Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)Quick Thoughts: Oh what a fun fun movie. Tucker and Dale two good old boys in the south are going to their new cabin in the woods when a bunch of misunderstandings from some college kids leads to some hilarious dark comedy. I honestly don't want to say too much about this movie if you haven't seen it. It's the old crazy redneck hillbillys in the woods movie turned on its side. Also Dale is such a sweet guy you ladies will want to rest your head in his luxurious beard.8 Word Review:"Kids the Necronomicon cabin's at the other lake!"
Monte Hellman's COCKFIGHTER (1974) on Amazon Prime for the first time.Let me get it out of the way first: COCKSPLOITATION!!! OK, moving on.A quasi-spiritual sibling picture (kissing cousin'?) to Monte Hellman's own "Two-Lane Blacktop," "Cockfighter" follows Frank Mansfield (Warren Oates) as he lives, breathes and hustles his way through a southern cockfighting tournament (with frequent off-circuit fights in farms and hotel suites to make a few extra bucks) at the expense of his family, possessions and love life (dumping two women who love him to pursue his calling, including fellow "Two-Lane Blacktop" co-star Laurie Bird). So obsessed is Frank with winning the highest-award possible in cockfighting that he's sworn not to ever speak until he wins it, resulting in a Warren Oates performance in which he doesn't say a single word (save for some infrequent Harrison-Ford-in-"Blade Runner"-type voice-over lines to keep audiences in the loop about cockfighting rules/traditions) and every character he interacts with understand his made-up sign language. If you love/hate Warren Oates his character in "Cockfighting" will either please or bug you to no end, especially when Frank interacts with his nemesis Jack Burke (Harry Dean Stanton, giving 32 year advance notice of the character he'd play in HBO's "Big Love") during their constant run-ins around the tourney.Too artistic to be a drive-in flick (basically a meditation of the cost one driven individual pays to pursue his passion, shot gorgeously by the great Néstor Almendros) and too rural/B-grade for the arthouse crowd (real fights with real birds really pecking each other's brains out in slow-motion), this Roger Corman-produced movie is as surprisingly engaging as a good sports movie, a laugh-out loud comedy (mostly character-based humor) and, at 82 minutes, it's as fat-free and trimmed as the birds Jack conditions to fight. In addition to the mini-reunion with his "Two-Lane Blacktop" co-stars Oates also gets to interact with Steve "Lifeforce" Railsback, Troy "I was a teenage heartthrob" Donahue, Robert Earl Jones (the black cook in "Sleepaway Camp," AKA James Earl Juggs), Ed Begley Jr. playing a big dumb redneck and, turning in solid support character work, Richard B. Shull and Warren Finnerty. If you can tolerate animal cruelty (necessary for the accurate depiction of the lifestyle/tradition it portrays) "Cockfighting" is a solid choice when your main Junesploitation! criteria is 'anything but "Tucker and Dale Versus Evil" and/or "Deliverance."'
Inbred (2011)One of the worst "horror" films that I have ever had the "grace" to experience. Surely, a horror film should have at least one truly frightening moment. You have to be tight with your fright, so to speak, or viewers will start to become desensitised. This is just a hypothesis I've thought up on the spot, right now. Inbred, on the other hand, doesn't produce anything of value for the horror genre. The torture/murder scenes aren't interesting and the inbred townsfolk of the unnamed village are so clichéd that I lost interest in the film before the first act had ended.The only point of interest I had was at the very beginning when you're presented with a Peter Jackson-like tourist commercial of the Yorkshire countryside. Since you're aware that this is a "horror" film, there's an amusing sense of irony to be had.All in all, Inbred is like an incredibly boring an unoriginal version of the hilarious Shaun of the Dead. However, instead of zombies you've got zombie-like, inbred simpletons.
Wake in Fright (1971) – First ViewingAin’t no party like an Australian Hick Party cuz an Australian Hick Party don’t stop… until your life is in shambles, you become a full-blown alcoholic, and you slit a Kangaroo’s throat for fun. Gotta say, this was pretty great. The Kangaroo hunt was really upsetting and hard to watch, but I understand its place in this movie and according to the producer’s note in the end it was a real hunt, not something done for its own sake. Donald Pleasance is as always AMAZING. The guy makes every movie he’s in worth watching. This is pretty visceral stuff and makes the Outback look totally unbearable. This movie will make you thirsty. Highly recommended.
I just saw this a year or two ago (whenever Drafthouse put out the Blu-ray) and was blown away by it. Really great. And to think it was almost lost forever.
Yeah, this shit was pretty spooky and pretty relentless; pretty cool, how instead of using cramped and dark settings to establish the uneasy tone, it's all wide open spaces and sunlight beating down on you. Pleasance was unnerving as hell.
Yeah I can't stop thinking about it. For some reason I went into this movie thinking it was a straight-up horror movie, so I was kinda waiting for the horror to kick in, until I realized THIS HAS BEEN HORRIFYING THE ENTIRE TIME.
Same thing happened to me last year, Matt - I was interpreting everything as foreshadowing to some "real HORROR" that never real happened (instead it was "REAL horror"), which is probably about how I would have been feeling if I was that guy in that situation.
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)That good 70s creepy stuff.Arrogant cocksure city folk dont heed the kindly warning of Old Man Runsthashop and they start trespassing on the private property of the family. Thinking that the city folk are their new neighbours a couple of the family go and try to introduce themselves borrow some sugar, but after a little misunderstanding hilarity and mayhem ensue. They try to make it up by offering to babysit but one thing leads to another and it all turns into a big game of hide and seek. Eventually the city folk turn into MacGyver and thats the end of that. Not too bad, and one dog gets revenge for the other dog, which was pretty cool.Daddycactusploitation
Devil's Knot (2013) Dir. Atom Egoyan (I know, it's a stretch for Hixploitation but Reese is straight up bumpkin in this)Nope. For once all of the reviews I read were dead on. If you followed this case through the incredible Docs. "Paradise Lost 1, 2 and 3" then you've seen all you need to know. I hope that this isn't the first introduction to people who did not know about the West Memphis Three. This film adds nothing to the story and it is beyond me why such a talented director would bother with this. Uninspired, unoriginal and almost unwatchable (if you know the content). With such a strong cast (excluding Witherspoon who I don't think is a very good actress except for "Freeway") I assume all involved wanted to work with Egoyan (Elias Koteas and Bruce Greenwood being the exception) but they probably didn't realize they were signing up for what plays like a Lifetime movie with absolutely no identity or style that Egoyan is so well known for.
She really is a bumpkin in this. I really want to to check out Paradise 1, 2, and 3. It seems like a fascinating case that is just lost in the movie by trying to simplify something that is just to complex to fit into a neat little life time movie. I did get pissed off at the American legal system again but I think that is very easy to do haha (no offence guys but I know most of you get pissed off at it too).
"a fascinating case that is just lost in the movie by trying to simplify something that is just to complex"That is exactly right, Gabby. The weirdest part to me is why Egoyan was even interested in this? I can't figure it out. If you get to it, I would highly recommend checking out the 3 Paradise Lost films.
Thanks, *too sorry! I really have no idea maybe he thought the movie would win him respect through the performances or respect due to the notoriety of the case? It seems that whatever the reasons, they weren't the right ones! I have been enjoying your reviews Chaybee1 do you have twitter or anything? :)
Hey thanks a lot! What's a Twitter?Nah, I'm not on Twitter or Facebook or stuff like that. F This Movie is really my favorite place to read and post cause the community here is great and really respectful and you don't have to deal with trolling (except for that dick "anonymous" who shows up every once in while :-))
I haven't seen Devil's Knot but I'm completely baffled as to why anyone felt the need to make this movie, let alone Canadian National Treasure Atom Egoyan. I'm a big fan of the Paradise Lost films and they capture such intense REAL drama that I don't understand why anyone would even try to top them with a dramatization. Do check them out Gabby, you won't regret it - awful subject matter but very compelling to watch.
"Anonymous" is such a douche! I will Sol, I have heard great things so you two adding to that has made me really want to check it out!
Killer Joe (2011)Emile Hirsch and Thomas Haden Church are a dim-bulb son/father who hire Matthew McConaughey, a cop who moonlights as a hit man, to kill their mother/ex-wife to receive her insurance policy. The catch? They can't pay him, so they put their virgin teenage sister/daughter up for retainer. There are a lot of dark comedy flashes in what appears like a conventional crime drama. But Killer Joe is anything but conventiinal, thanks to director William Friedkin and a good script. As one of the performances that ushered in the "McConaughey-ssaince", McConaughey's charismatic/unhinged performance is the show here as an enigma that is interesting even though he is SUPER CREEPY. The rest of the cast is solid, even though I still don't know what to make of Juno Temple. However, the movie ends rather abruptly just when you want to see the next few seconds play out.
Sherman's March (1985)Well, I've seen it now and I don't think I ever will again. I appreciate the leap this supposedly made by allowing a one-person crew to make a movie all on their own, but this movie was way too long for me considering the point it was trying to get across. I wonder if the movie is any better by constantly informing us that McElwee is supposedly trying to make the documentary about the fall of the Old South. Couldn't he just stick to the whole "I'm lonely and these are the people I meet" shtick for the whole movie? That's the legacy of the film, not that he's distracted from his art. One line I did really love was when he asks himself whether or not he keeps filming just to convince himself he has a life to film. The rest of it should have ended an hour earlier.
Southern Comfort (1981, dir. Walter Hill) Really good action drama about a group of Louisiana National Guardsmen on a weekend training exercise who run afoul of some of the locals and are hunted and killed as a result. An incredible cast of character actors (including Powers Booth, Keith Carradine, Fred Ward, Peter Coyote, T.K. Carter and Brion James), a great guitar score by Ry Cooder, authentic location work and, of course, first-rate direction make for another terrific movie in Walter Hill's filmography. Like a spiritual ancestor of Sam Peckinpah and John Milius. Really glad I finally saw this.
Deranged (1974)This one was a pleasant surprise (if you can call something about a murderous necrophiliac pleasant). Roberts Blossom (the skeezy old man from Christine) is very effective as Ez Cobb, closely based on Ed Gein, inspiration for Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (among others). It's very bleak and I'm not sure I liked the way the narrator kept physically intruding on the story Rod Serling style, but it was a solidly tense and frightening portrait of a lonely country man's psychosis.
The House of 1,000 Corpses: This is another first viewing of a film I have been meaning to get to but haven't yet, even though I have watched The Devil's Rejects a few years back. I like House's offbeat weirdness, with some crazy visions that added a more interesting element in what could have been a very predictable Hixploitation Horror. There were parts that did scare me such as the coffin confinement. I don't know why it was so negatively received at first, but glad it has time to gain higher revaluations as I thought it was really great actually. Granted I remember Devil's being much better, but I think House deserves a higher critical opinion and stands up on its own.
Rob Zombie just gets better and better! Lords of Salem is his best yet, imo.
Brilliant and beautiful movie!
Crypt of Dark Secrets (1976) the trailer sells this thing hard!Three swamp rats rob and murder a young, recently retired Colonel fresh from 'Nam, just outside his new home on Haunted Island (seriously.) He's resurrected by gorgeous swamp witch Damballa, the personification of the bridge between life and death, and who can also transform into a snake and dances nude a lot. They employ a (white) voodoo priestess to help them exact revenge on the killers, then get married in the afterlife. This movie has a unique for the time supersaturated Technicolor look, which is interesting considering the DP also wrote the screenplay (how often does that happen?), and probably had a deal of influence in getting the cinematography to match his vision for the story. The result is deathly dull, but has the compelling, dreamlike feel of a fairy tale; it's definitely not a horror movie. It's unquestionably a hick picture, but I got thrown way off by Damballa's thick and unexpected British accent!Poor White Trash Part II aka Scum of the Earth (1974) trailerNow this is some definitive Hixploitation! Helen and her husband drive on down to her parents' cabin on the lake for some weekend R&R. They're there five minutes before someone buries an axe in his chest. Helen runs screaming into the forest, where she's fortunate enough to stumble into backwoods uberscumbag Odis Pickett (Odis! That's the stuff!) He almost immediately insinuates his unsavory intentions: Helen screams "Please, help me! My husband's just been murdered!" Odis, fondling her breasts: "Well, what kinda 'help' you need?" He and his freshly shot 'possum escort her back to his place, where halfwit, straw-hat wearin' son Bo, pregnant child bride Emmy, and supremely bitter, sexually abused daughter Sarah all also live. Odis gets drunk on 'shine ("Bo! Fetch me another jar!"), screams constantly at everyone, and, of course, rapes Helen. Someone outside with slasher POV picks 'em off one by one. I wouldn't dare reveal who; it's too ridiculous. The dialogue in this is awesome, dripping with cornpone slang. It's exhausting, but I highly recommend it.
Wrong Turn (2003)Textbook 2000's "mainstream" horror - it's basically the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake with the HIX Factor turned up to 11. It's FINE but I really only watched it to get to Joe Lynch's sequel which I just wouldn't have felt right about watching on its own. OCDsploitation!
You'll like the sequel a lot more.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)I think this is my favorite thing I've watched so far...my biggest complaint was a lack of Sid Haig who was glorious. I've been informed that has been remedied in The Devil's Rejects, so I am very much looking forward to that one!
Jug Face (2013)Does this count as Hixploitation? Backwoods community? CheckA little brother on sister lovin'? CheckBlood filled pit? CheckA town full of people who will sacrifice anyone the pit requests via jug-face? CheckI don't care what anyone says, I liked it. A lot. The acting was great, (especially Lauren Ashley Carter) the soundtrack was fantastic, and the idea was something I hadn't quite seen before... Or maybe I have, but the movie keep me so entertained it all seemed new to me!"The pit wants what it wants." Bam. Jug Face
That's a great choice! I wish I would have thought of it when making NTM recommendations.
Awesome. I really liked this film as well. Any film that involves people living in woods and incest is hixspoitation - There is no question about it :) The whole vibe of this film was so uneasy because you have no idea what the people in the backwoods community will do.
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)Ah, this movie was a breath of fresh air after the overly-serious first installment of the franchise I'm guessing should have stopped here. Inspired by 80s horror sequels that jacked up the violence and shifted the tone, Joe Lynch made a movie that's a lot of fun with over-the-top kills more inclined to make you laugh than scream. Not that it's a horror-comedy - it's still horror - but it's horror that can be enjoyed rather than just making you feel awful.
Urban Cowboy (1980)No one loves this movie more than our very own Hollywood Heath Holland (read his column on the film here.)Never before has so much drama surrounded competitive mechanical bull riding.