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A Review by Robert Long II – ©2009

Evil Awakening (2008)

Directed by Geno McGahee and Jeremy Weiskotten

Cast: Geno McGahee, Jeremy Weiskotten, Terry Lockett, Steven Adams, Tony Brown, Traci Garrity, Gene Sherman

74 minutes

(internet description) The Cochwoods killer comes back to life after a guy masturbates in the woods (I know – don’t ask). After which he goes about killing those who venture into the woods. Meanwhile friends Sam and Gino have to find a way to stop the monster in this micro budget horror-comedy.

This is the freshman project of filmmaker Geno McGahee of Xposse Productions. If you were to look up other reviews of this film on the net, you would come away feeling that others think there is no redeeming value to it. In truth it is a micro budget movie shot with a consumer camcorder. There is a death metal band (in this case Bitchslicer) providing the background music. The dialog often equates to constant profanity = funny. McGahee himself plays two to three different parts (one in a Halloween fright wig, the other with gray in his goatee) which can come off as confusing at times. The killer wears a gray rubber skull mask and what looks to be the inner lining of a winter coat. Some shots and audio and such could have used some work. You can see why this one does not get high marks from people that have watched it.

Yet, I found there are redeeming qualities to this movie. For one, some of the acting is very good. Geno McGahee does fairly well with his roles, and Jeremy Weiskotten, as the local detective out to get the killer, shines with the most polished performance. There is a slimy investigative reporter that is a lot of fun to watch too.

The other plus is that there is a sub-plot of some interest. We open with our antagonist running over a citizen because of road rage. This hot head is a friend of the Geno character, and is not likeable in the least. He’s 30, lazy, does not have a job, he’s abusive towards his father, and of course he has killed someone. When the police track down the car that hit the victim, this bozo tries to pin it on his dad!

Geno McGahee stabbed in Evil Awakening

To make matters worse, he ends up stabbing his father to death, and then proceeds to go to a party in the woods where he belligerently knocks a handicapped person out of their wheelchair. Finally, a fellow partygoer beats the ever living snot out of this waste of space, and he goes off crying into the woods, running into the Cochwoods Killer, who proceeds to hack him up. My only regret of this scene is that it wasn’t much, much longer. He deserved a pretty painful death.

How about the killer? Well, he is creepy enough looking and takes people out with a small hatchet. As this is micro budget there is not much blood spilled, but there is a rather inventive decapitation in the movie, as well as a fiery death.

 Geno McGahee Evil Awakening finale

So what you have here is a “beer and pizza party” movie; one that everyone in the crowd can howl at and have a good time with. I am sure the filmmakers knew they did not have a glittering gem on their hands, but did it for the love and experience of making a movie – and completing it. There is something very positive that has come out of these very modest beginnings; MacGehee has been able to generate enough interest to get backing for his latest project FAMILY SECRETS. This promises to be a much more professional, polished production.

I have a couple of copies of this movie as well as RISE OF THE SCARECROWS signed by Mr. McGahee which I will be giving away in my monthly contests. Stay tuned!

4/10 Rating: Every filmmaker starts somewhere. While it’s not Citizen Kane, this feature does have its positive points. Consider it the first small steps taken for budding movie maker Geno MCGahee.

DVD Extras:

Commentary by writer/director Geno McGahee, co-director Jeremy Weiskotten, and actor Steven Adams

Bitchslicer performing the movie’s theme song

1996’s Evil Awakening short

Trailer for the movie

Teaser trailer for “Rise of the Scarecrows”

Evil Awakening DVD

Buy it at Amazon.com