filled with guns and gore, and an old-school thriller that doesn’t hold back. Final Score: 6.5 out of 10.