Usually I’m hot and cold with indie horror. I feel a lot of indie film makers use horror as a…means to an end, they are some of the easiest films to make, you don’t need an extremely large budget, and almost everyone wants to “die” on camera. Needless to say when I had the pleasure of meeting Adam Ahlbrandt at Horror Hound Weekend in Indianapolis back in September, I was a bit skeptical. Don’t get me wrong, Adam was a very nice guy and we had a very nice conversation about our favorite franchise (Friday the 13th) but ultimately I realize he was there to sell and promote his film. With that said I thought he was just trying to make a sale and hype up the film, I was wrong. Adam is a totally awesome dude and after talking at the con, I hit him up on Facebook and asked to review the film. So now we are here.
Cross Bearer is a good movie, I was entertained through out its entirety. My warning to readers is that it is a genre film. My guess is that most casual horror fans will not enjoy this film…partly because of the content and the fact that they wont understand it. It’s an easy story to follow, but the excess nudity and sleaze will more than likely turn away the casuals, While bringing out all of the true genre fans foaming at the mouth.
The film is about a dancer (Natalie Jean) who is trying to turn her life around, after devising a plan with her girlfriend (Kacie Marie) figure out a way to turn their life around. Only there plan takes a drastic turn when they face the judgment of god. I think the story is great. I always find some form of fascination from religious yahoos, I mean people really do kill for their religious beliefs every day, that much is evident over seas. So when I see films and stories of people killing in the name of Christianity and shit like that, it puts chills down my spine. That shit could actually happen!
I think my favorite aspects of the film are the special effects and cinematography. I am not sure what the budget of the film was but regardless the makeup effects were very good. Gore Hounds should be satisfied with the amount of red stuff and over the top head bashing’s. At one point the killer gets crazy with a head & hammer and turns a skull into brain soup. The cinematography was set up well in the beginning of the film offering some unusual camera angles, then once the action starts becomes a by the book slasher thrill ride that will leave you utterly satisfied. You may also notice some tracks from the band CKY which make an appearance in the film. Which is fitting due to former member Deron Miller is an avid horror film and CKY stands for Camp Kill Yourself.
The film has its share of faults. Some editing mishaps here and there and a bit of overacting, however it do not take away from the overall aspect of the film. There is a scene of banter between the cast that takes place in the car. while it is written well, and is a believable conversation, I felt the actress’s delivery was forced. Almost as if she was reading straight off the script.
This film also has its fair share of sleaze. Numerous boob shots and sex scenes, strip club montage, and some hilarious horror porn clips that will leave you laughing. Unfortunately for the ladies, there are not much in the way of guys, better luck next time. For sheer nudity alone…A++
Collectively I enjoyed Cross Bearer. Writer and Director Adam Ahlbrandt did a really good job with making this project a reality. GLP gives this indie blood bath a 3 out of 5 stabs for great practical effects, cinematography, and creative story. If you are interested in learning more about the movie or getting it for yourself check out the movies official website.