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Black Holler

USA 2017
produced by
Heidi Ervin, Jim Casebolt (executive), Phyllis Casebolt (executive), Wesley Rutledge (executive) for Grand Prize Studios, Heidi the 13th Productions, Pudding Cloud Productions, The Rest of the Show Design
directed by Jason Berg
starring Tamiko Robinson Steele, Jesse Perry, Rachel Ward Heggen, Betty Williams, Bruce Ervin, Sarah VanArsdal, Nicholas Hadden, C.J. Stanley, Stacy Gazenski, Heidi Ervin, Katie Gant, Brad Edwards, Wesley Rutledge, J.R. Robles, Vivi Vendetta, Jon D. Bumpus, Chris Kelley, Andy Kanies, Daniel Dones, Shawn Cornelius, Ben Jacoby, Andy Riggs, Steve Parnell, Michael Mikey Owin, Bryce Damuth, Lane Wright, Kenneth Brown, Blue Williams, Paul Michaels (voice), Leah Helena Miller, Lee McCue, Basha Rush, Leah Fincher, Justin Tarrents, Sean Parrott (voice), Brian Russell, Stayc Givhan, Miguel Otero, Robert Marigza, Jeb Poot Higginbotham, Brad Hinderliter, D.J. Buckley, Chad Riden, Brian Russell, Dale Rainey, Juniper Lake Ussery, Elizabeth Hadden, Robert Ervin, James Skelley, LaDaveon Burford, Al Davis-Smith, Dietz Osbourne, David Ditmore, Dan Poole, Daniel Swinney, Holly Amber, Andre Churchwell, Tom Bizarre, Brian Bates, Carter Routh
written by Heidi Ervin, co-writers: Jason Berg, Rachel Ward Heggen, music by Bruce Ervin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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In the 1950s, two scientists (J.R. Robles, Vivi Vendetta) went to Black Holler Woods to find an all-important artifact, a magical stone that if broken unleashes some terrible powers. Of course, it breaks, and before long they are brutally slaughtered. It's 1989 now, and a community college class led by Professor Thompson (Jesse Perry) takes a field trip to the woods of Black Holler to find the magical stone, and the class really contains all sorts of people, from sexy Megan (Rachel Ward Heggen) to goth Marty (Sarah VanArsdal), nerd Walter (Nicholas Hadden) to your usual assortment of stoners and horny guys and chicks - and as the only girl of colour, the group's also joined by Laquita (Tamiko Robinson Steele), though-as-nails new kid in class. Of course, none of the kids take the trip seriously and see it as nothing but a good excuse to party, all but Rebecca (Heidi Ervin), a bit of a religious nutter who has only joined the group because she has heard about the magic that runs through Black Holler Woods, and at the first occasion slips away to perform a ritual to bring back her dead cat. The cat of course doesn't return to life, but Rebecca has somehow unleashed evil upon everyone in the woods, including herself who's the first to die. Unfortunately, the partying teens are slow to realize that more and more of their ranks just vanish, and eventually it's up to Laquita, who's conveniently trained in martial arts, to get everybody out of the mess. Thing is, in these woods evil can take many forms, and not all are beatable by mere fighting skills ...

 

Now there's one thing that Black Holler is not, and that's subtle - and that fits the movie rather well, as it's an unapologetic throwback to the 1980s, bringing together elements from slasher movies and teen comedies, and throwing that at the plot in a manner somewhat reminiscent of Evil Dead. And while Black Holler fails to live up to the sheer originality of that movie, it's still a pretty fun watch of the party movie variety, where the humour is at times crude or crass, and not even free of the occasional flatulence, but goes very well with a beer or three, and while the film doesn't hold back in terms of violence, the tongue's always firmly in cheek, to make this one fun ride.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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