Monday, October 01, 2012

Southern Gothic

(2007) **

Pretty run of the mill low budget vampire flick now available on Starz On Demand, which is the only reason I happened on it to kick off this Thon. We're getting some major movie packages as a mea culpa from AT&T when they screwed up our U-Verse intro package, so I'm going to make the most of it this month! All the movie channels!

This one starts off somewhat promisingly, with a pretty fun twist on a standard vamp attack, but it quickly turns into one of those straight to cable B-movies where the director seems to want to keep the likes of USA Channel open as possible outlets. In other words, a strip club in which the girls don't take anything off. There's some mild gore, but in these days of Walking Dead, it's pretty tame stuff.

The plot is that a crazy preacher who likes to harass strippers gets himself turned into a vamp. He takes his "resurrection" as a sign that he's Christ's anointed one, and he turns a small posse of his redneck congregation into his vamp henchmen. Then he kidnaps the sweet-but-tuff new stripper, apparently because he wants her to be his queen. Brooding strip club bouncer "Fortune" (think poor man's Jason Patric) then teams up with some other vamp who pretty much enters the movie out of nowhere, and they storm the rural chapel to save the girl.

It's an oddly paced movie--the director spends more time on character development than you'd expect in such a cheaply made genre flick, and indeed the acting isn't horrible. The relationship between the young stripper and her daughter is pretty good, and the central preacher guy is manic and creepy. Spouting scripture through fangs is just a cool conceit. Still, this character development comes at the expense of pacing, so even though stuff is often happening, it feels like a long 90 minutes.

Overall,Southern Gothic is probably a little better made than most in it's class (budget $900k), but not good enough to recommend seeking out. Though if you're hitting up the horror strip club sub-genre, or the preacher/killer one, it's worth a look.
Interestingly, I saw online that the director said his preacher vamp was inspired in part by the classic I reviewed way back in my first Thon: The Night of the Hunter. I don't really see it. Mitchum played the part in Hunter more like a relentless but calm sociopath. This dude is just a redneck fire-and-brimstone pervert who happens to become a vamp.


Catfreeek said...

Way to go Landshark, this one sounds a bit dry for my tastes.

DCD said...

Love the "keeping the USA channel open" thing, that's really all you have to say and the point is clearly made!

Rather envious of your multiple movie options!

Octopunk said...

Ah, a strip club without stipping. These are best found and identified, and you have done proper Horrorthon work this day.

I recognized William Forsythe and I was trying to think of who he is the "poor man's" version of. Powers Boothe? Not quite the same type.

Nice opener, bro. I am psyched about your multiple movie options.

50PageMcGee said...

so, what are you now? 0 for 2 on quality with movies featuring strip clubs?

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Landshark - based on this review, Starz On Demand seems very promising! I look forward to seeing where it takes you this month.

JPX said...

Solid review of a dud, dude! Somewhere over the year I lost interest in vampire stuff and this one sounds like it won't sway my opinion of the genre. Great to see you on board, Shak!

AC said...

classic example of watching what's available rather than something you choose on imdb... and wasn't forsythe in raising arizona?