HELLBILLY *** USA 2003 Dir: Massimiliano Cerchi. 48 mins

Written by the late John Polonia (whose credits include SPLATTER FARM and the fun Erin Brown vehicle SPLATTER BEACH), this immediately dispenses with any pretence for exposition or characterisation. Here is the essence of the slasher sub-genre, minus the padding : a couple in the woods, backseat groping, foreplay interrupted by the dude taking a leak…and a chuckling, grunting retarded killer in a joke shop mask ruining everyone’s fun.
The daylight setting of this lively indie flick recalls the CAMP BLOOD films, but prolific filmmaker Cerchi has fun with the formula, as the enjoyably maniacal “Hellbilly” (Clayton Bigsby) receives inspiration from an insulting ventriloquist’s dummy to slaughter a variety of eclectic passers-by with old-school hollowed-out machete gore-gags. A pair of random chess-playing idiots in the woods, a resilient Dee Wallace lookalike and a perky blind girl all get the pointy end, though the extended highlight is a cameo by “Spanky” as “Sister Sara”, an optimistic nun who turns up to talk about The Good Book before Hellbilly strips her and stuffs Bible pages in her mouth and down her knickers. Cerchi captures the look, sound and feel of the kind of early 80’s shot-on-video slasher flick that was formerly the domain of directors like David A Prior. If you are nostalgic for such fare, HELLBILLY achieves its ambitions, and it doesn’t outstay its welcome en route to an appropriately deranged final scene.

Review by Steven West

You can buy ‘HELLBILLY‘ here: http://www.tlavideo.com/cult-hellbilly/p-367697-7

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