A sexy all-female rock band makes an unexpectedly horrifying detour when their bus breaks down in the middle of Wisconsin, where a group of backwoods ax murderers are taking foot fetishism to deadly extremes. Rock, gore and an unhealthy sense of humor combine with surprising results in this low-budget cult-horror extravaganza, which won Best Horror Feature at the 2007 Hollywood MiniDV Festival.
“Stump the band” is best described as taking the girls from the movie “Foxes” and combining it with the all girl band movie “Satisfaction” and a touch of “Girls gone Wild”. As it notes on the back cover it is classified as a Horror comedy chick flick. Though in all respects they seem to have forgot much of the comedy. Sure there are campy feeling scenes but this is no “Spinal tap”. What it is though is a horror thriller about a local all girl power punk group called “Stump” that is on there way to touring and paving the road with performances as they seek out a record deal.
We do get to see them perform early on but beyond that it’s road trips and backwoods psycho wrestling. Now we all have seen one to many road trip movies to write the script way before we even hit play on the DVD player. The current wave of filmmakers seem to be stuck in forest mode. I would assume for cheaper production costs than needed narrative goals. I for one have had it up to my eyes in forest killers and stranded vehicles. Though to not punish the messengers, we’ll take it for what its worth.
The band stops for gas, gets lost an asks for directions. The kind locals who are one step way from banjo playing give there best worst directions causing the road travelers to get lost. Add to that them stopping for gas, getting swindled and ending up with an empty tank. A bit too convenient of a plot helper. Before we go further we should introduced the players. From the band we have Joan (the nympho), Kim (the ball buster), Elaine (the mod- drummer), Tammi (the boyfriend dependent sweetheart) and then the road crew, Nikki, Kyle and band manager Nigel.
Along the way we get the usual dose of bickering, insults, song writing and incompetence. For all you scene seekers, the filmmakers were kind enough to write in some nude scenes. In fact, instead of an occasional shower reveal we get the whole band skinning dipping full frontal in the local creek nearby. Kind of hits all the birds with one stone.
For the record, I’m assuming the band is called “Stump” as there really wasn’t “any mention of it in the film. So we would make that assumption on the cover and not referring to the fact that a yokel likes to chop feet with his sharpened blade.
For me the band portion of the movie could have taken it to different heights. My issues were with the protagonists of the film. The backwoods boys and there leader who they call coach who lurk around in the forest waiting to capture kill or kidnap back to there lair. The premise was a bit too derivative urban legend feeling for me without much back story at all. Coach likes to sharpen his axe and chop feet for his sick foot fetish. That’s’ it? That’s what you came up with? That will get you in the door but not through the gate.
As horror audiences we really require a bit more to fill our time these days. The basement psycho- normal looking guy who likes feet just doesn’t work for me. This scenario of course sets up a for retaliation, retribution, some coming of age moments and a inevitable fight to kill the killers. We get a few surprises thrown in as an outside aid comes to the rescue to sport his new “sword-hand” and fails miserably. We also get to witness the first on screen “saw blade” gun. Well that is if you never seen that done before in Asian Horror films (which I have). Though the 3rd act rounds up pretty poorly. As Joan proves she has marksmen skills to deflect saw blades but not to actually shoot the shooter……….. yikes, should we suspend disbelief there as well or call it a night? I will say that the limb spurting scenes are pretty bizarre. what was that a CGI add on or a portable blood fountain gimmick?
Well it’s a film with some pretty hot band chicks. It’s also a horror film. Well ok, lets’ just stick with the hot chicks and forget about the horror aspect so much.
Directed by JoJo Henrickson and William Holmes, “Stump the Band” is not a bad looking product. They just really need to spend some time with horror cinema to make notes on what to avoid and what will fulfill horror genre watchers.
Stump the Band (2008)