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This Stuff'll Kill Ya
The Devil Wears Clodhoppers

USA 1971
produced by
Herschell Gordon Lewis for Ultima
directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
starring Jeffrey Allen, Tim Holt, Gloria King, Ray Sager, Eric Bradley, Terence McCarthy, Ronna Riddle, Larry Drake, Jack Garner, Bill Mays, Lee Danser, Pamela Polsgrove, Doffy Chandler, Skip Nicholson, Carol Merrill, Pamela Bloomfield, Debbie Gardiner, Prentis Smithson, Bob Fisher, Jerry Emerson
written by Herschell Gordon Lewis, music by Herschell Gordon Lewis (as Sheldon Seymour)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Reverend Boone (Jeffrey Allen) uses his church mainly to sell his illegal, self-distilled liquer, as well as going ahead with his dirty little ideas, like subjecting bride-to-be Mary Ellen (Pamela Polsgrove) to a gangbang in his church right at the day of her wedding. His only enemy seems to be the local liquer store, that sells the stuff legally, so Boone continually bullies the storeowners using the word of god.

Then though things start taking a turn for the worse, when FBI-agents Clarke (Tim Holt) & Markel (Prentis Smithson) try to shut down his operations ... but somehow Boone, his congregation behind him, can force them to do some compromising photographs which pretty much quiets them down. But then his top alcohol delivery boy, Turnip (Jack Garner), dies in a car accident while delivering the liquer, & it seems a maniac killer is in his midst, first stoning Mary Ellen to death, later nailing 2 tourist girls (Dana Demonbreun, Joy Smothermon) to a cross.

All that is not so good, but as if that wasn't bad enough, soon the liquerstore, in league with the FBI, starts selling a new brand of whiskey that's even cheaper than Boone's moonshine, trying to bring his congregation down that way ... to no avail since Boone soon shows up with a (bogus) lawyer, Grimes (Skip Nicholson), sueing the company selling the new whiskey over alcohol poisoning - a clever move but also Boone's biggest mistake, since soon the FBI finds out the victim of Boone's courtcase, Bubby (Larry Drake) is not sick at all, & finally it seems they have substantial evidence againt the reverend, compromising photos or not. ... it's only thanks to Boone's new driver Carter (Terence McCarthy) that agent Clarke can be talked out of arresting Boone, but in exchange Boone has to give up his alcohol business for good now ...

Reluctantly, Boone agrees, seeing it's his last chance to stay out of jail, only one of his followers, Grady (Ray Sager) suddenly breaks down, & it turns out he had been killing Mary Ellen & the tourist girls & had been taking the reverend's words way too much to heart ... & now he wants to kill Carter, whom he thinks a traitor. Boone stops him, the 2 fight & ultimately Grady's gun goes off & blows off his own head.

 

A mix of backwoods comedy & -drama, with a portion of crime & mystery thrown in, but (for director Herschell Gordon Lewis) rather tame at showing anything - there's no nudity (the gangbang happens offscreen) & almost no gore (despite 2 violent murders). What the audience is left with is a silly little story with a terribly (but amusingly) overacting Jeffrey Allen in the lead, & increasingly stupid dialogue. But Herschell Gordon Lewis' trademark tongue-in-cheek approach & his reluctance to take the story in seriously in the least still make this one enjoyable in a trashy way.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD