YellowBrickRoad (DVD Review)

Apparently, BloodyDisgusting.com — the awesome website for horror aficionados, gore hounds, and scary-movie enthusiasts– has gotten into the film distribution game.  Y’know, one of those things where a company tracks down a series of little seen movies and slaps its logo (in this case, Bloody Disgusting’s not-entirely-iconic “skull with a buzzsaw blade in it”, which looks dangerously similar to Wilson from Cast Away to me) on the upper-lefthand corner of the cover box?  Well, I got a good look at two of Bloody Disgusting’s films this week, one of which was terrible…the other of which was pretty damn awesome.  Which was YellowBrickRoad?  Keep on reading to find out, folks… 



YellowBrickRoad— from directors Andy Mitton and Jesse Holland (they also wrote the script)– has a screaming woman on its front cover, a blurry photo that seems to show a woman being dragged against her will into a dark and foreboding forest.  The back of the cover box features the tagline “SOME ROADS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN” (oh, the sweet, sweet irony) and a handful of shots indicating that YellowBrickRoad will be a malicious, scary little movie.  But as any grandmother who ever accidentally rented Transmorphers instead of Transformers can tell you, sometimes cover boxes can be misleading.

In this case, there’s a whole bunch of misdirection and chicanery going on here.  For one thing, Bloody Disgusting’s stamp of approval is a bit of a shock:  that site’s been around for years, and has always had reliable taste when it comes to horror films.  For another, the screaming woman?  The ominous photos on the back of the box that promise much mayhem and savagery?  Well, you’re going to have to wade through a whole bunch of (bleep) to get to that savagery, and by that point, you’re almost certain to be asleep.  I actually fell asleep watching YellowBrickRoad twice before finally pumping myself full of enough bathtub crank to get through the film.  It took an entire kilo.

Here’s the setup:  all the way back in 1940, an entire town disappeared (don’t worry: this was in New Hampshire, so nobody noticed).  See, there’s this trail– a “Yellow Brick Road”, if you will (you won’t)– on the edge of town, and the entire populace decided to drop what they were doing and march up this trail, never to be heard from again.  As Yellow Brick Road begins, a team of improbably-attractive “researchers” show up to investigate the town’s disappearance.  Of course they decide to travel the very same trail, and of course ugly shenanigans (including someone getting their leg ripped off) ensue.  Will the team of “researchers” figure out what happened to the town?  Will there be a bunch of Wizard of Oz references?  Will you make it through the film’s seemingly endless 98-minute runtime without opening a wrist?  You’d have to watch to find out, but I’d recommend against it.

The problems, of course, are the same problems that most low-budget horror films have:  bad acting, bad writing, ham-fisted direction.  It seems like it takes forever for YellowBrickRoad to get to the “horror” parts of itself, and though– in its defense– the film does claim to be a “slow burn” on its cover box, there’s a difference between a “slow burn” and “trying to bake a cake on a warm sidewalk”.  Though the pseudo-Roanoke setup did intrigue me at the outset, I was bored with the whole thing after ten minutes, and then even more annoyed that I had to sift through scene after scene of terrible acting and tin-ear dialogue before getting to something remotely “frightening”.

To misquote the great Edgar Wright (in his faux-Grindhouse trailer):  “If you’re thinking of seeing this movie….Don’t!”


It’s a DVD, so there’s nothing fancy to be concerned with here.  That said, I thought the quality on YellowBrickRoad — which is presented in widescreen, as the good lord intendedwas strong.  Not Blu-ray quality, of course, but still damn good.  For the record, though, I watched YellowBrickRoad on a Blu-ray player, and it’s entirely possible that the film won’t look as sharp if you put it through that ancient DVD player you’ve got in your living room.  When are you going to replace that thing, anyway?  That’s why I don’t come over anymore.


Again, the audio’s coming off a DVD, so there’s nothing fancy to speak of here.  Dolby 5.1.

Special Features

Usually, the “Special Features” section is the part of a WhySoBlu.com review where even the worst movies can raise their score, but in this case, YellowBrickRoad fails (which, all things considered, is just par for the course).  Included on the disc is…a director’s commentary.  Considering the fact that there were two directors, shouldn’t it read “Directors’ Commentary” rather than “Director’s Commentary”?  It’s questions like these that keep me up at night, folks.  As for the commentary itself, I wouldn’t bother:  the guys are clearly both very proud of their film and don’t spend too much time patting themselves on the back for what they’ve come up with, but….well, look, there’s nothing worse than watching a bad movie, then having to head back into that movie a second (or, in this case, fourth) time to hear what the director has to say for themself (themselves).  I didn’t appreciate YellowBrickRoad any more with the directors talking over it.  To be fair, though, no amount of “behind the scenes” drama stories, tales of on-set shenanigans, or the trials and tribulations these guys went through in order to get the film made would’ve made a difference.  Sorry, guys.

Final Thoughts 

YellowBrickRoad wasn’t the worst movie I’ve seen lately, but it’s certainly far from the best.  Or even “the mediocre-est”.  It’s an average, run-of-the-mill horror film that takes a couple chances with its bizarro plot, only to fall flat on its face when those chances don’t pay off.  There are a million horror movies out there (some of which, like the other film I watched that fell under the Bloody Disgusting banner, are pretty good), and…uh…well, this is definitely one of them.  Some roads should never be taken, indeed.

Order YellowBrickRoad on DVD!


2 Responses to “YellowBrickRoad (DVD Review)”

  1. Gregg

    Wow, if this doesn’t say KEEP OUT, then I don’t know what does. Thanks for the thorough review, Scott. Looks like I’ll be taking a detour from the Yellow Brick Road.

  2. Brian White

    Bathtub crank! Lol