Imagine a horror film. Let’s say a bunch of teenagers venture out into the woods. Let’s say they’re all delinquents dragged out there for community service. Let’s say there’s a local legend about a fearsome creature, which proves all too real when it appears and starts killing everyone in sight. Now let’s say that murderous beast of myth is, in fact, Paul Bunyan.
Craftily riding the recent way of self-aware horror film tributes, Kinectic Filmworks and director Gary Jones found their subject in Paul Bunyan, the mythic, good-natured giant (and logging company spokesman) who tall tales credit with creating the Grand Canyon, Minnesota’s many lakes, and other natural wonders of North America. Well, Paul Bunyan is also in the public domain, so anyone can do what they please with his image. And so the film turns him into a bloodthirsty wildman out for revenge on the town that exiled him. Curiously absent from the trailer is Paul’s blue ox Babe, but hey, this is a serious movie. Can’t have blue cows wandering around.
The trailer feels like a prank, but Jones also directed such films as Boogeyman 3 and Crocodile 2, and it’s safe to guess that he’s really making Paul Bunyan. So I fully expect the movie to proceed to its only natural end: a showdown between the axe-wielding Paul and the steel-driving John Henry.