Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Chills: Side Sho

Side Sho (2007)

Instant Video

First Blood
This movie sits at the threshold of terrible enough that I cannot watch, which means far, far worse than any sane person should sit through.  It is cliche, predictable, borderline offensive, and only has a few redeeming qualities.  The music is pretty damn good.  It's a kind of synth heavy rockabilly mixed with bluesy leitmotifs and cue music.

It is no Manos: Hands of Fate, or Plan 9 From Outer Space, but it is damn close.  It gets a 2 out of 10.  This movie features significant violence, terribly done mutation effects, gore, implied rape, violence against women, and brief nudity.  It's actually a little weird how little nudity is in it.

The Meat
The set up has a family of four, including a teenage daughter and her friend, on a road trip through rural Florida with a dad who makes Clark Griswold seem effective.  This guy is just a dumb putz.  He managed to get himself a nice looking wife, and his daughter is not bad looking,  They decide to pay a visit to an old, mostly abandonded town that has a and old Freak Show.  Things will go bad.  \

You know the formula.  City Slickers + Inbred hillbilly swamprat freaks = murder and breeding fodder, but the city slickers turn the tables, manage to have a couple of survivors, and they ride off in a cop car, to dubious safety.

It is the Hills Have Eye, House of a Thousand Corpses, Eaten Alive, etc.

It never lives up to the expectations of these movies.  There is too much dialouge.  The freaks are not scary.  The violence is milquetoast and often off screen.  There is little sense of danger.  The acting is flat.  Camera work is uninspired.  It just floats along till it eventually ends.

Basically, I think the movie fails to live up to it's pedigree.  It never takes that extra step to shock the viewer. It's music, while skillfully performed, is loud, jangly, and used at the wrong times.  No sense of desperation is built, because there is never silence punctuated by panting fear, and exhausted whimpers.  This movie never places the viewer in a position to experience fear.  And, barring that, neglects to offer us titillation or shock in recompense.

The song at the end credits is pretty good.

Look, I am not going to mock this movie too hard.  It won best Best Feature Film and Best Original Score at the 2007 Terror Film Festival.  

This opening sequence is what I am talking about.  It's too overt,  Sure, it has words that are supposed to evoke fright, but it's this loud white man blues that just drowns out any emotion. 

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