Saturday, June 4, 2011

Red River (2011)

One of the things that plagues a lot of micro-budget horror movies these days is a lack of originality. Granted, movies that lack originality can be good or even great, but at times you are just left thinking to yourself is "I've seen this before." I say this because I've seen a lot of no-budget movies that have tried to emulate the Grindhouse and Exploitation movies of yesteryear, only to miss the mark not because of restrictions, but because the people behind them forget what it is that makes those movies so memorable. Case in point: Jacob Ennis' "Red River", which tries to mix the likes of "The Hills Have Eyes", "Motel Hell" and no-budget regional horror of the 70's with a heaping helping of modern day extreme gore and torture. Too bad the end result isn't good.

A group of annoying college kids who we don't give a shit about decide to go camping. Too bad for them that a religious maniac with a voice box named Roland Thatcher (Dave Haney) is killing pretty much anyone who comes into the woods for his deformed cannibal son "Hamburger Head" (Jason Crowe.) That's it as far as plot goes.

I'll give "Red River" this much: most of the gore effects are impressive, the cinematography is much better than it usually is in these kinds of no-budget movies, and at times I kind of liked the local, homegrown feel of the movie. Too bad none of the movie is particularly interesting, as the constant "Roland kills people" cycle of the movie is empty as all get. You can only see this bible-thumping maniac kill dumb people we don't care about so much until you start to tune out. Speaking of which, there are way too many lapses in logic when it comes to Roland. Why and how is it that this aging man with a gut and voice box is able to catch up to and kill so many people who are so much younger than him? Why do so many people not suspect that this guy might be up to something? That's just lazy writing.

Speaking of lazy writing, nobody in this movie is written well. Roland is just another murderous religious maniac that's been done so many times in the past, while Hamburger Head is just another pale imitation of Leatherface/every mutant inbred killer cannibal you've seen before. Meanwhile, the movie spends so much time with the main kids, which would be fine if you cared about them. These hollow dunderheads do nothing but bitch, have sex, bitch some more, make decisions that would make the kids from other slasher movies roll their eyes, bitch some get the point.

I have seen worse as far as micro-budget horror goes, especially in this route, but this is still a lazy as all get backwoods slasher movie that offers nothing you haven't seen before, and done better. Skip it.

Rating: 1.5/10

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