Savage County (TV 2010)
Directed by David Harris
[this review is from The Jaded Viewer 2 DVD Giveaway Winner Kim K. She suffered through these awful flicks like a real soldier and for that I'm giving her a honorary jaded viewer gold star of awesomeness]
I was warned - these movies won’t be making any "best of" lists. Watching them was a test of will. I have a short attention span. I'm rating them not by spinkicks, but by how many failed attempts it took me to actually sit down with the movie long enough to watch until the end.
David Harris is a first time director & this was a low budget, direct-to-video production. I have a soft spot for new artists trying to get an edge in, even if I’m not a fan; and judging by their Facebook page, he does have a following, which he is clearly catering toward. If you’re an 11-15 year old who is new to the horror genre & enjoyed the web series this was a spin-off from - you could potentially love this movie. It is the training bra of horror.
The plot follows a group of high school students about to graduate as they road trip out into the countryside one last time. When a prank goes wrong, the kids accidentally kill the eldest of a family of creepy homicidal hillbillies. Creepy hillbillies get pissed. Storyline marches forward into a watered down version of some of the most familiar (and successful) horror themes we know and love. (See: Deliverance, Texas Chainsaw, Hills Have Eyes, Wrong Turn, House of 1000 Corpses etc etc)
‘Recycled’ doesn’t necessarily resign a movie to a fate of suckage. When you’re playing to human fear, there are only so many threads to explore. Filmmakers in the genre build on and borrow from each other almost as a rule. But you’d better add something original to make it stick in people’s heads if you’re going that route. The fact that one of the hillbillies vaguely resembles Willie Nelson is not enough for me
As for the kids, we’ve got a small group of token everything out in this cornfield. The jocks, the cheerleader, the “good girl”, the punky loner, the nerd, the black kid. All of these stereotypes hung out together in your school too, right? There is one particularly useless girl back at base, whose sole job seems to be talking into a webcam and cueing awful music. The movie keeps awkwardly cutting back to her and it was precisely these moments that made me wonder if I needed to take another break.
The plot unfolds. Kids freak out after the accidental murder. Split up. Make one stupid decision after another. Cops get involved. Oops - cops are sided with the hillbillies. Hillbillies torture and pick off kids. The script remains one dimensional, and ends predictably while still leaving loose ends (I fear a sequel’s in the works); yet for a tween slasher-flick, it delivers what is expected and is certainly not the worst ever made. Though it did leave me feeling mildly lobotomized.
I rate this movie: 3 failed attempts.
Check out the trailer. I doubt you'll last :30 secs before you stop watching.