Living Dead Reviews

Welcome to the New Home of All Things Horror

 Many people are terrified by this sub-genre primarily because it plays on childhood fears of strangers. Backwood folk are different, they are either loud and boisterous or quiet and ominous. In these films it is easy to identify with the victims. They are usually naïve city dwellers with no idea of the evil in store for them. Come find out why the country is always so quiet.

Deliverance (1972)

Deliverance (1972)
109 mins. - Rated R
Director: John Boorman

Starring: John Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass, Randall Deal, Bill McKinney, Herbert Coward, Lewis Crone, Ken Keener, Johnny Popwell, John Fowler, Kathy Rickman, Louise Coldren, Pete Ware, James Dickey, Macon McCalman, Hoyt Pollard, Belinda Beatty, Charley Boorman

Synopsis: Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee river before it's turned into one big lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip in the Georgia back-country. Once there they run into some very unfriendly locals and the nightmare begins.

Tommy: This movie inspired tons of backwood slasher films. The list is way too long to mention. The film is very believable and the first time I watched it, it left me feeling really dirty. Films like this only come out once in a blue moon. Fine performances by everyone in the film especially Burt Reynolds, John Voight, and Ned Beatty. Beautifully shot, and some very tense and disturbing moments highlight this tale of backwoods terror. If the suspense doesn't scare you, how about a grown man screaming "Squeal like a pig"? Watch this film.

Roy: This film scared the shit out of me. Primarily because of the feeling that this could actually happen. Incredible acting by all involved, and this is a great example of 70's moviemaking. This is a must see.

Tommy's Rating: * * * * *
Roy's Rating: * * * * *

Movie Facts:

- Originally, Sam Peckinpah was to direct the film but chose Straw Dogs instead.

- Burt Reynolds broke his coccyx while filming.

- Most of the actors did their own stunts.

- Famous for it's "dueling banjos" scene.

- Based on the James Dickey novel and he also stars in the film.

 

Fortress (1986)

Fortress (1986)
88 mins. - Unrated
Director: Arch Nicholson

Starring: Rachel Ward, Sean Garlick, Elaine Cusick, Laurie Moran, Marc Gray, Ray Chubb, Bradley Meehan, Rebecca Riggs, Beth Buchanan, Asher Keddie, Anna Crawford, Richard Terrill, Vernon Wells, Peter Hehir, David Bradshaw, Roger Stephen, Nick Waters, Terence Donovan

Synopsis: An Australian school teacher and her students are kidnapped by a ruthless gang of killers. Soon they are fighting for their lives and what started out as a routine day at school, becomes a nightmare. But have the killers picked the wrong teacher and students to mess with?

Tommy: This was actually a TV movie in Australia I think. Regardless, this movie is incredible! The acting, especially the children, was very convincing. Not very gory but it really didn't matter. The atmosphere was the high point for me. If you can locate this Aussie gem, check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Roy: Very good movie. Well acted and good atmosphere. Rachel Ward is an underated actress. One of the better made-for-TV movies. Recommended.

Tommy's Rating: * * * * 1/2
Roy's Rating: * * * *

Movie Facts:

- Loosely based on the 1972 Faraday School kidnapping of a teacher and her class by Edwin John Eastwood and Robert Clyde Boland. Eastwood later escaped and committed the crime again with another teacher in 1977.

 

Hunter's Blood (1987)

Hunter's Blood (1987)
101 mins. - Rated R
Director: Robert C. Hughes

Starring: Samuel Bottoms, Clu Gulager, Kim Delaney, Charles Cyphers, Joey Travolta, Ken Swofford, Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Drago, Bruce Glover, Mayf Nutter, Lee De Broux, Mickey Jones, Bryan Rasmussen, Joe Verroca, David DeShay, Mike Muscat

Synopsis: Five buddies travel to the country to do some hunting and drinking. They ignore the warnings about the crazy poachers that are rumored to be in the woods. After a fight in a local bar the friends leave and go set up camp, but someone is watching them. Is it the poachers or the locals they angered?

Tommy: This is a diamond in the rough. If you are lucky enough to find this gem then you'd better hang on to it. This movie is part Deliverance and part Friday the 13th! The gore in this one rivals any 80's slasher and I'm really surprised it hasn't been released on DVD. This is one of  the best "backwoods" horror films ever made and if you are a fan of such classics as Deliverance, Rituals, Southern Comfort, or even Wrong Turn then this should make you happy! Highly, highly recommended!

Roy: Tough, no-nonsense thriller in the mold of Deliverance starts out slow but kicks in about midway through the film. Good solid cast of character actors plus an early screen appearance by Kim Delaney makes this one worth the viewing. The gore is sick and nasty and the atmosphere gives you a sense of dread, especially the night scenes. Hunter's Blood is one horror fans shouldn't miss! Recommended. 

Tommy's Rating: * * * * 1/2
Roy's Rating: * * * *

Movie Facts:

- Charles Cyphers has also starred in Halloween, The Fog, and Escape From New York.

- One of Billy Bob Thornton's early screen appearances.

 

Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain (2003)

Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain (2003)
91 mins. - Rated R
Director: Christian Viel

Starring: Jenna Jameson, Chasey Lain, Ginger Lynn Allen, Taylor Hayes, Richard Grieco, Brandi-Ann Milbradt, Bobbie Phillips, Howard Rosenstein, Lael Stellick, Phil Price, Neil Napier, Heidi Hawkins, Gillian Leigh, Simon Peacock, Alex Chisholm, Robert Higden, Alana Dash, J.J. Carle, Dan Noseworthy, Eric Cooke, Fanny Labbe, Victoria Reuter, Natalia Ctchekotikhina

Synopsis: During the ancient festival of Samhain, a group of American students go to Ireland to learn about the rituals of the ancient Druids and other Celtic legends. But in the remains of an abandoned copper mine, lives the ancestors of an incestuous clan of cannibals. Soon the students begin dying horrible deaths and the few remaining have to face the most horrific nightmare of their lives. Evil roams the woods of Ireland.

Tommy: I read so much about this movie prior to it's release. I was really excited when I found out that Lions Gate were going to release it on DVD. The movie was pretty good, and the acting ranged from good, to very bad, but this is a low budget movie. The atmosphere was great and the gore was top notch, despite it being the cut version of the film. Porn star Jenna Jameson dies the most horrible death of the movie, and the goriest. Despite some flaws and the most predictable ending ever, you have to love this movie for what it is, an unapoligetic thrill ride, and a sick journey into perversion. See for yourself. Recommended.

Roy: Boobs and inbred cannibals, what a combo! This film goes back to the heyday of horror expoitation, pure unadulterated fun. No acadamy awards for acting in this one, but if you're a red blooded american male, you'll like this film.

Tommy's Rating: * * * 1/2
Roy's Rating: * * *

Movie Facts:

- AKA: Samhain

- Porn stars Jenna Jameson, Ginger Lynn Allen and Chasey Lain have cameos.

- Richard Grieco has a small cameo.

- Heavily cut prior to release.