June 4, 2008

Psycho Hillbilly Cabin Massacre! (2007)


Without even telling you anything about this short movie, you might well guess at least some of the content. Yes, there are Psycho's, Hillbilly's do make an appearance, a cabin is their place of residence and lo and behold there is a massacre. This movie does exactly what is says on the label.

Now, it is always tough for short movies, as it isn't always easy to get ahold of them. Occasionally a company will surprise us, as did Unearthed Films with Nacho Cerda's collection of short movies, but for the most part you may have to hope for a compilation release, maybe find a copy at a convention, or do what I did and ask for a copy, because lets face it your local video store is unlikely to have it. With regards to Psycho Hillbilly Cabin Massacre! I do recommend that you try to grab yourself a copy; what the filmmakers show us here in 17 minutes is far better than alot of feature length movies.

The basic plot is about Sophie, a young college girl, who wants to get accepted into a rich kids secret society because she has the hots for Spencer, who is one of the members. Spencer, along with Brad and Gillian, take Sophie out into the woods for her initiation; which at this point hasn't been revealed. Along the way they stop off at a roadside store where they find a strange object made of a skull and a snake. Asking the vendor if they have anymore like it they are told that no they don't. The vendor gets them from the local Hillbilly's who live on the mountain, but advises them against going up there as "today is hunting day". Of course the kids pay no attention and head on up the hill, where quite soon they meet the locals.

I can assure you though that Psycho Hillbilly Cabin Massacre! doesn't unfold quite as you might expect though. This is a well written and highly enjoyable movie, with a dark sense of humour, very dark indeed. Compacted into the short running time is plenty of gore, good looking girls, mud wrestling, a Gil Gerard narration, a cameo from The Bad Seed's Patty McCormack and banjos; you have to have banjos in a movie like this!

The influences are quite apparent and the filmmakers have obviously taken a great delight in twisting these and playing up to the cliches of the backwoods psycho sub-genre. But rather than poke fun at them this seems to me as more of an homage, albeit a slightly warped one. The production values are quite terrific, the budget having been used to great effect; this is an incredibly professional looking movie, something I doubt that would have been possible if this had been a feature length movie.

The cast are all impressive too, playing everything totally straight and in turn giving believable performances. Angela Schnable, as Gillian, in particular was great fun to watch.

If I had any real faults with this movie it would be that the roles of the Hillbillys weren't quite developed enough. They seem to be window dressing really to the actions of the four kids, but they still looked cool.

Psycho Hillbilly Cabin Massacre! is a refreshing and damned enjoyable take on what can sometimes be a very tired and predictable sub-genre. In my opinion this would make a great appetiser to a night of horror movie viewing. A great combination of dark humour and horror.

Rating 3 stars (out of 4)

Review by Jude Felton

3 comments:

JD said...

Sounds like Deliverance meets Cabin Fever. Great review!!

Fred [The Wolf] said...

I wouldn't mind seeing this. May be a fun time filler. Great review!

Sir Jorge said...

that's my kind of movie.