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Hillbilly Horror generally can find an audience, entertain and wiggle its way out of most uncomfortable places its finds itself into. From remakes to endless sequelization to downright trashy, the genre always makes me laugh perhaps especially at its worst. I general enjoy all of it. Wrong Turn and it’s kin. Mother’s Day. Tucker & Dale, and now, Buck Wild. What Buck Wild brings to the table is a really cheese ball, camp but incredibly fun monster vibe with living dead feel and viral insigator rather than a focus on the overused, dried up (though entertaining) slasher subgenre. I suppose you can’t liken it to Tremors because we already likened Grabbers to Tremors in the last year or so, and the monster and star power ain’t there. Still, I can’t help but think that Buck Wild understand how to be fun and sexy and gory all in the same way that you might find Tremors sexy, fun and gory… if you’re tired of watching Kevin Bacon dance. Maybe it’s best to think of it in terms of a Tucker & Dale type movie, but alas, it simply isn’t funny enough and the leads aren’t lovable. And yeah, maybe it’s more zombie movie than creature feature, mad monster party, but maybe we can label it a crossover picture, and be at peace.
Craig Thompson’s idyllic hunting trip with his two buddies and unstable cousin is wrecked after hearing that his fiancée and best man-to-be have been cavorting behind his back. To make matters worse, Craig’s cousin appears to be on the verge of a murderous rampage, while a rapidly spreading Chupacabra virus is transforming locals into the undead. After taking drastic measures to protect themselves, the boys must put aside their differences to survive an insidious hillbilly gang and impending zombie melee.
Buck Wild isn’t a perfectly wrapped horror/monster picture at all, but it relies on some effective physical comedy along with playing some fairly played out hick stereotypes with slight variations that seem to work. Take for instance the overly horny femme who doesn’t seem to be getting quite enough down on the farm or Buck Wild Ranch as it were. She may as well be the farmer’s daughter you’ve seen in another horror picture though I might add just a wee bit more wild. Then of course there’s the overly paranoid, chip on his shoulder lead that plays dirty but maybe with good reason. The fact that the whole thing seem to revolve around a virus that spreads… um… well… how to put this… CHUPACABRA… says nothing of the films integrity or willingness to be believable. Isn’t that why you watch Hillbilly horror? To see the toothless molest sexy women and have evil being virus spread among the unsuspecting?
Maybe the best movie to equate Buck Wild to would be City Slickers. City folk go to the country to unwind at a ranch and Curlie’s Ghost attacks… um, that would make it City Slickers 2 I suppose. Forget that I mentioned it.
I soaked up the gore, and found Buck Wild to have enough substance to keep my eyes busy while preparing my “suspension of disbelief” sensory from the get go allowing for smooth sailing into the movies unbelievable and predicable finish. The wheel was only reinvented so far if at all. You can do worse for movies that involve the Chupacabra concept and definitely worse in the hillbilly horror side of the silo. The whole thing plays up like a zombie movie, but I prefer to the think that the focus is really on the demonic side perhaps leaning it closer to a REC than a Night of the Living Dead.
Buck Wild hits shelves March 18th.