Oftentimes insane, seemingly random concepts can be mashed together to create some pretty damn entertaining cinema. We saw this with films like RACE WAR: THE REMAKE, LUCKY, DEAD AND BREAKFAST and the oft celebrated TROLL 2 (to name a few) Today we take a gander at a film that has sex starved human hunting rednecks, a cannibalistic tribe, a mythological monster and..a cheese doodle fetish(…?) that film is Flood Reed’s AMERICAN BACKWOODS SLEWHAMPSHIRE
AMERICAN BACKWOODS SLEWHAMPSHIRE follows four college friends who take the advice of a likely sex offender and set off onto the deep backroads of New Hampshire to seek out a “private strip club” that supposedly exists there. As you might expect things do not go as planned and all hell breaks loose as our heroes go up against the afore mentioned baddies.
SLEWHAMPSHIRE has a lot going on. unfortunately that’s its biggest problem. Trying to jam so much into a 103 minute running time should have made this thing jam packed with action without a single wasted second and yet somehow it manages to throw padding at us at every turn. Random closeups and insidiously edited insert shots appear at least every five minutes, the story jumps around in a seemingly pointless way as serious moments are interrupted with silly in jokes and the skitzoid way it goes from brutal to goofy just comes across as mean and pointless. I mean, come on we go from a scene of violent man on man sodomy and a man having his cock bitten off to a dream sequence had by one of the victims where he gets showered with cheese doodles by his dancing, shirtless rapist!
Our “tribe” look like exras from BLACK SAILS in robes stolen from the set of THE TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD and speak in voices that sound like Pinhead and none of this is explained, our monster has less than 2 minutes combined screen time and there’s no resolution whatsoever for any of the plotlines
Normally when i have to give a film a less than favorable review i do so with the same gung ho attitude and fun that i give a glowing one but in this case it makes me a little sad. Watching this I saw a lot of talent. The acting was all around great with the character of Bro being my personal favorite with his haunted eyes and mysteriously dark seriousness contrasting sharply with his care free whore mongering friends.
The music was fun and catchy and the gore effects were fucking fantastic.
The cinematography was digital bur very smooth and steady (other thab the annoying and jarring insert shots i spoke of earlier.
I got the feeling this film was intended to be much longer and a lot was canned and that the inserts may have been added to make it a more marketable film. I don’t hate this film and feel its likely a small fumble on the path towards some great things to come both from the director and his talented cast. Overall i give SLEWHAMPSHIRE one middle finger up. It has some truly wonderful elements it just needs some more direction storywise and a bit more focus. I am looking forward to what Reed comes up with next and watching the evolution of this promising filmmaker