Every stranger has a secret in writer-director Garrett Clancy’s indie drama, also released as Dead Letters. Ten years after his first novel went down in flames, the hard knocks just won’t stop for K.C. Corcoran (C. Thomas Howell) - his girlfriend’s just thrown him out. K.C. hopes to get his life back on track by writing another book and heads to a remote mountain cabin to work on it … but the locals prove more hazardous than he could have guessed.
**_A sad-sack author in the sticks of SoCal_** A decade after his semi-successful book, a writer (C. Thomas Howell) heads to the backwoods northeast of Los Angeles to write a new book with an old typewriter, but the dysfunctional yokels prove to be a hinderance. Geoffrey Lewis, Duane Whitaker and Kim Darby are on hand. “Lake of the Woods,” aka “Cold Ones” (2007), is an indie that only cost $300,000 helmed by Garrett Clancy. It’s an oddball backwater satire, which I’m sure was loosely based on Garrett’s own experiences. For such a low budget, the actors rise to the challenge and the flick’s relatively entertaining with droll humor revolving around the socially impaired characters or the writer’s series of unfortunate events, some of which are due to his own clueless folly. Janet Tracy Keijser (Sandy) is notable in the feminine department; as is Kirsty Hinchcliffe (Juliette/Candy). Janet bravely participates in a quirky nod to Lady Godiva while both of them are featured in a potential menage a trois that swiftly fizzles. I know the latter was meant to be amusing, but I almost lost my cookies. While I’m giving this a relatively low grade for being somewhat pointless, as well as its low-rent technical issues, like sequences that needed rewritten and reshot, it’s more entertaining than Sam Shepard’s big-budgeted “Far North” (1988). The movie runs 1 hour, 34 minutes, and was shot in Frazier Park, which is just east of the real-life Lake of the Woods in SoCal, as well as Santa Clarita and Los Angeles. (Santa Clarita is located about halfway between the other two). GRADE: C-