Isn’t independent film-making wonderful? Sometimes you end up with the next big thing in straight-to-DVD horror, and other times you’re filming in the middle of a hurricane in South Carolina when a marginal fraction of your cast/crew quits. So is the case of SHED, the new feature film from David Axe, most known for his previous title The Theta Girl. SHED follows a large group of friends partying in a cabin in the woods as they are preyed on and attacked by skin-stealing monsters. Fight, fuck or die! Written, directed, produced and edited by David Axe, SHED stars Mike Amason, Morgan Jones, Sanethia Dresch, Bradley J. Petit, Helen Marini, Emilia Olga, Gauge Santiago, Danna Mariee and Matthew Gault. What SHED lacks in production value, it more than makes up for in nudity and gore, but I’ll get to that in a second. Though it’s true that this film is on the low budget side, I can’t help but to like it because it speaks to the true indie fan in me. A release date is on the horizon since it’s currently being pitched for reviews, so here’s why I think you should consider watching this flick in the future. This won’t be a long opinion piece, since SHED is nothing groundbreaking but a lot of fun.
SHED was produced by Stephan Jensen, Mike Amason, Lisa Ashworth, Brandon McIver, Scott Means, Matthew Gault and Melissa Sellers Drake and features special effects and make-up by Lisa Ashworth, Brandon McIver and Jamie Clark. With weather conditions and professional reputations working against them, the crew at Defiant Pictures, including writer/director David Axe, put all of their best efforts into salvaging SHED. All things considered, it could have turned out a lot different, more-so a lot worse, than it did. And what the cast and crew ended up with is a surprisingly deviant film that would be considered grindhouse in today’s horror viewing market. Skin-stealing monsters instantly brings me back to the 1980’s and early 1990’s when scifi blended with horror in a fluid way, so SHED inherently contains an old school video quality that I loved. I can forgive production errors and on the spot casting choices if the vibe and atmosphere of the film is super cohesive – which SHED does a good job mastering. Sure, the audio is the most error-filled department and some of the acting performances are far from adequate, but again, knowing what I do about this movie, it could have been a lot worse. Had everything gone according to plan, SHED probably would have been great.
SHED is a good “turn your brain off and enjoy” movie. It survives and is somewhat successful solely based on its level of nudity and gore. It’s a movie best enjoyed with a group of friends that you can really let loose with. SHED contains far beyond the average amount of nudity found in most horror films and it even features an almost-hardcore threesome. The gore is nearly constant. There isn’t more than five minutes at a time when the action kicks off that there isn’t bloodshed on screen. For this reason, SHED also has an above average amount of kill shots and a high body count. It’s nonstop brutality at its finest, highlighted by an independent cast and crew with something to prove. And they proved it well. SHED is dark and disarming and a splatterfest mix of horror and science fiction. Even if some of the plot and production misses the mark. I don’t know if I’d necessarily watch it again, but I certainly enjoyed my viewing before writing this review. If this one sees a VOD release in the next few months, I’d recommend checking it out for shock value alone, and I think true indie cinema viewers will get a good kick out of it. I know I did. Final Score: 6 out of 10.