Legends are made, not born. Jason didn’t don his signature hockey mask until the third entry. When Clive Barker wrote The Hellbound Heart he didn’t bother to name any of the Cenobites. Some take years plotting their craft.
Twenty years ago, 12-year-old Leslie Vernon, forced to work under grueling conditions in the family apple orchard, kills his parents. The citizens of Glen Echo so shocked by this act they drowned him in nearby Ellis Falls. On the anniversary of his death, teenagers dare each other to spend the night in the old, abandoned farm house. This year Leslie (Nathan Baesel) will rise have his revenge and join the elite ranks of Freddy and Jason! But this is no ordinary Slasher. To capture this triumphant occasion, the good-humored Leslie has invited Taylor (Angela Goethals) and her camera crew to film his preparations for the ensuing slaughter. But as the big night approaches the crew wonders if they’ve crossed a line. And if it’s too late.
I first heard about Behind The Mask when Fangoria’s website posted about Robert Englund joining the cast. I must have misread the article because it sounded like the movie was about people making a Horror movie much like The Dead Hate The Living!. Flash forward to renting it at Hollywood Video and what a surprise it was. This isn’t a parody. It’s a celebration of everything slice and dice.
What makes the film work so well is co-writer David J Stevie and writer/director Scott Glosserman’s love and understanding of the Slasher genre. The terms thrown out by characters, like Anchor, may be new to ears but they are so identifiable, it makes me wonder why no one thought of them earlier. Not to mention the numerous Easter Eggs for fanatics. Some I didn’t notice the first couple of viewings.
And the performances. If you don’t die laughing from Nathan Baesel’s Leslie Vernon, his scythe will finish the job. Angela Goethals’s Taylor is perhaps too trusting. Scott Wilson as Leslie’s mentor is great. Robert Englund brings gravity to Doc Halloran. I wish there were more scenes with him. I honestly can’t recommend this film enough.
With the explosion of craft beer in the past decade, it’s no surprise that cider is following the same path. Sonoma Ciders is located in Healdsburg, California. Founded in 2013 by winemaker, David Cordtz and his son, Robert Cordtz. Operating in the heart of wine country, they are churning out some fine ciders. The Hatchet is their apples cider. They use a blend of organic apples from the Pacific Northwest. The end result is refreshing. I enjoy hard ciders but can find them too sweet. Sonoma’s is not. It may also help that I love apples.
The end of Behind the Mask is begging for a sequel but here we are ten years later with nothing to show. An unsuccessful Kickstarter was launched in 2012. And that’s too bad. When it comes to crowd funding it seems the filmmakers who need it are on the losing end. I feel if any movie from the last 16 years deserves a sequel, and could pull it off, it’s Leslie Vernon.
Maybe he’s just biding his time. Using his training to only appear dead. Until one day he strikes back. I’ll be waiting for him in the orchard.