I know what you’re doing right now. You are in the process of rolling your eyes and shaking your head as you read the title of today’s review. You are also probably thinking to yourself, “Man, he’s getting desperate for review material if he’s looking into stuff like this.” Well, my friend, you are wrong on both counts there. HILLBILLY HORROR SHOW might have a goofy title, but it packs a punch when it comes to horror. And while the hillbilly characters and aspects of the show might be humorous, they offset the terrifying frights from the short films within nicely.
If you are not familiar with HILLBILLY HORROR SHOW, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of MVD Visual:
Hillbilly Horror Show (Vol. 1) is a one-hour anthology of short horror films created by up-and-coming filmmakers and hosted by our favorite, fun loving and beer-guzzling hillbillies, Bo, Cephus and their “Smo-Kin” cousin Lulu. Created by award winning writer and producer Blu de Golyer (House Of Good And Evil) and veteran actor and producer Bo Keister (Remember The Titans), the team selects and curates some of the scariest, most entertaining horror shorts found on this here planet. Volume 1 includes FRANKY AND THE ANT (“Best of Fest” – 2013 LA Indie Film Fest) – Franky has been betrayed and everyone close to him soon discovers that vengeance is not what he seeks. He wants a lot more than that. AMUSED – After a lazy morning full of errands, Martha returns home to find a horror feasting upon her daughter’s scalp. A terrifying chase ensues through the frozen countryside. Alone and desperate, Martha must race through the vast isolation as terror lurks and waits for its chance to pounce. DOPPELGANGER – A lonely skeleton goes on a perilous journey to find his own kind, only to find more than he bargained for in this tribute to Ray Harryhausen stop-action animation. THE NEST (“Best Foreign Short” – 2011 Atlanta Shortsfest) – A rancher must fight to survive when a swarm of over-sized flesh-eating bees escapes from a beekeeper who depends on their honey to keep her diner in business.
I have to confess I didn’t expect much from this show going into it. Just the title alone is enough to dissuade a diehard horror fan like me to pass it over. But I’m sure glad I gave this one a look. It is vividly entertaining, full of humor and terror alike, and I can’t wait see where future volumes go.
The comedy aspect of HILLBILLY HORROR SHOW works well, as it lightens the mood from the dark tones the short films set. The characters are aloof and funny, well thought-out stereotypes that play right along with each other. Likewise, their antics onscreen will make you grin and roll your eyes…but this is a good thing.
But the horror shorts are why you should sink your fangs into this show. We only get to see four in this volume, but they are all great. Each is shot well and does an excellent job of telling a story in such a short time. My favorite film in this volume is “The Nest”. Aside from an interesting storyline, this short is very well made and full of tension-filled frights. I could definitely see this as a Syfy Channel movie in the future.
HILLBILLY HORROR SHOW is a definite win for me, and I highly recommend giving it a look. It is described as “Hee-Haw meets Creepshow”, so you know you’re in for a treat with that tagline. Give this a look for sure.