The Beast Of Bray Road is one of those movies that's just "there". It doesn't make much of an impression upon its viewer and it doesn't attempt to break any new ground, but at the same time it's pretty competent in its execution and there's enough positive things about it to make it not a complete waste of time for genre fans. Too bad you're apt to forget about it almost as soon as it's over.
Apparently based on true events that took place in a small town in Wisconsin, this is The Asylum tackling the werewolf movie, which really isn't a surprise since in the past year they've taken on almost every sub-genre in horror. They've brought back writer-director Leigh Slawner (again using the Leigh Scott name) who had great success with Frankenstein Reborn his extremely well done take on Mary Shelley's classic novel. It's just too bad that his follow-up can't rise above its low-budget B-movie roots like his prior film.
Seems there's a werewolf on the loose in Walworth County much to the chagrin of transplanted Chicago cop Jeff Denton who has to try and track down the beast with the help of an animal specialist and his deputies after residents around town start to get brutally killed by the beast. This is the same cop who early in the movie is pretty calm finding an abandoned car splattered with blood so it should be easy work for him, turns out it's not as easy as he may have thought.
In between numerous bloody attack scenes we have plentiful "plot explaining" monologues by various characters and it's here the movie starts to suffer as not only is the acting pretty bland, but the dialogue doesn't feel at all realistic (like when Denton's sheriff threatens one of the guys he's questioning). Also it seems like Slawner tries to pack in as much as he can in the last ten minutes as the script jumps all over the place (there's a few scenes of people hunting the werewolf through the woods before quickly leaping to the "revealing of the beast's human form" and dispatch of said person - feeling much more rushed than it should). It just feels like he was given a specific running time to keep the movie and therefore he had to try and cram way too much plot into not nearly enough time.
It's not all bad though as they do sling as much gore as they possibly can with tons of dismemberments and decapitations (there's a cool scene with the beast eating a girl's ripped-off leg as she watches in horror), plus the monster effects really aren't too bad as they've tried to make their werewolf look a tad different from the norm by giving it long mangy hair and deep green eyes and for the most part it works despite being an obvious "man in a monster suit".
See if you can't help but get a few chuckles at the poor attempts to hide product names in scenes set at a bar ("Pudweiser") and when our tracker character proclaims that the woods are much too silent - while we can clearly hear the sound of heavy traffic in the background.
Visit The Asylum for more info. (Chris Hartley, 10/31/05)
Directed By: Leigh Scott (Leigh Slawner).
Written By: Leigh Scott (Leigh Slawner).
Starring: Jeff Denton, Tom Downey, Sarah Lieving, Joel Hebner.
Picture Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen.
Picture Quality: The picture here is completely acceptable as for the most part it looks nice and crisp with only a few specks here and there. Plus unlike other releases from The Asylum (like Alien Abduction) there's nary an authoring problem in sight.
Extras: Is it just me or is the sound too damn low on this disc? There's a pretty passable batch of extras here as there's outtakes (they should ban these things as they're never funny), a so-so "making of" featurette and its annoying metal music, a trailer (plus trailers for Frankenstein Reborn, H.G. Wells' War Of The Worlds, and Legion Of The Dead), and what I like to call the "commentary by jury" that contains no less than 9(!) different members of the cast and crew - it's just too much to keep up with and it's quite hard to enjoy.