Déjà vu is a funny old thing. That feeling of having experienced the same situation somewhere, somehow before. It happens a lot when watching a film, but it not because you’ve already ’ Déjà’d that vu, its because you have actually seen the same film, though it was masquerading under a different title and performed by another cast of actors. In horror films this happens much more than any other genre, rivaled only by the dreaded romantic comedy, which some may say is the far scarier and more gruesome of the two – I know that He’s Just Not That Into You gives me more flashbacks than any torture porn ever could, and because of that film, I’m pretty sure nothing will ever be able to restore my faith in humanity, and I shall die as I have lived – bitter, and alone, and surrounded by cats. I’m OK with that though, because there are worse things that I could be.
I could be Heather Graham.
Thankfully, the fates decided to spare me that at least.
Savage County is the story of a group of suitably mismatched teenagers that get more than they bargained for when they play ‘ring and run’ on the local version of the Walton’s (very family orientated, a lot weird, and not the sort of clan you’d want to share DNA with) front door.
You have seen this film before – I know this because the director and writers certainly have – except that when they saw it, it was going by the name of Wrong Turn, House of a Thousand Corpses or one of the hundred other psycho inbred family horror that we have all seen over the years, and have been better or worse, sometimes on a par with Savage County, but essentially they’ve all been the same movie, give or take a few awesome or crappy factors, some mutilated skin masks and a Rob Zombie (we’ll file him under awesome for obvious reasons) here or there.
My point is that these films in their formulaic predictability have become so steeped in horror culture, that if you’re attempting to create one of these bad boys, you better have something damn original, up your sleeve to give it a fighting chance of being remembered by anyone – Wrong Turn had that chick from Buffy that wasn’t Buffy, Texas Chainsaw Massacre had Leatherface and chainsaws, House of a Thousand Corpses had a killer doctor and a creepy clown, while Savage County had .. Some ugly inbred dudes… Not quite the same standard, in my opinion … but.
I loved this film. It’s not original, or unpredictable, there are no great shocks or surprises, but it’s so damn likable that none of that matters. It’s well made, pretty well acted, and there is an entertaining teen slasher quality to the flow of the film. The soundtrack is outstanding, with music from some fantastic up and coming artists such as The Franks and Al Kapone that give it more than a touch of class.
So predictability isn’t always the death of a film and low budget doesn’t necessarily mean low rent, as this film was a surprising instant classic for this Gore Whore.