A group of friends (Mechad Brooks, Aaron Hill, Amanda Fuller, Lauren Schneider, Serinda Swan, and Dillon Casey) are on a camping trip in Hicksville USA, and are intrigued by the local legend of Grimley Boutine, which is exploited by the likes of Sid Haig for profit. In a nutshell itís a tale mixing incest, alligators, and a human-alligator hybrid. No, Iím not kidding, this is a real part of the movie. Anyway, itís not long before the legend appears to have cropped up in reality, picking off our protagonists one by one. The other local hicks are played by Pruitt Taylor Vince, David Jensen, and Wayne Pťre, whilst Jennifer Lynn Warren appears in the prologue as an ill-fated skinny-dipper.
The reviews for this genre pic directed and co-written by Fred Andrews have not been kind. Those same people probably wonít be very kind to me either, because, credibility be damned...I think itís underrated. Derivative of a whole slew of films, but what film isnít these days? I wonít deny that the abundance of bare breasts and a lesbian scene didnít somehow help in winning me over, but this is lovely, trashy B-grade stuff. I mean, how can you hate a film whose villain is an inbred, half-man, half-alligator? Needless to say, itís an acquired taste (It was a massive box-office bomb), but I kinda liked it.
It begins well. Swampy scenery and full-frontal nudity from a refreshingly normal-looking woman is just about the best way to open a film in my opinion. The opening scene is gory fun and immediately places the film in backwoods B-movie territory, a film somewhere in between ďWrong TurnĒ (another underrated film) and ďThe Creature from the Black LagoonĒ. Yes, itís a strange blend, but I donít think the two subgenres are entirely incompatible, either. That foggy swamp, by the way, looks magnificent.
Pruitt Taylor Vince was born to star in a backwoods horror film, and Sid Haig is excellent in one of his largest roles since ďHouse of 1,000 CorpsesĒ. The film is seriously messed-up, even without the incest. Lockjaw alone is the most irresistibly goofy villain Iíve come across in a long time, even if heís just a Creature Feature variation on Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Alligator Man, perhaps?). And the flashback full of incest and alligators surely has to be tongue-in-cheek, because itís absolutely hilarious. The film is nice and gory at times too, which warmed my black heart.
Some people might see the big twist a mile away, but I didnít, and it helps make a couple of the characters more interesting. And thatís where we get to the problem I had with this movie. The backwoods hicks are fun, so is the well-designed monster (and unless Iím blind, it didnít look like CGI), but the twenty-something protagonists are entirely forgettable and interchangeable. The least interesting among them even manages to survive longer than most of the rest, unfortunately (though in doing so, they break a certain unnamed horror clichť). Iím sick of horror films forcing us to identify with characters under the age of the 35 and who frankly, donít have interesting or well-developed enough personalities to warrant my interest. I also found some of the story a tad difficult to discern. I never quite worked out what the deal was between the creature and the inbred hicks. One character seems to worship it, but the creature sees fit to kill the others, as well as going after our young protagonists. Feel free to enlighten me, because I was a bit confused by that.
Look, this isnít a great film, certainly not in any conventional way. But itís so trashy and bizarre that I couldnít help but be entertained by it. B-movie lovers with a warped sense of humour are invited to give it a go, all others stay well away.