Hunters' Crossing (2017 film)
|Directed by||Zach Zeman|
|Produced by||Rob Zeman|
|Written by||Grant Zeman|
|Music by||Kevin MacLeod|
|Edited by||Zach Zeman|
Hidden Gnome Films
|April 21, 2017|
Hunters' Crossing is a 2017 American mockumentary-comedy film directed by Zach Zeman and starring Noah Schindler and Rieves Bowers. The film follows an aspiring hunter, Hank Williams (Schindler), and his dreams of winning the local hunting competition. He bites off a little more than he can chew, though, when he decides to make a rival out of backwood hillbilly, Clive Harris. In an effort to stay alive and win the competition, Hank teams up with an aging bear-slayer (Mason Taylor), and a Bigfoot hunter (Bowers) to take the crazed hunter down.
Hank Williams takes the camera crew on a tour of his favorite spots, giving a factually incorrect history lesson of each location. He shows the things that matter to him most like his "lucky coin" that he got when he killed his first deer. He explains that he is competing for the Hunter of the Year Award which is an award given out to hunters in the Northeast region Georgia. His preparations for the competition distract him, however, and he is late for signing up. The board behind the competition, Tim DeFill (Bowers) and Francis Worthington (Callaghan), offer him a chance to still compete, but they decide that he has to win. Francis gives Hank the number to Willis Hampton (Taylor), a contact who will set Hank up in a small lodge with some local hunters on prime hunting ground. Upon arrival at Willis' cabin, Hank mistakes another guest, Trevor Farleys (Bowers) for Willis and the two immediately bond. Trevor explains to the crew that he is a Bigfoot hunter and has been since he was a child. Trevor introduces Hank to Willis, who is cold and rude towards the both of them. Willis shows Hank his bedroom, which was formerly Trevor's.
Willis asks Hank to go check on bear traps near the creek and when Hank gets there, he is ambushed at gunpoint by Clive Harris (Sliwinski). Clive claims that Hank is on his property that was given to him in his grandfather's will and if anyone steps foot on his property, he will kill them. He fires a warning shot and Hank and the crew go off running. Hank returns to the cabin and tells Willis about Clive. Willis contests Clive's claims of owning the property and calls in for "The Exterminator" on a walkie-talkie.
Hank and Trevor discuss Clive over a game of checkers. Their discussion is interrupted by Samantha Burd (Roper), an animal rights activist, who is knocking at the door. She attempts to persuade them to support animal rights and a misunderstanding occurs between the three of them where Hank and Trevor believe they support animal rights by hunting. Willis kicks Samantha off his property, claiming she is constantly harassing him.
Hank and Trevor attempt to go hunting but are once-again, ambushed by Clive Harris, asking what Hank and Trevor are doing. Hank explains he is competing for Hunter of the Year and Clive tells Hank of a great location with lots of game. The two take his advice and travel to the location, only to find a suburb on the top of a hill. They come to the realization that Clive is also competing and is trying to sabotage their score and they decide to get even.
Willis meets up with The Exterminator (Dogias) and hires him to "take care of" Clive. The Exterminator demonstrates his toughness to the camera crew by aggressively attacking a small tree with a sword. In the middle of his demonstration, Clive interrupts and shoots him in the head. The crew runs away.
Hank and Trevor return to Willis asking for his help in sabotaging Clive, when the three notice The Exterminator limping around with a bleeding face in the yard. Willis and Trevor rush out to aid The Exterminator, who dies in Willis' arms. Willis swears revenge against Clive. After a training montage, Hank and Trevor chase Clive into the woods but he vanishes and attacks them from behind, knocking them out. Hank and Trevor awaken in a large hole, tied together, and struggle to get out. Willis discovers Hank and Trevor are missing and finds Samantha instead. He then has the realization that Hank and Trevor have been "kidnapped by druids" and runs into the woods with Samantha following.
Hank and Trevor sits in the hole while Clive begins to bury the two alive but is interrupted by Samantha and Willis, who recognizes Clive as the grandson of his old rival, who he murdered. Samantha shoots him in the legs and attempts to execute him on the spot but Willis suggests that they kill Clive by hanging, just like the way he murdered Clive's grandfather. The group struggles to get a rope around the branch of a tree, but none of them are skilled enough to accomplish anything. In their efforts to try and set up a noose, Clive bleeds to death. The four walk back to the cabin, when Hank realizes that his lucky coin is missing. Hank, Samantha, and Willis go driving back into the woods and are attacked by Bigfoot. Hank calls Trevor, who comes to the rescue in The Exterminator's fighting gear, and clumsily fights Bigfoot. He is impaled by his own sword in the fight, and pulls Bigfoot into him, killing Bigfoot as well. Hank rushes to Trevor, who dies in his arms.
A year later, Willis and Samantha went to prison, Hank reveals that he didn't win Hunter of the Year, and the competition board is upset at all the violence that occurred, as well as Hank not winning. Hank reminisces on his brief friendship with Trevor and admires his character and tells the crew that Trevor was the real "Hunter of the Year" before walking off into the horizon.
- Noah Schindler as Hank Williams
- Rieves Bowers as Trevor Farleys/Tim DeFill
- Mason Taylor as Willis B. Hampton
- Marisa Roper as Samantha Burd
- Jake Dogias as The Exterminator
- Ryan Sliwinski as Clive Harris
- Cary Callaghan as Francis "Worthy" Worthington
Hunters' Crossing premiered at New York University Tisch School of the Arts on April 21st, 2017 with a limited audience screening of 25 people.The film is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
Hunters' Crossing has received mixed reviews from critics. Carl Burgess of ScreenCritix gave the film "three out of five stars" and stated that "Hunters’ Crossing is in the same vein as This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, Borat and with a little bit of The Office" but "come across on screen as a group of friends having a laugh and acting the ape in front of a camera". However, he adds "This is not a problem though, as the camaraderie and strong bond gives the independent feature an added layer of charm and one that I liked." IndyRed gave the film "three out of five stars" and said "but the characters are funny... even if completely unbelievable" but added "the unbelievable character traits are what make them so comedic." On the other hand, Hunters' Crossing received heavy criticism from Diamond in the Rough Films and ReelRomp, giving the film "two out of five stars" and classifying it as a found-footage film. ReelRomp stated "the found footage aspect simply doesn't work here" and Mark Schwab of Diamond in the Rough Films said "Every other found footage movie I've seen only knows the notes and can't play any actual music...Hunters' Crossing tries to do something a little bit different by eschewing the horror genre in favor of comedy but it is not enough to overcome the constraints of a tired genre."
- Kanbar Institute of Film and Television Weekly Announcments, April 20, 2017. https://wp.nyu.edu/tisch-kanbarfilmandtv/2017/04/20/hunters-crossing-film-premiere/
- "Hunters' Crossing (2017) review" ScreenCritix. screencritix.com, Web. 12 November 2017. http://screencritix.com/hunters-crossing-2017-review/
- "Hunters' Crossing (2017)" IndyRed. indyred.com, Web. 15 August 2017. http://www.indyred.com/hunters-crossing-review.html
- "Hunters' Crossing" ReelRomp. reelromp.com, Web. 23 August 2017. http://www.reelromp.com/hunters-crossing.html
- "Hunters' Crossing" Diamond in the Rough Films. LLC. ditrfilms.com, Web. 14 November 2017. http://www.ditrfilms.com/hunterscrossing
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