Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher (2012) – By Baron Craze

Whacked Movies and Sledgehammer Studios in combination with writer and director Joaquin Montalvan creator of Mobius (2009) and writer Eunice Font, designed a gritty sick horror complete with cannibalism and good down home cooking followed by a few rules on both family values and punishments for trespassing. However, one must the style first, using old film stock, not doing the Grind-house effect in post-production, and rather completely using blurry lens, and scratches in stock, to extending it thorough broken lens and worn camera parts.  These aspects give a flickering light and darkness wavering on the screen, and over saturation of faded murky yellows, with other washed out colors dominate the film, and sometimes has a tug of war of success and confusion for the viewer.

Joaquin starts with an elderly man telling his three grandchildren tales, and switches it the gruesome Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher and more directly Carl Henry Jessup. Carl (Paul E. Respass) lives life as a hermit, spending his time on his land, and with his sister, his code familiar to that of either Deliverance or Duck Dynasty no hunting, no sexual intercourse, no trespassing on his land. He lives in a lonely shack in the rural backwoods, drinking shine and thinking of a simpler time with the hassles of ignorance.  Though his upbringing might play a substantial part to his current lifestyle, as he father (Ron Jason) sliced up his mother and later he killed himself, and Carl who felt guilty to their constant arguing knows it is why his father killed himself. Hence with a promise to the devil, Sam Bakoo (Allen West) he repeats the methods of his father, and chops victims in itty bitty pieces so he can ever lasting powerful stews for himself, family all as an ode to Satan. He does best to disgust when fondling in a loving passionate manner the innards of trespassing, awhile using the greatest gift his father gave to him in his dying – a butcher knife. Respass does a wonderful job as portraying a greasy, filthy redneck, complete teeth finger picking, and gulping moonshine all as a normal day while hunting for meat for stew. Theresa Holly (from Hole (2010) fame) plays Carl’s half-sister Rae Lynn, yet at times seems a little unsure of her character, and while that might suggest a less than perfect supporting cast or overlook by the director, but the unsure nature might reflect that she is suspicious of her brother actions and mentality but afraid to confront him or them. Carl, himself begins to shows the factors in his mentality to himself, with haunted imagines of his parents and confusion of leaving the Lord for Satan, and consuming cannibalistic delights, layered under heaps of gore spread all over his back wooded home and land.

Aside from the twisted imagery, and the embrace of retro, that is occurring in the Horror genre overall, there just more a grim z-grade movie presented with a reoccurring theme of cannibalism and trespassing. The retro stylization works for a while, presenting a natural and authentic grind-house filter, which harkens back to a more seedy creation the sub current in the horror world, but that alone can’t save the film from lack of depth. The issue primarily is reaching a larger audience and sadly many horror fans find pleasure in the slick production values and the overworked CGI features, rather that the roots of cinema historians for which this film finds the core target and hits it squarely. The short plot frame, and lack of expanding the storyline further into more avenues, this could due to lack of funding and/or locations available.   Joaquin strives to make the scenes more perverse and disgusting, sadly this on results in more stumbling through scenes, and destroys the pacing, making more visible the storyline starts to fray.

There are choice grade-A meaty delights for the gore hound crowd, with devious disembowelment scenes and rampant spinning swirling conclusion to this legend. The overall feel of style, from a forgotten fringe arena of 1970s horror, presents like old dusty VHS, found in mildew cardboard box at a yard sale, yet the power to attract dedicated genre fans, which enjoy their horror with long pig.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2435520
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