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Savage County (DVD Review)

Here we are again with some more horror material to hopefully satiate your horror-film palette.  Savage County is a DVD release from the FilmBuff Company and MTV New Media.  In essence, this is more DTV  (direct-to-video) programming on a low budget scale.  The question remains as to whether it’s any good or not.  Savage County was made on  a $250,000 budget which by all intents and purposes is a lot of money.  How does it compare to the many horror movies out there that share similar themes and storylines?  Get ready to cross township lines and enter Savage County on DVD courtesy of Why So Blu.  

Film

Savage County is the story of a couple high school friends who are all set to graduate and leave their petty problems behind, but before doing so it’s time to get into some serious hijinx before shaking the spot.  On one lonely day out near the infamous Hardell ranch the group of friends take a shortcut to the lake for some skinny dipping.  After fooling around and getting some liquid courage the friends decide to actually trespass on the private property.  Unleash hell.

The Hardell clan don’t take too nice on strangers invading their space.  This is why they live out in the middle of nowhere.  Privacy.  Once the events leading up to the Hardell residence transpire Savage County enters the realm of predictability.  Dumb kids making even dumber decisions run rampant as does the atrocious acting.  Wow.  There’s one character whose only job (at least according to the script) is to or video cast herself talking about nonsense all the while cuing horrible music by horrible bands.  She’s a virtual DJ.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s hot, but useless.

Back at the house the friends meet up with the inhabitants of the property.  Willard, Orry, and Kasper are the fiends who are upset at the earlier day’s events.  They’ve got plans for the youngin’s.  What continuously kept taking me out of the picture were also the instances of common sense not present in any of the characters.  If you’re going to approach a creepy looking house and they offer to call for help, but they can’t seem to find the phone then get out of there.  Don’t just stand there with arms folded.  Now if the creepy hillbilly tells you that you should get out of them soaked clothes and into a pretty dress (that belonged to a dead victim) don’t take it and act as if it were an act of kindness.  RUN!

Yes, it’s a horror movie, this always happens in horror, blah, blah.  Savage County will find an audience, but a very limited one.  It’s really short clocking in at 79 minutes, so those viewers that are in a hurry will have no problems in digesting the content.  I just wish that it were much smarter.  It’s a got an awesome budget to work with, but filmmakers keep forgetting that the cheapest item in a film to fix is the script.

Video 

Savage County is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.  This is a standard DVD, so when watching countless Blu-rays one tends to get spoiled.  Dirt and debris is absent, but looks very over processed.  I’m sure they tweaked the image in post production.  Colors do look vibrant, and in some cases, look very psychedelic.  Edge enhancement is abundant and so is black crush.  What do you expect, though.    Savage County looks as good as it could all things considered. 

Audio 

Savage County is presented in English 2.0 Stereo.  Screams and various acts of unpleasantness sound okay as does the various songs used throughout the film.  I wasn’t a fan of the soundtrack, but you will not have a problem listening to the tunes.  Dialogue and the sounds of annoying “teenagers” also come through nice and clear.  The problem with a stereo soundtrack, in this case, is that you’ve got low budget constraints that force you to put everything on just two channels.  This is one of those films that would have at least benefited some by having a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix.  As it stands the audio specifications are nothing to scream in agony over.

Special Features 

  • Trailer

Final Thoughts  

Savage County is a been there done that type of film.  It’s almost a kiddy or Jr version of films that have already been through this very familiar territory.  In fact, I do think that this film plays better as a vignette type of film (which it was originally) than a feature.  More thought should have been put into the cliched script and should have been shot with a feature film state of mind.  The acting is horrible, the situations are laughable, BUT it’s obvious who the intended audience is; teens who spend all day on the internet, listen to their iPod and play with their iPhone.  You know, not me. 

 

Order Savage County on DVD!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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