Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Albino Farm (2009)

Directed by:
Joe Anderson
Sean McEwen

Take a small handful of teens, put them in a desolate area somewhere out in the boonies away from civilization, destroy their means of transportation... and then unleash the killer hillbillies! This same exact formula has been used time and time again for such films as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (plus sequels, remakes and sequels to remakes), The Hills Have Eyes (plus sequel, remake and sequel to remake), Wrong Turn (plus sequels), Cannibal Detour, The Undertow and countless others from the early 70s all the way up to today. Albino Farm is one of the newer additions to the subgenre and it sticks pretty close to formula. In other words, if you're already well versed in these kind of films, you've probably already seen bits and pieces of this one elsewhere. On the plus side, it's actually fairly well made for what it is. Though the budget isn't astronomical and the concept isn't exactly fresh, the filmmakers at least put together a competent film. The actors are all decent, the mutant makeup designs are good and they chose a good shooting location in one of those old-looking towns in the deep south (around Springfield, Missouri).

Stacey (Tammin Sursok), Sanjay (Sunkrish Bala), Melody (Alicia Lagano) and Brian (Nick Richey) are out on a road trip doing some kind of history class assignment. They encounter a dwarf using a spatula to scrape a smashed animal up off the road (yum!) and then a blind gas station attendant (Duane Whitaker) who tells them to read Leviticus 21:16 (hint, hint) before stumbling into a small town called Shiloh around dark. While there they discover that all of the townspeople are afflicted with either a deformity (hairlips, conjoined fingers, etc.) or a handicap (some are are blind, deaf and mute). They also learn about a local legend centering around a place on the outskirts of town called Albino Farm. The four naturally make the unwise decision of checking the place out and end up running into a batch of murderous mutants.

Kevin Spirtas (from Craven's awful Hills Have Eyes sequel) plays a tent revival preacher and pro wrestler Chris Jericho (who proves to be a decent enough actor with what he's given to do here) plays a hick who makes one of the girls flash her breasts for a ride. Some of the action takes place in a cave, the ending is surprisingly effective and every once in awhile there's an bizarre moment that catches you off guard, such as an elderly lady breast feeding a mutant baby or a pig-faced mutant woman in cut off shorts who does a strip tease before ripping out a guy's teeth with a hook. There's some shoddy CGI and annoying wobbly camera-work present, but thankfully it's not overused. Could have been worse; worth a look. It apparently floated around on the bootleg circuit for awhile as Wrong Turn 4.


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