Hammer of The Gods is the story of a band watching their success fade away in front of them. Desperate for one last single to bring them back from the brink, they head out into the woods only to find themselves hunted by paranormal creatures.

 

Written and directed by Nick Szostakiwskyj, Hammer of The Gods stars Rob Raco (Television’s Riverdale), Josh Collins, and Samantha Carly who also served as executive producer. Rounding out the cast are Michael Dickson and Parmiss Sehat with creature design from Floris van der Peet. Perfect for music fans, and spooky nature enthusiasts, Hammer of The Gods celebrated its Canadian Premiere at the 2018 Blood in The Snow Film Festival November 24th.

 

“Perfect for music fans, and spooky nature enthusiasts”

 

Hammer of The Gods finds three members wondering the woods looking for songwriting inspiration. The band is at a crossroads that will define their career. One path leads to stardom and fame, but the other will lead them further away from their dreams, relegated to “One Hit Wonder” status and “Where Are They Now” fodder. Half vacation, half professional-improvement retreat, Olivia and Mitch canoe their way up river with bandleader Eric after refusing to let him trek this deep into the woods alone. They travelling lightly, bringing only the essentials for a Canadian summer excursion: food, shelter, acoustic guitars, and (of course) several tablets of Acid. What could go wrong?

After two days floating up river they quickly make camp before tuning in, turning on, and dropping out (SIDE NOTE: drug users love finding fun ways to say “let’s scramble our brains for several hours”). After some time sitting around a fire waiting for a profound experience, the group call it a night but by morning everything has changed. The water has a brilliant Technicolor sheen, and the forest feels alive! Everything is finally falling into place but no one can make sense of the strange sounds in the woods or the creatures that have followed them since they made camp. Surely if they were hallucinations they would have gone away after the drugs wore off. Right?

 

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I’m a pretty big fan of movies about bands desperate for their big break. It’s why I never stop telling people to re-watch Jennifer’s Body. If you feel the same way, then I think you will be pleasantly surprised with Nick Szostakiwskyj’s Hammer of The Gods. Oh, and there are monsters!? If decades of scary woods movies have told us anything it’s that those sounds are almost always crazed hermits, happy to kill a group of no good campers foolish enough to have sex and do drugs tent in his backyard. But sometimes, if you’re patient and lucky, you’ll find yourself treated to full-on, head-to-toe, monsters. And these creepy buggers aren’t messing around. The moment you see them, they know- and they are not happy about it.

The cinematography in the film is gorgeous and rarely shows its indie roots. Of course (and I may be a little biased here) you can blindly point a camera in any direction and snap an award-winning shot when you find yourself in the Canadian woodlands. While some of the movie’s finer points could use a little polishing, what does transmit out to the audience is a feeling of despondency in each of the band members. Eric wears his heart on his sleeve, but even the more guarded members are aware that this could be the end of their story. Though they were surrounded by greatness for a time, there is something inescapable rotting them from the inside. And though they’ve come out to this beautiful, serene destination, their presence in the forest brings about a darkness that threatens to tear them apart. Hammer of The Gods is a super clever story that deserves to be seen firsthand. It’s a unique twist on a conventional story, as dark and surprising as the unknown road ahead.

 

Hammer of The Gods is a unique twist on a conventional story, as dark and surprising as the unknown road ahead”

 

The Blood In The Snow Film Festival is a showcase of Canadian horror, genre, and underground cinema. More than that, it also serves as a summit for indie filmmakers looking to gain insight into how to navigate the tricky waters of distribution, networking, and (scariest of all) tax credits. The festival runs November 22-27. To see all our coverage of the 7th annual Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival, click HERE.

Are you looking forward to seeing Alive? What’s your favourite mad doctor movie? Let us know on TwitterReddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook.

 

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