With a title that could very well be a product at a local A&P in Connecticut, it would be easy to dismiss Buzzard Hollow Beef as one of ‘those’ horror movies. People in the woods. Cannibal hillbillies. A story that only exists to deliver a kill count. And in some ways, Buzzard Hollow Beef is ‘one of those horror movies’ and that is precisely why it works.
Buzzard Hollow Beef follows the classic scary movie trope of people going to a home in a remote area for a little R&R. There’s obviously two guys and two girls as well some other people thrown together in this idyllic setting. Amidst this setting are the townies who are, of course, a bit weird. The fact that they will eventually confront a family of cannibalistic hillbillies (or is it each other?), who also happen to control the local meat supply, only adds to this film’s genre deconstructing cachet.
Add to this that Buzzard Hollow Beef has some fairly disgusting imagery, and you have a horror movie that is as odd as it is terrifying. Amidst the scenes of gore, crafty dialogue, and random shots of meat that most viewers will be familiar with, there is also imagery of childbirth and babies that is downright disturbing. In fact, Buzzard Hollow Beef so oddly recalls 1980’s Motel Hell, it is as if these films are somehow related through decades of horror movie synergy and fandom.
Probably the most interesting aspect of Buzzard Hollow Beef is the almost David Lynchian element of psychedelia. It isn’t like there are lava lamps and crazy lens effects at every turn. This film simply takes things from the every day and skews them a bit. It does it every turn. From the opening scene in which we are introduced to what appears to be a meat packing plant. To the slo-mo scenes of guns being fired and bullets leaving the chamber. (Adding a cover of KISS’s “Love Gun” was a nice choice in this scene). Aspects of these scenes are slowed down a bit. This really creates a sense of menace and foreboding. We know that something bad is going to happen. The rules of horror movies dictate that this has to happen. We just don’t know how or when. Then you factor in this weird element to the visuals and that makes the Buzzard Hollow Beef different kind of horror movie.
Even the ending denouement between two characters that you wouldn’t suspect would be in this position was like a breath of fresh air. I am not going to ruin the ending or give it away here. Just know that Buzzard Hollow Beef seems very intent on subverting what we know horror movies to be. The film has solidly done visuals, a very strong cast, good dialogue, an odd but refreshing soundtrack and very firm direction. It starts off as one thing, slowly becomes another, but in the end it gives a very satisfying conclusion. Is the most audacious horror movie that’s ever been lensed?
No. However, for what Buzzard Hollow Beef is, this film stands out from an often boneless pack. Buzzard Hollow Beef arrives from A Man & A Woman Productions. It was Directed by Joshua Johnson from a script by Johnson and Tara C. Hall. The movie stars Bruce Jennings, Nadia Kamil, Scott C. Brown, Emily Letts, Janet Chiarabaglio, Amanda Spinella, Will Frazier, Gabriel Caste and Doug Perkins. The movie doesn’t have a release date yet, but we’re sure it will be banned by butcher shops and grocery story meat departments soon enough.