Top Ten”Hillbilly/Southern” Horror Films!

No disrespect to Hillbillies or Southerners in general is meant by this list or any of the content within it, it’s purely for fun, and I happen to love Hillbilly Horror films, and films set in the South in general.

The list is in no real particular  order at all.

 

1. Deliverance (1972)

https://i0.wp.com/images3.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/472_front.jpg

Although not horror specifically, this film was made in ’72 and is still very effective by today’s standards. Some of the shots of the team of guys paddling through the Cahulawassee River are still chilling to this day, especially when you realize that they’re being watched by a community of undesirable inbred locals! Check this one out if you have not done so already!

8/10

2. Southern Comfort (1981)

https://i1.wp.com/welivefilm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/SouthernComfort.jpg

Once again, not horror really at all, and somewhat of a cash-in (in ways) on Deliverance’s success, but this film is still solid, and the hillbilly’s who are stalking these National Guards all throughout this film are quite menacing indeed. A little more Action/Thriller than horror, but definitely check this one out, it was one of my brother and I’s favorite action flicks when it came out.

6/10

3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

https://i2.wp.com/images4.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/7258_front.jpg

This is Tobe Hoopers best film, bar none. The overall atmosphere and feeling of dread throughout this piece is still very unsettling today, and somewhat of an achievement as a director, I feel. Although the film was followed by so many sequels and remakes, this is the best, and the only one you should really see, although The Beginning is also a good watch, as i s the official Remake of this film.

8.5/10

4. Just Before Dawn (1981) 

http://horror.mdv.se/1981%20-%20Just%20Before%20Dawn%20(VHS).jpg

Just Before the Dawn is a nice little bit of hillbilly stalker horror from 1981. Be honest, everyone likes a wild machete wielding hillbilly stalking 5 campers through the woods,right? This is actually much better than your average hillbilly slasher from the 80’s, and is led by a pretty good cast and some impressive kill-scenes.

7.0/10

5. Rituals (1977)

https://i0.wp.com/150597036.r.cdn77.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/rituals.jpg

Originally titled Rituals, re-titled as “The Creeper”.

Five doctors go on vacation deep in the Canadian wilderness. After all but one pair of the party’s shoes disappear, the remaining camper decides to hike out and go look for help. Soon after he leaves, however, his four companions realizes that something is very wrong when someone leaves a decapitated deer head just outside their camp. Even though they still don’t have their shoes, they decide to follow their friend’s trail out of the woods, but their path is blocked by someone who doesn’t want to see them leave the forest alive. This is a very tight and menacing slasher/horror, led be a nice cast of actors, and a very good. This film is often overlooked by people, yet it started the whole “maniac in the woods” horror genre, and it is quite good indeed.

6.5/10

6. Hunter’s Blood (1986)

https://i2.wp.com/backwoodshorror.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/Hunters-Blood-Box-Art.jpeg

Five “city boys” travel to the country to relax by doing some hunting, drinking Bud, and generally having good time. However, the local inbred backwoods psychos turn the hunters to be the hunted, and they need all the ammo and wits they have to get out of the woods alive.This is quite a fun late 80’s hillbilly horror, one which a lot of people miss out on, purely because I think it gets lost in the mix, but check this one out!

7. Deranged (1974)

https://i1.wp.com/images-cdn.moviepilot.com/image/upload/c_fill,h_903,w_580/t_mp_quality/deranged-1974-movie-review-jpeg-35312.jpg

This film came out the same year that Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out, which is why I think it got slept on a bit. It’s based on Ed Gein (who everybody knows was one sick hillbilly), a deranged rural farmer becomes a grave robber and murderer after the death of his possessive mother whom he keeps her corpse, among others, as his companions in his decaying farmhouse. There is some truly sick moments throughout this nasty piece, and it holds a special place in my heart as one of the earlier films in this genre that I saw. Robert Blossoms gives an outstanding (and very believable) performance here, worth seeing the film for alone!

8. Straw Dogs (1971)

https://i2.wp.com/images.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/27255_front.jpg

I first saw Straw Dogs back in about 1981, long before I should have, but it has stuck with me. This film delivers fine performances from Dustin Hoffman, the beautiful Susan George and a host of others. What sets this is apart from others of the genre is the fact that instead of American Southern hillbillies, we here have British rural countryside ones. A breath of fresh air indeed, with some incredibly nasty kills, and top-notch direction from Sam Peckinpah

9/10

9. Wrong Turn (2003)

https://i0.wp.com/images4.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/5580_front.jpg

Even though this spawned a shit-tonne of sequels (as per usual), the original and first is still the best. The Hillbilly savages in this flick are both menacing and somewhat funny, which is quite refreshing in the genre, each hillbilly has been given a specific style, which is also a nice touch. Matched with some very nice kills, and the beautiful Eliza Dushku.

7.2/10

10. Day of the Woman (aka I Spit on your Grave) – (1978)

https://i2.wp.com/images.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/17849_front.jpg

This (if in order of favorites) would be my number one, but since this list is in no order, I have saved my personal best for last. The original of this film is astonishing, and everyone who is a fan of horror of exploitation films in general should know it. A knockout performance from the stunning actress Camille Keaton, this film is menacing, twisted, dark and very nasty. If you’re not a fan of rape-revenge type 70’s films, you should still check this ultimate classic out, and it’s remake from 2002.

10/10 – a Classic!

Clown Town (2016)

 

https://i1.wp.com/www.du-hd.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Clowntown-DVD.jpg

 

SYNOPSIS:

A group of friends get stranded in a seemingly deserted small town and find themselves stalked by a violent gang of psychopaths dressed as clowns.
REVIEW:
Despite being something of a cliched idea, this direct to DVD/HD flick is surprisingly good, I had a lot of fun with it, to be honest.
The main thing that sets it apart from the norm is that it has a very creepy/eerie feeling throughout the duration of the film, something which many “modern day horror films” are lacking these days.
Another thing that sets it apart is the gore/blood content – it does not hold back or shy away from some pretty nasty kills and torture scenes (not giving any of these away, as you need to experience them for yourself).
Everybody hates clowns, and the use of them in a horror film as villains is nothing new and can be traced back decades, but do yourself a favor and check this little indie flick out, it’s a fine example of how good things can be done on a low budget whilst still being better than half the “major” horror films that are being spewed out by Hollywood today.
RATING:
6.6 out of 10 – a gem of an indie film.
http://i0.wp.com/ihorror.com/wp-content/uploads/clowntown.jpg?resize=640%2C336
https://i0.wp.com/images-cdn.moviepilot.com/images/c_scale,h_915,w_610/t_mp_quality/o2izuk2wybeqaougx6ep/weep-goodbye-to-your-childhood-cause-the-clown-town-teaser-trailer-looks-bloody-terrify-755625.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/www.insidethemagic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Screen-Shot-2016-05-20-at-5.57.26-PM-800x400.png
https://i1.wp.com/www.guys.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/horror-film-clowns-clowntown.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/buzzaddictz.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/clowntown-758x323.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/images-cdn.moviepilot.com/images/c_scale,h_343,w_610/t_mp_quality/dmna1ee1mvynr3okcqjg/weep-goodbye-to-your-childhood-cause-the-clown-town-teaser-trailer-looks-bloody-terrify-755633.jpg

Hellraiser (1987)

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS:

A man finds he is given more than he bargains for when he solves the puzzle of the Lament Configuration – a doorway to hell. But his ex-lover has found a way of bringing him back, and his niece, Kirsty Lawrence, finds herself bargaining with the Cenobites, angels to some, demons to others, whose greatest pleasure is the greatest pain.

REVIEW:

I was originally going to review this film for the very first post on this site, but I decided against that, because it would have seemed too obvious for me to have done so. Hellraiser is an incredible slice of late 80’s gore and horror, from one of the Masters of the genre (in both film and literature) – Clive Barker.

My experience seeing this film at the cinema when it was released is nothing short or breathtaking. I was enthralled from the opening sequence where a man purchases a very nasty looking “box”, only to take it home and have it literally open up the gates of hell for him and reveal the most incredible icon of horror film in the last 40 years – Pinhead.

Barker’s creation is brought to the screen and director by him, and this is truly the only Hellraiser film you need to see – there are numerous sequels available, but this is the only one directed by Clive Barker.

When I first saw this film, I was young (very young), and more than 20 years later, the film still sticks in my mind as perhaps one of the modern day horror masterpieces of cinema, and it holds up (special effects-wise) even to some of today’s shit being produced and churned out by Hollywood.

Doug Bradley brings Pinhead to life in this, in perhaps one of the most menacing horror icons around, not to mention the other cenobite characters which have emerged from the genius mind of Clive Barker.

The Box itself also plays a major role in this film, opening the gates of hell, yet also answering all of your desires  – at a price. How far would you go to have your ultimate desire? Would you die or kill for it?

Many years ago, I purchased a replica of the box from one of those old online horror stores (most likely based in Asia somewhere), but I recall my disappointment when the box which I received was incredibly badly made, and did not even open! (hey, I was young!!)

Most secondary characters in the film actually do a superb job with what they are given too, with special mention going to Claire Higgins as Julia, Ashley Laurence as Kristy, and Oliver Smith as Frank the Monster.

Any self-confessed horror fan has already seen this film (along with it’s sequels), but if you have not (shame on you!) – stop reading now and go and pick this absolute classic up from wherever you can find it (there’s actually a very nice looking Bluray box-set out now, which I would like for Xmas!).

RATING:

10 out of 10 – an instant classic, which has aged very nicely, like a fine wine.

Now somebody please buy me a real puzzle-box??

Blood Harvest (1987)

 

 

SYNOPSIS:

In a small town, people are being murdered by having their throats cut.

 

REVIEW:

Tiny Tim stars in his first dramatic film role in this taut drama, directed by Bill Rebane.

A Beautiful young girl, Jill Robinson, returns to her peaceful rural home town to find that her life has been turned upside down.

The house she grew up in has been defaced, her parents are missing, and the whole town hates her father, the bank supervisor who had foreclosed on many of the local farms.

Only “Marvelous Mervo” (Tiny Tim) seems happy to see her.

He wanders around the community dressed in a clown’s suit with a clown’s permanent grin grotesquely painted on his face.

Mervo’s brother tries to re-kindle his love affair with Jill.

Then, one by one, those closest to her are slaughtered like cattle… tied upside down from the rafters of the barn… until the surprise ending reveals the madman.. and a very unlikely savior.

To say that this film is great is bullshit, it is not. It is,however, slightly entertaining, and Tiny Tim has always been a creepy character, weather he was doing his “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” business, or trying to act.

In this role, because of his overall obscurity, Tiny Tim succeeds, but is sadly the only saving grace for this film.

All in all, I would probably give this film a:

RATING:

3 out of 10 – Based purely on Tiny Tim’s creepy performance.



 

 

 

Temtris – Enter the Asylum

Temtris-Cover.JPG

Band: Temtris

Album: Enter the Asylum

Location: Sydney, Australia.

Release: 2016 on Battlegod Productions

Trackisting:

  1. Random Access Memory (R.A.M.)
  2. Enter the Asylum
  3. Mind Games
  4. The Summoning
  5. Break the Skin
  6. Darkness Falling
  7. Too Deep
  8. Empty Room
  9. Night Stalker
  10. Seasons of Decay
  11. Lament
  12. Phonix

Run Time: 51:30

 

REVIEW:

I confess that being from Australia, I am ashamed. I had never heard of Temtris previously (forgive me please!), but I received a promotional copy of this  2016 album from Jan at Battlegod Productions.

Straight away, I went into this release without knowing anything about the band, who the members were etc, all I was aware of was that they were an Australian metal piece from Syndey, NSW.

Right off the bat (after a very short intro), the album kicks into the title-track Enter the Asylum, one which is both powerful and significant, as it’s the first time I heard the singer’s very powerful voice. At times, it reminded me of Michael Sweet’s early work with Stryper, yet I knew it could not be  him, as he’d just released a new project.

Funnily enough, it turns out that the vocalist is actually a wonderful woman named Genevieve Rodda.

The rest of the band consists of Adam Wotherspoon on bass, Wayne Campbell on drums, Anthony Fox on lead guitars and Anthony Hoffman on guitars(lead) and backing vocals.

Now that lineup drama is out of the way, it is time to pay attention to this, an album which truly does demand attention, and close listens.
For the most part, Enter the Asylum is an album which is very heavy in it’s tone and lyrical content (which is written very well). There is only one “ballad” as such on here, the 11th track Lament, which makes good use of both  Genevieve  and Anthony Hoffman’s well performed vocal abilities, and it must be said that Genevieve  certainly has a very commanding vocal approach, her highs are done significantly well, and when she does go low, it is also handled with precision.

Throughout the album, the guitar and drum work is very balanced, played extremely well, and it is sometimes hard to believe that this band has not received  more attention, they are that good, but this is their fourth full-length affair, following up 2014’s Shallow Grave full-length.

What I enjoy most about this release is indeed Genevieve’s perfect vocal performance, but also the low growls used by Anthony Hoffman are used sparingly, and very well executed. There really is not anything more positive I can say about this release, other than the fact that it will most likely enter my top 10 of the year, possibly even top 3-5 (if I can push other favorites out of the way!).

I previously spoke with Genevieve today before writing this review to grab the lowdown on the recording process of this album, she explains below!

Here is the Temtris recording and writing process for Enter Asylum.

Our previous album Shallow Grave( Released in March 2014 ) was taking a long time to come together in the studio, which was out of our hands .

.In this time Anthony Fox started writing tunes for the next album…

Break the skin was one of those songs.

At the end of 2014 Temtris lost their drummer and needed a replacement.

Original Drummer Wayne Campbell also from Mortal Sin asked to re join.

Over the Christmas period we lost a guitarist also.

Wayne moved down from Queensland into the Temtris house and Myself and Anthony started writing the rest of the tunes for the next album as we had a goal to have another album out by 2016.

Anthony and i came up with a concept of each song being about a patient in an asylum and be about their personalities and traits.

Summoning for example is about a mad preacher, Break the skin is about a psychopath and so the ideas for songs started to pour out.

In the meantime we were joined by Anthony Hoffman as our replacement 2nd guitarist ( also a previous Mortal sin member). He wrote the tune Enter the Asylum which Anthony fox arranged with lyrics and it became our title track and the thinking process on the artwork began.

In the meantime Temtris hit the studio to re-record two tracks off our first album “Threshold” , Awakening and Bullet were recorded at mainstreet studios in Wollongong and a film clip made for awakening …this gave us a chance to check out the recording studios and engineers.

In November 2015 Temtris hit the Wollongong studios to record 12 tracks on drums and vocals while the guitars and bass tracks were recorded in our own studios.

While the album was being recorded we hit up our artist Darrell Firth from not so fine art and gave him our ideas on the Artwork..

He produced an amazing piece!!

Time was short as in 12 months we had replaced two members of Temtris..wrote a 12 song album , hit the studios to re-record two tracks off the first album plus produce a film-clip.

It was now the beginning of 2016 and a deadline had to be meet of releasing an album in April 2016..

Temtris produced another film-clip to go with the Single, Enter the asylum and the album was ready to be released hot off the pressing plant the day of the release launch in Sydney, 9th April 2016 !!”

RATING:

9.8 out of 10 – An excellently performed and produced masterpiece of  power/Traditional Metal.

13282077_903780176410450_2131983403_n.jpg

13275040_903780623077072_519329168_o.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Uninvited (1988)

https://i0.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81AWsWLVkmL._SL1500_.jpg

SYNOPSIS:

A bunch of young people are invited to a Caribbean cruise on a gangster’s yacht, to distract the attention of the authorities.

Unfortunately, a mutant cat which escaped from a test laboratory also gets on board, and kills most of the passengers.

REVIEW:

Greydon Clark directed this little cheapy from 1988, and I believe it was a direct-to-video release, without a proper theatrical release date.

It stars George Kennedy in a very unforgettable role, and this must truly be possibly one of the most forgetable films from a fantastic era of horror classics, but something always brings me back to it.

I saw it when it was first released, and enjoyed it then as a kid, but watching it again recently, I found myself kind of cringing at some of the films’ very badly done effects and the acting is just over-the-top terrible in parts, yet the cat itself is very cute you just cannot hate it’s existence in the film, no matter how cheap and nasty it looks!

RATING:

3 out of 10 – see this if you’ve seen it before…or are under the age of 7 right now!

The Territory (1981)

(No trailer for this one, I could not find a link, sorry!)

SYNOPSIS:

A small group of well-to-do vacationers go on a hiking trip into the woods. Foolishly unprepared to deal with Mother Nature and their situation, they wander around lost for days and weeks, becoming more and more fatigued, hungry, and desperate. A brief encounter with a pair of epicureans on a bridge fails to garner them any of the gluttons’ feast due to a language barrier. Eventually their party begins to die, and the survivors ration their meat among them, attaching a religious-type ritual to its dispensation.

 

REVIEW:

Raul Ruiz‘s 1981 film, The Territory, takes a theme that has haunted modern literature from The Heart of Darkness to Lord of the Flies – the savagery bubbling beneath the veneer of civilization – and gives it a bizarre comic twist.

In this variation, two American families on vacation in Europe metamorphose from sophisticated picture-perfect tourists into cannibals without much fuss during a camping trip in the South of France.

The Territory is an odd little art film that has the feel of a European version of an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Mr. Ruiz, the prolific Chilean film maker who directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Gilbert Adair, has lived and worked predominantly in Europe since 1973.

His film, though set in France, was actually filmed in Portugal. And among the themes it addresses are exile and the notion of crossing boundaries: of language, nation and morality.

In embracing cannibalism, it is suggested, the characters are succumbing to the power of ancient primitive spirits inhabiting the region.

The film’s protagonists are an attractive-looking but rather cold bunch of tourists who set out on an ordinary camping trip with a grumpy professional guide.

Abandoned by him after a spat, they find themselves hopelessly lost in the lush European countryside dotted with medieval castles.

While wandering in circles, they discover their guide’s body. Ravenous and out of food, they slice and barbecue his corpse in a ceremony that is rationalized as a kind of holy communion.

The one member of the party who cannot bring herself to eat human flesh becomes the party’s next source of food.

One running joke in the film is that during their ordeal the campers are never more than a few miles from civilization.

Even when they meet people who could help them find their way back, they become so impatient with the language barrier that they cease trying to communicate.

There is something grotesquely funny in the scenes of the smug, smartly dressed hikers with their fancy cameras solemnly cultivating their new eating habits.

The two children prove to be the quickest to adapt.

In one of the film’s nastier scenes, they fight over a severed hand that once belonged to one of their mothers.

The Territory, which is decently acted by a cast that includes Paul Getty Jr. as the creepy guide, makes the most of its tiny budget to achieve some mildly disorienting surreal effects.

RATING:

6 out of 10 – See this film for it’s awesome atmosphere and decent acting!