Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dallas IFF 2013 Review: BUCK WILD - Damon's Take

Directed by: Tyler Glodt
Written by: Matthew Albrecht, Tyler Glodt
Starring: Amelia Meyers, Meg Cionni, Tyler Albrecht, Mark Ford, Dru Lockwood and Joe Stevens
Synopsis: When four friends go out on a camping trip, Texan zombies ensue. 

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!

The living dead are everywhere. As if the multitude of video games and movies in the past few years weren’t enough, when AMC began greenlit THE WALKING DEAD, it pushed those corpses right out of their graves and into the mainstream. As a lifelong fan of flesh eaters part of me is happy, while the other part is a bit sad. Guess that’s the horror hipster in me. This means more and more pop culture things revolving around my precious decaying pals. This is a dangerous thing. 

Quality does not always equal quantity, and for every quality zombie flick, there are probably at least half a dozen that will leave you wanting to claw out your eyes. Luckily, BUCK WILD is not in the latter category – but it’s also not in the former. 

Three good friends, and one guy's cousin, all head out for a weekend hunting trip. They wanted nothing more than a fun weekend filled with drinking in a deer blind, eating some special brownies, and the organizer of the trip, Craig (Matthew Albrecht), telling his buddies of his proposal plans with his unfaithful girlfriend. Little did they know the owner/renter of the hunting grounds was recently bitten by what he called a Chupacabra. Soon he's attacking and infecting the whole rural area, effectively turning them into zombies. Now the foursome has to try and find a way out of this town before they are turned into food. 

Around all of this insanity are jokes and silliness. Horror movies are notorious for being good low budget flicks. The acting can be awful, nothing needs to be flashy, but if you have a few good scares and/or death scenes, we horror fans are there. Loyal idiots we are, as well as gluttons for punishment. Comedies on the other hand... well, if jokes are failing, it's just downright painful. While some of the laughs land, it's not enough. Things quickly devolve into repetition and wacky antics. Most of the characters are just these zany stereotypes and serve no real purpose. This is not to say I didn't giggle here and again, but it's not enough to make up for the rest of the film. 

One of the odd characters is Billy Ray (Mark Ford), a local flamboyant badass. He's a "redneck" with a slight British accent and a penchant for a "country chic" look with a cowboy hat and frilly feathers lining his vest. He and his henchmen have a hunting public access show and weird run-ins with our heroes. They are kooky and just there for laughs. It does not really work. There are so many times you can laugh at the same joke before it gets boring.

This same pattern is repeated with most of the characters, including one of the leads. The weird cousin from New York has a weird, and somewhat, homicidal air about him, and annoyingly refers to everyone as "boss,” ad nauseam. This character has some good moments, but his little quirks are not nearly as laugh worthy or charming as the filmmakers believe. It gets to the point where you feel your eyes roll whenever he’s on the screen.

Since the comedy does not work for me it pretty much mars the whole film. Some of the horror elements are pretty decent with admirable make-up and FX, but nothing to really propel it beyond the shortcomings. I’m not saying it’s a horrible film, but it is so horribly mediocre that nothing is left on my brain except indifference. 

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