Director – Scott Schirmer (Found, Plank Face)
Starring – Jason Crowe (Cannibal Cop, Volumes of Blood), Ellie Church (Headless, Amazon Hot Box), and Dan Nye (Bong of the Living Dead, The Legend of Wasco)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Become one with nature”
I get a lot of movies in for review but there is so many more that I buy for my collection but never get the time to watch for fun. I remember several years ago people in the horror groups were raving about the horror film Found. It looked interesting so I grabbed it when I saw it on the shelf at Walmart. I never found the time to watch it until Forbidden Films did a follow up spin off in the film Headless. I was asked to review it by someone attached to the film and I agreed. I tossed in Found and quickly realized that it was not a film for me. Headless, however, is one of my favorite horror films of the last 10 years. It was so much fucking fun.
I started collecting the Forbidden Films, Bandit Motion Pictures/Mostly Harmless Pictures, and any other film company that Brian Williams and Ellie Church is associated with. I’ve collected several of these films over the years and decided it was time to finally work through them. The first film on the chopping block is the 2016 erotic dark fantasy film Harvest Lake directed by Scott Schirmer who also directed Found.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows four twenty-somethings who go out to a cabin hidden deep in the woods for a weekend birthday getaway. They meet a hitchhiker when they arrive and invite him for the party they are having that evening. Their seemingly harmless weekend of swimming, relaxing, sex, and mild drug use takes an unexpected turn when something lurking in the woods infects them with a strange substance that turns gives them an insatiable appetite for sex. **Spoiler Alert**
Harvest Lake, like most of the other Forbidden Films and Bandit Motion Pictures/Mostly Harmless Pictures, is one I had heard a lot about from the horror community. People were praising the film for it’s sexuality and eroticism while giving fans a story that is a little different. I liked the film but I’m wondering if I watched the same movie that everyone else watched. The movie I tossed in was Cabin Fever with lots of dry humping and Lovecraftian lore. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed the film but the film is not as erotic or different as I was lead to believe.
The acting in this one is great. I’m a fan of Jason Crowe and he never disappoints. He always gives his role everything he has and Harvest Lake is no exception. He was great and his scenes really stand out. I also enjoyed the rest of the cast. Ellie Church has a knack for bringing to life strange and unusual characters so it was different seeing her take on a more serious role. With that being said, Tristan Risk just wasn’t doing it for me. The characters she portrays is always the same with little changes done to the personality. She’s not a bad actress but she rarely steps out of her lane so to speak to give viewers something different.
The story for this one was not what I was expecting. Fans went on and on about how sexual and sensual this film was but this film has just as many sexy scenes with nudity as your typical slasher. This may be because I’m desensitized to nudity from years of watching sexploitation and sleaze but the movie just wasn’t what I was told by horror friends. Sure, the story is centered more around these scenes so they are more relevant but nothing horror fans have never seen before. Also, the story put me in mind of Cabin Fever but with a sexual twist.
Finally, this is not a bloody or gory flick. In fact, you can argue it’s horror but in reality its a dark fantasy film. The effects we get are great and I loved the creature design but those looking for a bloody film will be disappointed. Overall, Harvest Lake was highly entertaining. It has a great cast and the story definitely has some fun moments but I don’t see myself revisiting this one any time soon. Check it out.