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Friday, April 29, 2016

Long Live the Newest Flesh - HARVEST LAKE (2016) - On Blu-ray and VIMEO

When Harvest Lake was first announced I had planned on participating in the funding campaign, but somehow I seemed to have simply missed out on contributing. I want that to be a disclaimer because I would have contributed if I had not procrastinated and missed out, so I guess you can say I'm biased in that regard. Instead I simply purchased a signed Blu-ray when they became available. That's what you're supposed to do especially when you want to make sure that a dedicated indie Horror and genre director like Scott Schirmer, his cast and crew gets something in return other than praise from a Horror blog. 

Harvest Lake follows a group of twenty somethings headed into the woods to do some celebrating only to find an erotic oasis of persistent, strange, creature-liscious experiences behind every tree, and of course, in the titular lake. What begins with party games and good fun, ends in something that my daunted libido will not soon forget. I believe we have stains, ladies and gentlemen; stains from an erotic Horror movie that hit all the right spots. Long Live the Newest Flesh! This time not from your television, but from a celestial lake in the middle of nowhere.

This requires some brief introductions (and I'm just going by my limited personal experience here).

Harvest Lake was created by a seasoned cast and crew of independent Horror folks who are stretched out in various roles over some of the more successful low budget genre pictures to have come out in the last several years. It's quite an astonishing site to witness what can come of such collaborations. Scott Schrimer directed Harvest Lake, but his work on Found wowed indie Horror fans driving it to a cult frenzy that demanded its release after a successful funding campaign. The follow up to Found was Headless, a "lost" movie from the 70's that featured the influential gore dunked maniac from Found, directed by Arthur Cullipher who would act as producer on Harvest Lake.  We have Brian Williams as a producer, cinematographer, camera operator and gaffer who is the sensational director of grindy, naughty Time To Kill from 2014. Time to Kill was a HOT experience and one not so easily forgotten. His work on Harvest Lake created such legendary scenes in the middle of this nightmarish wooded pleasure center are key to Harvest Lake's success. I am unfamiliar with L.K. Gonzo, but the last name Gonzo has me curious; L.K also acted as a producer on Harvest Lake.

In front of the camera we have a few new faces who played some hot bodies in Lucretia Lynn and Derek Sturgeon. It's great to see young, new actors unafraid to take it all off in the opening minutes of a Horror picture. The skin is alive and well on these two. Jason Crowe is known for his work on Horror and Dark Fantasy short films as well as such titles as Easter Casket,The Zombie and Volumes of Blood in his resume. Dan Nye has also done some short film work and was recently in The Legend of Wasco in 2015. He will appear in Bong of the Living Dead which looks to have some excellent poster artwork and... well... it has "living dead" and "bong" in the title, I'm in. My first experience with Ellie Church was in Time to Kill. Her seductive performance left a mark with a style that was clearly older than she was. She followed it up with a strong performance in Headless and has a role in a movie I'm excited to check out by James Bickert, Frankenstein Created Bikers. The last piece of the main crew is Tristan Risk who offers a near perfect performance in Harvest Lake but whose work in The Editor and American Mary wowed me. She's also in Frankenstein Created Bikers.

So what comes out of this troop of actors thrown together in the middle of the woods, hormones all a-glow and with some kind of force willing them to go that extra 5 seconds in heaven? It's a strange orgy of discovery. Each scene guides our lead five actors into a world of sexual discovery of a monsterific kind. Sexually suggestive plants, milky white fluid dripping off every frame. The wavering notes of synthetic lust flowing through scenes in an early 90's electronic love blanket pouring through my ears like my first MDMA ride. This is the Horror Viagra for which your ED creature wang has been longing. You need this like you need a boob in your hand and a finger in each hole.

From creature creation that is original and imaginative, working with limited budget to environments that are filled with extras that make you believe each scene, you are dealing with a very well constructed movie. It's visually pleasing and sensual without being pornographic or even exploitative. There's a fine line there, and mind you there's nothing wrong with it being pornographic or exploitative, but this is pretty-Horror-erotic. This isn't a Jess Franco nudie fest or a splash of tit popping out on a stripper pole. Think of Videodrome in the woods with Invasion of the Body Snatchers and just hint of Society thrown in to let you know who controls the shunt. The time you spend with Harvest Lake is the time you spend with your hand in your pants before you get out of bed, dreaming the still lingering wet moments of the night before, if that dream was a Horror picture and if you didn't mind losing your everything to a force beyond your control in the name of pure Hedonism.

What really creates the warm bed for this movie to work is exquisite chemistry between our actors. The relationships these folks seem to have makes you love them and know them. These could easily have been slightly more excitable friends of mine from years gone by. They connect with each other which made them connect with me. Once I was in their clutches I could follow them around easily enjoing a campfire, a sugar cube of acid or maybe something, slimier. 

There are scenes that evolve for extended periods of time with slow motion stings that create an almost loving vibe when combined with the music of Adam Robi and Shawn Sutta. There are moments that pull so narrowly out of focus that gradually reveal themselves to be discoveries of this great new world in the middle of the woods. This is how children feel discovering a playground for the first time. The cuts and focus in some of these scenes are like watching a young child be curious. You want to know what's on the screen, and you don't entirely know what it is that will be there when the shot resolves. When it does in fact resolve, you will be excited. 

Scott Schirmer has brought together something special here. It's not entirely comfortable for all Horror fans mind you. I can imagine that there's a slower than modern pace that might throw some folks off. Gore hounds do not expect to be splashed with the red stuff, but there's plenty of makeup, goo and creature creations to keep you occupied with some very cool artistic choices. Enjoy the lake. Take a dip. Make sure to put your red shorts on.

Check out the trailer:


You can pick up the Blu-ray now or simply rent it:

Buy the limited edition Blu-ray now:

Watch on Vimeo now:

From Bandit Motion:

From Scott Schirmer (Found) and Brian K. Williams (Time to Kill) comes the erotic mystery-fantasy Harvest Lake. Five friends stumble under the spell of a libidinous, otherworldly presence while vacationing in the woods. Inhibitions drop and behavior becomes erratic as one of the friends tries to escape the carnal free-fall, ultimately bringing him face to face with the source of a mystery that will change his life forever. Harvest Lake stars Tristan Risk (American Mary), Ellie Church (Headless), Jason Crowe(Dead Moon Rising), Dan Nye (The Legend of Wasco), and Kevin Roach (The Confession of Fred Krueger), with special effects fromThe Clockwerk Creature Company (Headless).

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Limited Edition of 750 Copies!
• Glass-mastered, replicated disc (not a BDr)!
• Hand-Numbered on the Back Cover
• Available Unsigned or Signed by Ellie Church, Scott Schirmer, and Brian K. Williams (in silver marker on the front cover)

Special Features!
• The Making of Harvest Lake (45 Minute Documentary)
• Commentary with Producers Brian K. Williams & Scott Schirmer
• Commentary with Actors Ellie Church & Jason Crowe
• Isolated Music Score Track
• Deleted & Extended Scenes
• Gag Reel and more!

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