|Writer(s):||Scott Schirmer & Brian K. Williams|
|Cast:||Nathan Barrett, Susan M. Martin, Brigid Macaulay, Alyss Winkler, Jason Hignite, Ellie Church, and Dave Parker.|
Scott Schirmer quickly became a household name in indie horror with the release of his intense horror drama FOUND, a film in which an already troubled childhood turns absolutely nightmarish as a kid’s older brother takes on the life of a serial killer modeled after a fictional ’70s slasher film called “Headless.” Featuring echoes of Jack Ketchum, FOUND has received much praise from horror reviewers and would eventually be followed up with the gorefest HEADLESS, a film based on the “Headless” movie featured in FOUND and directed by Arthur Cullipher. Schirmer’s next directorial effort would be the hypnotic and surreal HARVEST LAKE, an unusual creature feature that can best be described as what you would see if Nicolas Winding Refn and Bela Tarr teamed up to collaborate on an H.P. Lovecraft adaptation. Schimer is a director who’s ventured into grounds unlike any explored by many contemporary low budget horror filmmakers. With his latest feature PLANK FACE, he continues that unique style and manages to disturb, shock and surprise like he has done with his previous efforts.
Co-written by Schirmer with Brian Williams (director of TIME TO KILL), PLANK FACE starts off like a slasher with a couple having sex in the woods being gorily bumped off by a man in a mask made from a plank of tree bark. The story then begins with the main character Max (Nathan Barrett), a man with a troubled past who ventures into the woods with his girlfriend Stacey (played by indie horror icon Ellie Church). Upon their arrival, they meet up with a stranger (indie horror reviewer and actor Dave Parker) passing through. He begins making gestures towards Stacey that upset Max. After moving on to meeting their camp site destination, Max and Stacey have an argument which reveals something disturbing from Max’s past that he is still struggling to deal with. While in the process of setting up camp, the couple briefly separate and during this time the stranger returns and rapes Stacey. Max catches him and kills him. Max is then knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant. He then finds himself held captive by a clan of feral women in an isolated cabin deep in the woods. Turns out their leader is the plank masked killer and he is dying from a stab wound he sustained while in the process of murdering the couple in the beginning of the film. When he finally passes, his women remove his plank mask and proceed to attach it to Max. They put him through a incredibly grueling ordeal to groom him to be their next feral leader.
With PLANK FACE, Scott Schirmer has created another original horror drama that continues to establish him as one of the most unique genre filmmakers working today. PLANK FACE starts off having you think it will be another slasher movie, then it goes in a totally different direction and instead of a standard slice-n-dice flick, we get a grueling, intense, and dramatic film with beautiful forest scenery and amazing performances from the lead actors. It’s a film that fits well alongside other movies like BONE TOMAHAWK and THE KEEPING ROOM. I look forward to the official DVD release of PLANK FACE and seeing what upcoming Scott Schirmer/Brian Williams collaborations may bring us.
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