Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Splatter Farm (1987)

Not a faux pas missed

This is another scummy shot on video feature resurrected for DVD that plays on what other more marketable movies of the '80s were too afraid or weren't aloud to show due to moral crusaders at the MPAA. It's a simple film that doesn't have layers and since '87 the shock has been more effectively exploited. At the gory heart of it, "Splatter Farm" plays on taboos: thrill kills, mutilation of the dead, same sex acts with the dead, collecting dead parts, cannibalism, coprophilia, self-mutilation, animal slaughter, flagrant masturbation and, last but not least, incestuous overtones. As amateur and sometimes clumsily put together as it is, it's going to play on a viewer's nerves one way or another.

This truly is a DIY affair with only four main actors who did just about everything else behind the scenes also. Two of them are twins who are visiting their elderly aunt and late teens cousin on an isolated farm for their summer vacation. Their cousin is a make-up wearing sociopath who has no one to stop him from giving in to his sadistic urges. The movie started out pretty unsettling and strange with more focus on the demented cousin with too much time on his hands. As it progressed, it started to give the audience a break and lean towards the level-headed twins who are getting suspicious and attempting to put it all together. The aunt is caught in the middle and starts to make excuses either from blind motherly love or something of her own to hide.

As terrible as the production values go--including fake bodies that wouldn't fool the near-sighted even without their specs--this is unsettling in the dark ideas it brings to the chopping table. This gets right down to the nitty gritty of amoral without hesitation and with the help of the video quality makes you think there could be a case somewhere like this as out there as it is. Instead of lazily stomping on a synthesizer, the music helps stir up some mood by treating certain scenes with piano melodies and other abstract sounds. "Splatter Farm" had a number of flaws, but underneath the atrocious film quality this has what other underground and even mainstream horror films miss out on from time to time: a little bit of genuine creepiness. It could have faired better with a bigger budget and more time but all and all it's worth a single watch if that's your cup of bitter tea, otherwise the movie is more than likely going to be horrendous if you're only used to horror on a bigger scale.

Rating: 5/10

Stars: Todd Michael Smith, John Polonia, Mark Polonia
Link: IMDB

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