The Redwood Massacre - Annihilation

Written & Directed by David Ryan Keith
Produced by Lorraine Keith Stephen Durham
Production by Clear Focus Movies Limited
Music by Denton Denton​
Genre:  Horror

Status:  Complete

Official Sites
STV Interview with Danielle Harris.
A stranger obsessed with the unsolved Redwood murders, convinces a group of bereaved family members to venture into the wilderness in hope of proving the existence of the infamous killer. Their quest for truth sees a sinister turn of events, as the hunters become the hunted. A blood-soaked fight for survival ensues when they find that the tales told of the axe-wielding manic is very real.
Starring Danielle Harris - Gary Kasper - Damien Puckler - Jon Campling - Tevy Tev
Your film "Redwood Massacre: Annihilation" is an old-school slasher. Which films or directors influenced you in your work?
I grew up watching horror films in the late 80s and early 90s, and I think those classic movies have been permanently ingrained in my brain. Directors like John Carpenter and Sam Raimi have definitely been an inspiration to me over the years. Before working with Danielle Harris, I had never seen the "Hatched" films, but since watching them, I have revisited all the classic slasher films from my childhood and fallen back in love with the genre. Deep down, every horror fan loves a good old-fashioned slasher.

​You wrote the script yourself. Does that make it easier for you to make your visions come true or do you think it would be similar with another writer's script?

Writing a direct-to-DVD/VOD film is an incredibly frustrating experience. You have to be aware of the budget constraints and tight shooting schedule that will ultimately be presented to you before shooting a single frame. Writing the movie myself allows me to control the expectations of what is actually achievable for a project like this. I tailor the script and story to make the production as easy as possible. It is easy to let your imagination run wild when you are sitting at home in the dark writing screenplays, but when it comes to the actual nuts and bolts of pulling a low-budget film together, you have to be smart enough to know your limitations and foresee what will actually be possible with the money and time you have available. On the flip side, having constant restrictions on what you can realistically do can make it fun to try and figure out alternative ways to solve the many problems you face while making a film. Sometimes this works out for the better.

​Were there any particular difficulties or incidents during the shooting of "Redwood Massacre: Annihilation"?
The weather in Scotland is super unpredictable, even in the summer, and it was a constant challenge for the producers to keep the production moving forward. The movie was shot over 18 days, and the gruelling timetable didn't allow for any problems or setbacks. It was an incredibly fast-paced shoot that ultimately took its toll on everyone involved. To make matters worse, Danielle Harris picked up a terrible chest infection that made her last nine days in a real underground, freezing bunker incredibly uncomfortable. The one incident that does stand out was our camera breaking down on the first day (Scene 1, Take 1), which was a hell of a way to kick off a production and is probably the sole reason I have more grey hairs these days.
You were nominated for some film awards and won some of them. What impact did that have on the sequel? Did you feel pressured by these honours or did you still approach it in a relaxed way?
I don't think the audience cares about awards, and I know I don't. The original film was a small independent sleeper hit, and our main goal was to try and address what people didn't like about the first film and use the opportunity to try and make something a little different. It is incredibly hard to get a movie off the ground, and I am aware of how lucky I am to have people behind me backing the films I want to make. But at the same time, I am also a horror fan and want to give the horror community a film they will enjoy.
Danielle Andrea Harris is an American actress and film director known for her roles in multiple horror films. She is often referred to as a "scream queen" for her appearances in the Halloween franchise and other horror films, such as Urban Legend, Stake Land, and the Hatchet series.

​​Harris began her career as a child actress, with various television roles and notable film appearances in Marked for Death, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, The Last Boy Scout, Free Willy, and Daylight.

​​She is also known for her voice work, including playing Debbie Thornberry on the Nickelodeon series The Wild Thornberrys and in the related films The Wild Thornberrys Movie and Rugrats Go Wild. In 2013, Harris made her feature directorial debut with the horror film Among Friends.
Interview with Director David Ryan Keith
Writing for Horror Society is a dream come true for a movie fan. I have loved movies for as long as I can remember, and the horror genre captured my interest when I was in the fourth grade. Horror Society has given me the opportunity to meet many amazing filmmakers, some of whom I am lucky enough to call friends
In 2015, I had the chance to review director David Ryan Keith's films Attack of the Herbals and The Redwood Massacre. Attack of the Herbals was a funny horror treat, but I was really impressed by Keith's slasher The Redwood Massacre.

​​ Apparently, I wasn't the only one, and before long he announced a sequel. Fast forward a few years and Keith has enlisted horror icon Danielle Harris to star in the film, and has asked me to review it. Thank you, David, for giving Horror Society and myself the opportunity to check this one out.
Spoiler Alert The film follows a man obsessed with the murders and disappearances that took place around the redwoods area. While searching the area, he finds the killer's burlap sack mask and uses it to convince the family of the missing campers to help him search for the killer. However, they have no idea that this man is just as deranged as the killer and has already murdered several people. They go deep into the woods looking for answers, but instead they come across a hidden bunker with more questions than answers. 
I really enjoyed the first Redwood Massacre film. Keith did a fantastic job creating a modern slasher that could become a new horror franchise, so it was only a matter of time before fans were given a follow-up. I was not expecting him to go the route he did, and this pleasant surprise really kept me on my toes.
The acting in this film is the best I have seen this year, but it was not without its flaws. The film gave us some amazing performances and unforgettable characters.

​​ Damien Puckler, Gary Kasper, and Jon Campling are absolutely amazing in their roles. Kasper steals every scene he is in, and his character needs to be in any subsequent sequels. With all that being said, Harris delivers a solid performance, but in some of her scenes her dialogue does feel a little forced. I am a huge fan of Harris's. I grew up with her appearances in the Halloween series, but my first introduction to her was on Eerie, Indiana. I do enjoy her work, but some of her scenes are a bit underwhelming.
The story for this one abandons the slasher approach but still delivers the horror. The hidden bunker, secret killer, and government cover-up sound goofy, but Keith does a fantastic job mixing it all together well. It doesn't come across as something you would find on SyFy, or as bad as Death House. It was well-written, and the scenes never become stale like most horror movies of this length.
Finally, this film is full of blood and gore. The kills are brutal, and the practical effects are top-notch. The kills may not be that original, but they work for the film and will stick with you for days to come. Overall, Redwood Massacre: Annihilation is a must-watch for horror fans. Keith is a director that always delivers, and RMA is no exception. The film holds nothing back and delivers the goods that horror fans are looking for. Check this one out if you get the chance.
HORROR SOCIETY - Review. Written By Blacktooth -
Redwood Massacre: Annihilation had its world premiere at Fright Fest, the world-famous horror festival in London.

Making Redwood Massacre: Annihilation 
The Blood and Gore in Redwood Massacre: Annihilation is obviously fake, but the pain and struggle of making this movie was indeed very real. Freezing underground bunkers, cameras breaking down, unpredictable Scottish weather, chest infections, and a shooting timetable that would give any aspiring director grey hair were just some of the hurdles we had to overcome to get this movie made. Now throw in some crazy actors and producers from L.A. and a world-famous Scream Queen into the mix, and you get eighteen days of madness I won't forget any time soon.

​From start to finish, this movie was a fight to the bloody death. We had an overly ambitious script and an incredibly short pre-production period, which met in a perfect storm when all the wonderful actors stepped off the plane into Scotland for the first time. Looking back, it's amazing the producers kept this production moving forward, as each and every day they faced obstacles that could have shut down most films.

​​It's a real testament to the actors and crew who stuck with us and pulled together to get this film finished on time and "nearly" on budget. It felt like a living hell at the time, but looking back and reflecting on the production, it was also a lot of fun. If your camera breaks down on Day One/Scene One/Take One, you know it's time to strap that seat belt on, because it's going to be one hell of a bumpy ride. At the time, I said to myself, "What else could possibly go wrong?" Little did I know, the Scottish weather was waiting for us with an evil smile.
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