Friday, March 02, 2012

Your Trip to Resurrection County Could be Your Last: A Movie Review

*full disclosure: a screener of this film was provided by MTI Home Video.

**here be some spoilers.

Director: Matt Zettell.

Writers: James Cotten and Matt Yeager.

It is always a good thing when a horror movie is disturbing. Resurrection County is just such a film. To be released on DVD March 20th through MTI Home Video, this film will change that nice comfortable feeling you have starting the film into something a little more dangerous and thrilling. Two couples are reduced to one as four friends start a nightmarish camping trip in hillbilly country. The result is a lot of cat and mouse scenes, some very unsettling incidents and a slightly sour final scene.

Sam (Dayton Knoll) is the lead in the film, but that position changes quickly. After Sam and Tommy (Adam Huss) unearth a meth' lab, two rednecks turn a bad situation into something worse with antagonistic words and gunfire. Sam and Tommy are then on the run as the drug crew beat them back to their camp. Unfortunately, Tommy's soon-to-be wife and Sam's significant other are there alone with some heavily armed and maniacal men. The rest of the film turns into a blood feud with each death leading to another in a battle of retaliation. Unsurprisingly few make it out of Resurrection County alive.

With so many dangerous situations about, one would think this film is survivalist horror; but this film is more than just escaping the woods. There are elements of torture porn' here. After all, one character is nailed to a saw horse with a burning red hot poker lurking about. Let's not go into too many details of that scene. The humiliating scenes continue with one woman subjected to sexual assault. Another man is held up by chains in a stress position after being shot. Few of the characters are treated well.

This might be the film's main deterrent to finding a wider audience. The material is difficult to watch and very dark. There are even elements of tragedy here. And one of the main complaints this film fan has relates to the ending. It is a little predictable with one of the final surviving characters being enticed back to Resurrection County for another go-round of torture. Could he not read the sign "Welcome to Resurrection County?" Other scenes are unpredictable so there is a balance here of expectation with surprise. There are other quality elements including the acting, which is well done. The music is also unsettling in parts and the film is thrilling overall.

Horror fans who like the mature rated or restricted style of films will like Resurrection County. Darkly disturbing and energetic in pacing, this film was enjoyable despite the many scenes of violence. The ending needed a final twist, but the rest of the story is mostly unpredictable. Much of the production is of quality and this film is for those looking for a camping nightmare where running out of beer is the last of your worries.

Overall: 7 out of 10 (good characters, an interesting shift of focus from lead to villain and then to a secondary lead, the ending is similar to many previous films including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 2003).

*completed in 2008.

More story details on this film are provided at MTI Home Video:

Resurrection County at MTI Home Video

The film's homepage is here:

The Resurrection County Homepage

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