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MPI HOME VIDEO

MOVIE INFO

Director:
David Harris
Cast:
Ana Ayora, Justin Brown, David Caffey, Melissa Cardell, Melissa Carnell, Ryan Carter
Writing Credits:
Dan Alvarado, David Harris

Tagline:
Senior Year is Murder.

Synopsis:
Patrick and his friends should never have set foot on the Hardell family property. The stories are true, you see, and the Hardell s Willard, Kasper and Orry are not friendly towards unwelcome guests. And so after a dare gone badly wrong, Patrick and his friends are on the run for their lives, the gruesome trio hot on their trail and out for blood. A slasher in the classic mould, David Harris' Savage County is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Hostel - a bloody thrill ride of brutal kills and the desperate fight for survival.

Box Office:
Budget
$250 thousand.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1/16X9
Audio:
English Dolby Stereo 2.0
Subtitles:
None
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 79 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 5/31/2011

Bonus:
• Trailer


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Savage County (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 25, 2011)

In the same vein as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes 2010ís Savage County. A bunch of high school students go for a day at a swimming pond, an event that goes awry for one of them. When alterna-girl Angie (Ivy McLemore) gets pushed in the drink as a gag, she storms off in anger.

While Angie stews, the others dare wimpy junior Patrick (Doug Haley) to ďding-dong ditchĒ at the residence of the Hardell family, the resident local freaky hicks. When Patrick does this, an older Hardell emerges with a gun Ė and superstar jock Noah (Sinqua Walls) whacks him with a shovel before he can shoot the teen.

This kills the old man and sets up a showdown. The Hardells like to abduct and torture girls; earlier, we saw how they treated missing classmate Dorothy (Melissa Carnell). As she wanders back from the pond, Angie stumbles upon the house and ends up in their clutches, so her friends need to try to rescue her.

On the surface, that seems like a decent idea for a movie, and at its core, I suspect someone could scrounge a fair to good horror tale out of the material. Unfortunately, writer/director David Harris fails to find any way to develop the story into anything other than a turgid dud.

For one, too much of the movie lacked a sense of believability. I donít mean this because of the notion of the murderous hicks and their torture chamber; yeah, thatís a clichť and not particularly realistic, but itís not the main problem, as Iíll accept that conceit within the horror film genre.

I find it more difficult to swallow the disparate nature of the kids who hang out together. You have the class president, the valedictorian, the nerdy AV kid, the punky alternagirl, the star athlete and the bad girl and her 22-year-old neíer-do-well boyfriend.

Really? On what teen planet would this crew be partying and spending time together? Granted, the movie makes some minor attempts to explain the connections; some of the kids are related, and it seems that Patrick gets the social boost because the others use him for his AV talents.

I still donít buy it, though, and the story progression also stretches logic. For all the events to come together, the movie requires way too many reaches. It never handles these well, so we donít accept them; indeed, they seem to odd that they openly distract us from the story.

It doesnít help that other gratuitous choices appear. Noahís prom queen girlfriend Caitlyn (Rebekah Graf) gets grounded and canít accompany the others, so we see her via her webcam; she apparently never goes away from it, and she DJs for an unknown audience. Why? I have no idea. Caitlynís antics provide much of the movieís music, but we donít need them; the flick couldíve just used the songs without this odd explanation. Caitlyn does play a more active role later in the movie, but her online DJ thing just offers another weird decision that takes away from the story.

Perhaps I wouldnít have been as distracted by all the goofy choices if County delivered any scary goods. Alas, thereís not a jolt or a jump to be found in this tedious mess. I guess the Hardells are supposed to give us the willies, but theyíre such stock hillbilly weirdos that theyíre not disturbing at all; theyíre just too cartoony and predictable to muster any threat.

The movieís torture/horror moments canít provoke any reaction either. Partly thatís because they lack good pacing and direction, but itís also because we donít invest in the teen characters at all. If we donít care about the participants, their fates donít matter to us, and thatís the problem here.

Really, though, the main issue stems from the lackadaisical direction. Harris doesnít seem to know how to propel the story along, so it just kind of rambles and lollygags for its 79 minutes. A dull horror movie isnít a good thing, and thatís Savage Countyís biggest crime: itís a slow, muddled mess without any scares or drama.


The DVD Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C/ Bonus D-

Savage County appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. As far as SD-DVD transfers go, this one looked average, though it had its ups and downs.

Sharpness was usually fairly good, though. Wider shots tended to be a bit soft, but those instances werenít major, and the movie usually demonstrated pretty decent clarity and accuracy. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement failed to appear throughout the movie, though some blockiness materialized. Source flaws werenít a factor.

Colors varied depending on the filmís stylistic choices. Quite a few shots opted for natural hues Ė especially those out at the pond Ė but the palette went for various dominant colors on other occasions, usually to reflect moods. For instance, bathroom scene scenes featured a sick green tone, and the creepy shots at the Hardell place focused on some garish oranges. The quality of the colors was erratic; some of them looked vivid and full, while others seemed messy and runny.

Blacks tended to appear somewhat loose and inky, and shadows were often too dark. The shadow scenes werenít horribly dense, but they could be a bit tough to discern. All in all, there was enough positive material on display for a ďC+Ē, but it wasnít an inspiring presentation.

I didnít find much memorable material within the filmís Dolby Stereo 2.0 soundtrack either, partly because it lacked much ambition. This was a mix that focused on the front and even within that realm didnít have a lot to do. Music and effects spread to the sides in a minor way that failed to deliver much breadth. For all intents and purposes, this track tended toward glorified monaural; Iíd be hard-pressed to point out any notable information from the sides.

Audio quality was decent. Despite some dodgy looping at times, speech was reasonably natural most of the time, and the lines were always easily intelligible. Music tended to be atmospheric and low-key; the score and songs offered acceptable range and impact. Effects were also fairly clear and accurate, though they didnít have much to do. This ended up as a decidedly bland mix.

In terms of extras, we find a trailer for the film Ė and thatís all she wrote!

I can forgive many flaws in horror flicks, but dullness isnít one of them. Whatís the point of a scary movie with no scares? There isnít one, and this lack of jolts dooms Savage County. The DVD comes with average visuals, bland audio and virtually no supplements. You can find plenty of effective low-budget horror movies out there, so keep looking and skip the boring, aimless County.

Viewer Film Ratings: -- Stars Number of Votes: 0
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