Thursday, November 27, 2014

HILLBILLY HORROR SHOW VOL. 1 (2014)

HILLBILLY HORROR SHOW VOL. 1 (2014) 

Label: Leomark Studio
Duration: 60 Minutes
Region Code; 0 NTSC
Rating: Unrated Audio: English Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 
Director: Sharif Salama, Bill Hayes, Theo Stephansky, Timothy Zwica
Cast: Bo Keister, Scott Geiter, Rachel Faulkner

Here we have an hour long horror anthology of short films introduced by fun loving hillbillies Bo and Cephus and they're scantly clad  cousin Lulu who is none to hard on the eyes. The hillbilly shtick only goes so far with me but onto the films we begin with FRANKY AND THE ANT (2012)  from director Bill Hayes. A nine-minute tale of a betrayed lover and what turns out to be a very short day trip with his lover and best friend. The film is nicely composed and tells a damn decent story in just nine minutes, bonus points for the use of the Carl Martin blues number "Farewell to You Baby" and local band The Deludes from right here in Tucson who offer up a very cool Stones influenced rocker. 

Up next is AMUSED (2011) a nine-minute short from director Cuyle Carvin, set a snow bound rural area an woman arrives to find a feral man feasting on her daughter in the kitchen. After the initial shock she must run for her life and find a weapon to fend of the ravenous attacker who laughs like the joker throughout. I didn't love this one, of the four on the disc it's the one I would most likely skip on repeat viewing, it's a bit generic and the execution's clumsy. It's didn't help that this was the most consumer grade photographed if the shorts, now I don't mind the micro-budget aesthetic but I need something in the writing, execution or acting to shine through to make it work for me and this didn't have any of that. 


DOPPELGANGER four-minute stop-motion animation short directed by Theo Stephansky which owes quite a bit to Ray Harryhausen. A very simplistic short wherein a skeleton emerges from a cave in search of companionship only to succeed with less than desirable consequences. Short on story this one feels more like a demo reel or proof of concept, I give the team a lot of props for the fluid stop-motion animation of the skeletons, very cool but not the most engrossing short film. 


The fourth and final film THE NEST (2011) is the best of the bunch, a thirty-two minute short from director Timothy Zwica. A tasty killer insect film that begins when a local rancher discovers that one of his horses have been stripped to the bone, and it has something to do with a nearby diner and the proprietor's award winning honey. This is the longest of the bunch and the story is engrossing with some decent performances, especially the woman playing the proprietor of the diner. At the heart of the story are a swarm of bird sized bees with a taste for flesh, a very well executed story and the digital effects are pretty great, the deadly bees are rendered quite well. .This is the one film on the disc that I felt could be a damn decent full length feature with a strong b-movie story and the highest production value of the bunch, this one might just we worth the $10 price tag alone. 


As micro-budget horror anthologies go this is alright stuff with THE NEST being far and away the best of the bunch, truth be told it's the one entry I would re watch. With two more volumes of the Hillbilly Horror Show on tap this next year and I hope to see the producers step-it up with more consistency and some higher production values, if they had found four to five films of the same quality as THE NEST this would have been something special. I was sort of annoyed by the redneck aesthetic of the intros and the artwork, the tired riff on rural yahoos has zero appeal but I did enjoy the films to varying degrees, and that's what matters, not great but it's a decent enough watch with one stand-out entry.  

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