|Cinematography by||Zach Zeman|
|Production Company||Hidden Gnome Films|
|Release Date||April 21, 2017|
|Running Time||73 minutes|
Hunters' Crossing (2017) Edit
Hank Williams (Noah Schindler), named after the country singer, is competing for a local North Georgia competition called Hunter of the Year. He meets a Bigfoot hunter, Trevor Farleys (Rieves Bowers), and together they team up with an aging bear slayer (Mason Taylor) to take down a rival hunter (Ryan Sliwinski) and win the contest.
Hank Williams takes the camera crew on a tour of his favorite spots, giving a factually incorrect history lesson of each location. He shows the things that matter to him most like his "lucky coin" that he got when he killed his first deer. He explains that he is competing for the Hunter of the Year Award which is an award given out to hunters in the Northeast region Georgia. His preparations for the competition distract him, however, and he is late for signing up. The board behind the competition, Tim DeFill (Bowers) and Francis Worthington (Callaghan), offer him a chance to still compete, but they decide that he has to win. Hank foolishly accepts this deal without thinking twice. Francis gives Hank the number to a contact who will set Hank up in a small lodge with some local hunters on prime hunting ground.
Hank calls the number and books his stay at a cabin owned by the 50-year old bear slayer Willis Hampton (Taylor). Upon arrival, Hank mistakes another guest, Trevor Farleys (Bowers) for Willis and the two immediately bond. Trevor explains to the crew that he is a Bigfoot hunter and has been since he was a child. Trevor introduces Hank to Willis, who is cold and rude towards the both of them. Willis shows Hank his bedroom, which was formerly Trevor's. He kicks Trevor out of the room. The two bond over a game of checkers and Trevor tells Hank he is hunting Bigfoot. Hank laughs and Trevor passes out from drunkenness.
Hank asks Willis if there's anything he can do to help around the property while he stays and Willis asks him to go check the bear traps down by the creek. Hank goes to the creek and is ambushed at gunpoint by Clive Harris (Sliwinski). Clive claims that Hank is on his property that was given to him in his grandfather's will and if anyone steps foot on his property, he will kill them. He fires a warning shot and Hank and the crew go off running. Hank returns to the cabin and tells Willis about Clive. Willis contests Clive's claims of owning the property and calls in for "The Exterminator" on a walkie-talkie.
Trevor wakes up later and discusses Clive with Hank over another game of checkers. Their discussion is interrupted by Samantha Burd (Roper), an animal rights activist, who is knocking at the door. She attempts to persuade them to support animal rights and a misunderstanding occurs between the three of them where Hank and Trevor believe they support animal rights by hunting. A verbal altercation occurs between the three and Willis kicks Samantha off his property. He explains that she is always coming around and harassing him to stop allowing hunters on his property.
Hank and Trevor attempt to go hunting but are once-again, ambushed by Clive Harris, who was hiding behind a tree waiting for someone to walk by. He claims the land they are on is also his property and asks what Hank and Trevor are doing. Hank explains he is competing for Hunter of the Year and Clive tells Hank of a great location with lots of game. The two take his advice and travel to the location, only to find a suburb on the top of a hill. They come to the realization that Clive is also competing and is trying to sabotage their score and they decide to get even.
Willis meets up with The Exterminator (Dogias) and hires him to "take care of" Clive. The Exterminator explains to the crew that he is a ruthless and literally indestructible killer ever since he was struck by lightning. He demonstrates by aggressively attacking a small tree with a sword. In the middle of his demonstration, Clive interrupts and shoots him in the head. The crew runs away.
Hank and Trevor return to the cabin, hellbent on sabotaging Clive. Willis calms them down and the three notice The Exterminator limping around with a bleeding face in the yard. Willis and Trevor rush out to aid The Exterminator, who dies in Willis' arms. Willis swears revenge against Clive. The two return to the cabin, where Hank was preparing a medical kit, and plot a plan to sabotage Clive. A training montage occurs and is cut short when Hank and Trevor notice Clive sneaking onto Willis' property. They chase him into the woods but he vanishes and attacks them from behind with a large stick, knocking them out. Hank and Trevor awaken in a large hole, tied together, and struggle to get out. Clive comes up and tells them he had to stop them from winning the competition because he is the true winner.
Willis steps out of his cabin, prepared to rally Hank and Trevor to fight Clive, but cannot find them. Instead he finds Samantha, who tells him that she found fluoride in the water on his property and is reporting him to the EPA. Willis quickly devises that he is not the owner of the property; Clive is. He then has the realization that Hank and Trevor have been "kidnapped by druids" and runs into the woods with Samantha following.
Hank and Trevor sits in the hole, with Trevor explaining that he knows Bigfoot isn't real; he just wanted a legacy to live for. Hank assures him that Bigfoot is real and forgives him for lying, as it's better to resolve conflict immediately rather than falling out. Clive begins to bury the two alive but is interrupted by Samantha and Willis, who recognizes Clive as the grandson of his old rival, who he murdered. Clive attempts to give a villainous speech but is cut short when he is shot in both of his legs by Samantha. She attempts to execute him on the spot but Willis suggests that they kill Clive by hanging, just like the way he murdered Clive's grandfather.
Hank, Trevor, Willis, and Samantha all struggle to get a rope around the branch of a tree, but none of them are skilled enough to accomplish anything. In their efforts to try and set up a noose for Clive, they forget about the fact that Samantha shot Clive and as a result, he bleeds to death. The four walk back to the cabin, when Hank realizes that his lucky coin is missing. Trevor decides to stay at the cabin, as he is exhausted from being nearly murdered. Hank, Samantha, and Willis go driving back into the woods and are attacked by Bigfoot. Hank calls Trevor, who comes to the rescue in The Exterminator's fighting gear, and clumsily fights Bigfoot. He is impaled by his own sword in the fight, and pulls Bigfoot into him, killing Bigfoot as well. Hank rushes to Trevor, who dies in his arms.
A year later, Willis and Samantha went to prison, Hank reveals that he didn't win Hunter of the Year, and the competition board is upset at all the violence that occurred, as well as Hank not winning. Hank reminisces on his brief friendship with Trevor and admires his character and tells the crew that Trevor was the real "Hunter of the Year" before walking off into the horizon.
Noah Schindler as Hank Williams
Rieves Bowers as Trevor Farleys/Tim DeFill
Mason Taylor as Willis B. Hampton
Ryan Sliwinski as Clive Harris
Zach Zeman got the idea for shooting the film after spending a month with his grandfather, Tom Claussen, at a hunting lodge in the George Washington National Forest. He immediately got to work on a script, which Grant Zeman co-wrote with him.
An original short was shot while Zach and Grant were in high school, with the two of them playing the protagonists, Hank and Trevor, with Tom Claussen playing Willis (the character was originally named Willis Tutz).
After reflecting on the story and its flaws, Zach expanded the idea into a feature film and shot over the course of 14 days in December 2016 and January 2017.
Hunters' Crossing premiered in New York, NY at New York University Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television on April 21, 2017. The screening was limited to a small audience of thirty people, with Zeman, Taylor, and Roper answering questions from the audience.
The film was released on Amazon Prime on Labor Day weekend in September 2017.
The possibility of a sequel has been in discussion with Zach Zeman and Rieves Bowers co-writing the story. It would revolve around Hank's life after the competition and his lack of ability to move on from his memories made during his time at Willis' cabin.