Saturday, November 6, 2010

Heartland Horrors - Season 1 (2007)

I remember hearing about The Horror Channel back in the day. I never picked the channel up, nor do I know if it's still around (let me know if it is), but I remember hearing about them remaking "Black Sunday" (I don't think that happened) and that they had shows in "Shadow Falls" and this series, "Heartland Horrors." To be fair, "Horrors" isn't really a TV series as much as it is 10 Independent short films, so if anything it feels more like an anthology of sorts. So with that out of the way, here's my review of season one, short for short.

The Thing About Bannon's Lookout - Two cops on night patrol come across a parked car with a bloody surprise inside - and all's not what it seems with one of the cops.

This is a fairly fun little tale that's very well filmed and packs an enjoyably dark twist at the end. Nothing spectacular, but fine 7/10

Copy - A woman is warned by a copying machine about the man she's about to hire.

More of a black comedy than a tale of horrors, this is my favorite film here, as it has a great final dark punchline that made me laugh hard. 8.5/10

The Last Laugh - A violent clown tries to make a clown laugh through extreme methods.

Another movie that's more black comedy than horror. This is a lot of fun, and sends up the standard "torture horror" technique to amusing results. 8/10

Woman's Intuition - A woman visits a doctor, fearing that the premonitions she's having are telling her something bad is about to happen.

Nice idea, but the ending ruins it to be honest. 5.5/10

A Mile Back Aways - A drunk man in his vehicle wake up in a ditch, and passes the same girl on the road. Then he picks her up...

I liked this in a "Telling stories by campfire" way, as it has that kind of mood to it. The ending is a bit predictable though. 7.5/10

Smoke - A young man buys cigarettes for his mother - for dark reasons.

Thankfully, this doesn't dwell too much into torture, and has an almost David Lynch like feeling to it. 7.5/10

Shed Out Of Luck - A hunter finds himself ties up in a shed, where he's given "mystery meat." So, where is his friend?

The goriest film here, this one didn't do it for me. Sure, the effects are well done (I'm amazed at how great these movies look), but the twist in the end is kinda lame. 5/10

Out To Pasture - A young couple is surrounded by zombies - only to be saved by a farmer.

The shortest movie in the collection, "Pasture" is a fun little entry, though nothing mind blowing. 7/10

Bitter Sweets - A psychopath who loves to put razor blades in caramel apples gets his just deserts from the kids he killed.

Another "camp fire" style tale, this one is the weakest film here, with some painfully bad acting and a tone that's way too goofy and jokey for it's own good. 3/10

Café at the Crossroads - A mysterious stranger appears at a café to collect the survivors of a plague. However, he may be in over his head.

The final movie, this is actually my second favorite movie, with the survivors being the complete opposite of what you'd expect. A great surprise. 8.5/10

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by "Heartland Horrors." Though the films do have some of the pitfalls of low budget horror (poor acting, a few weak conclusions), the care and detail provided is a major plus, making them look more expensive than they probably were. Also, there are more hits than misses, and three of the hits really hit the ball out of the park. So as it stands, it's nothing groundbreaking, but it's a nice reminder of what true independent horror is capable of.

Rating: 7.5/10

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