DVD Shopping Bag: Hammer Film’s Wake Wood Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2011


We hope that you can forgive us but the DVD Shopping Bag is jumping ahead a few weeks. We received a copy of the new Hammer Film, Wake Wood on Blu-ray and had to check it out. Being huge Hammer Film fans, especially the ones from days of old and their first modern film Let Me In (see review), we were more than excited. This week the DVD Shopping Bag is packed with a few titles worth picking up, we just thought a preview* of things to come may get you excited or save you some money.
Wake Wood is the dark tale of a Louise (Eva Birthistle) and Patrick (Aidan Gillen), a married couple who lose their daughter in a terrible accident. Over a year later they have moved to the small country town of Wake Wood. Things haven’t been good for this married couple. With their daughter Alice (Ella Connolly) gone they only see the emptiness in their lives. Patrick agrees to take Louise to the train station one night as she wishes to leave him. Their car breaks down and in the search for the next home they make a startling discovery. Enter Wormtail himself Timothy Spall as Arthur. Louise witnesses Arthur conduct a bizarre ceremony that brings a man back from the dead. Upon further investigation they believe there is a chance to bring back Alice too.
All right, I know you have heard this part before. The plot has been done over and over again. To make things a tad more interesting Wake Wood also invokes a bit of the Wicker Man as well. This small Irish village is packed with odd rituals and strange characters. Naturally, Louise and Patrick ask Arthur for help and quickly provisos are laid out. A quick glance between the two distraught parents and we know that they are not being completely honest with Arthur. This of course leads us to our resurrected evil little girl run amuck story.
There are several problems that any modern film which bears the Hammer name can face. The first is the amount of blood. Blood in a Hammer Film has to flow like the river Styx. It must be plentiful and it must be red. Thankfully, Wake Wood has that. Hammer Films are also synonymous with bountiful bosoms. We do see one set but we are willing to let that part of Hammer legacy fade into the past. A Hammer Film today also has a lot of lineage to live up to. It has generations of fans that grew up with them willing to accept two or three bad ones to get to that one gem. With Hammer Films slowly making a come back the screening of a new one every so many months doesn’t help the brand if one is a disappointment. Sadly, Wake Wood is more of disappointment then a gem.
The plot is almost Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery. The ending is King’s Carrie with a bit of Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell thrown in. After all the happenings, lies, and attempts at preventing the horror the audience is left with a head scratcher. This would be fine if it sparks the imagination and the incessant need to watch the film again. Wake Wood breaks its own laws as well as the laws of nature (literally) and it makes you feel as if you just wasted your time. Time that could have been better spent watching Pet Cemetery, Drag Me to Hell, or finding yet another original Hammer Film gem.
* We placed an asterisk next to the word preview above because while watching the previews on this Blu-ray, Dark Sky Films had a trailer that literally had us drooling. Norwegian Ninja is available on DVD from Dark Sky Films on August 30th, 2011. So watching Wake Wood, in the end, wasn’t all that bad after all.

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. The Adjustment Bureau [Blu-ray]
2. The Island [Blu-ray]
3. Cedar Rapids [Blu-ray]
4. Mega Python vs. Gatoroid [Blu-ray]
5. Mister T: The Complete First Season
The Adjustment Bureau Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt
The Adjustment Bureau [Blu-ray]
Albino Alligator Starring Matt Dillon, Faye Dunaway, Gary Sinise and Viggo Mortensen
Bremart, Marc - Ju-jitsu, Art Of Combat Starring Marc Bremart
Death Warrant Starring John Wayne
Double Impact Starring John Wayne
The Eagle Starring Channing Tatum and Mark Strong
The Eagle [Blu-ray]
Family Starring Boyd Kestner, Tanner Richie Renee Humphrey
Here Starring John Low, Jo Tan and Andy Hillyard
The Killing Machine [Blu-ray] Starring Dolph Lundgren, Bo Svenson, Samantha Ferris
Playing House Starring Mayra Leal
Rio Conchos/Take a Hard Ride (Double Features) Starring Richard Boone, Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef and Fred Williamson
Unknown Starring Liam Neeson and January Jones
Unknown (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
The Women In Cages Collection (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) [Big Doll House, Women In Cages, The Big Bird] Starring Pam Grier, Judy Brown and Sid Haig
Bleach Uncut Box Set 9
Blue Gender: Complete Series w/Movie (Classic) Starring Eric Vale and Laura Bailey
Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society [Blu-ray]
Ghost in the Shell: Individual Eleven [Blu-ray]
Ghost in the Shell: Laughing Man [Blu-ray] Starring Atsuko Tanaka
Kanokon Ova Collection
Kekkaishi Set 1
Mobile Suit Gundam Uc Unicorn Part 1
Van Von Hunter Starring Yuri Lowenthal, Heather Marie Marsden and Lucas Bridgeman
You're Under Arrest: Full Throttle Season 3
Mister T: The Complete First Season
Rocko's Modern Life-Season 1 Starring Tom Kenny, Carlos Alazraqui, Charles Adler and Mr. Lawrence
Squidbillies 4
Advance to the Rear Starring Glenn Ford, Melvyn Douglas and Jim Backus
Beggars of Life Starring Richard Arlen
Bombardier Starring Pat O'Brien, Randolph Scott and Eddie Albert
Dont Go Near the Water Starring Glenn Ford, Earl Holliman, Keenan Wynn and Fred Clark
Flight Command Starring Robert Taylor, Walter Pidgeon, Paul Kelly
Honeymoon Machine Starring Steve McQueen, Jim Hutton, Dean Jagger and Jack Weston
Horizontal Lieutenant Starring Jim Hutton, Jack Carter, Jim Backus and Charles McGraw
Prisoner of Zenda Starring Ramon Novarro and Lewis Stone
See Here Private Hargrove Starring Robert Walker, Keenan Wynn, Robert Benchley and Ray Collins
Seven Keys to Baldpate Starring John Holland
Toward the Unknown Starring William Holden, Lloyd Nolan and Charles McGraw
Cedar Rapids Starring Ed Helms and John C. Reilly
Cedar Rapids [Blu-ray]
Criterion Collection
Eclipse Series 27: Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas - The Criterion Collection (Chains / Tormento / Nobody's Children / The White Angel) Starring Amedeo Nazzari and Raffaello Matarazzo
Kiss Me Deadly: The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Ralph Meeker, Cloris Leachman, Gaby Rodgers
Kiss Me Deadly: The Criterion Collection
Beowulf Starring Christopher Lambert and Rhona Mitra
Black Rat
Bunnyman Starring Matthew Phillips and Matthew Stiller
Ding Dong Dead Starring Julia Boyd, Nicole Sienna, Tara Strand, Julie Rose
Face Of The Screaming Werewolf Starring Yerye Beirute, George Mitchell, Fred Hoffman Lon Chaney Jr.
Growth [Blu-ray] Starring Christopher Shand, Brian Krause, Richard Riehle
Killer Stories: Crimes Of Torture And Horror
Psycho Holocaust Starring Raine Brown, Billy Garberina Trent Haaga
Tell-tale Heart, The/the Oval Portrait Double Feature Starring Adrienne Corri, Laurence Payne
White Zombie Starring Madge Bellamy, Bela Lugosi
The Island [Blu-ray] Starring Ewan McGregor, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean and Steve Buscemi
The Medallion [Blu-ray] Starring Jackie Chan, Lee Evans and Claire Forlani
Mega Python vs. Gatoroid Starring Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, A. Martinez and Kathryn Joosten
Mega Python vs. Gatoroid [Blu-ray]
The Rig [Blu-ray] Starring William Forsythe, Art LaFleur, Marcus T. Paulk
Stonehenge Apocalypse [Blu-ray] Starring Hill Harper, Misha Collins, Torri Higginson
The Closer: The Complete Sixth Season Starring Kyra Sedgwick and J.K. Simmons
Louie: Season One (DVD/Blu-ray Combo in DVD Packaging) Starring Louis C.K.
Louie Season 1 2Disc Combo (in Blu-Ray Packaging)
Medium: The Seventh and Final Season Starring Miguel Sandoval, Jake Weber, David Cubitt
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.