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Newlyweds Helen and Paul go to a backwoods cabin on vacation. When Paul goes back to the car for some cigarettes he's not given a chance to ponder the carcinogenic ramifications as an axe blade makes the point moot. Panic stricken, Helen runs into the woods, only to find Odie Pickett as her only savior. He takes her back to his place, where pregnant wife Emmy, thick-as-a-brick son Bo, and available-since-she-was-twelve daughter Sarah, do their best to give her a "family" welcome. While Helen's immediate danger is somewhat delayed, her newfound shelter begins showing some signs of danger as well. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I just love them thar hillbilly horrors, and I done got me a good 'un this time.
Helen Fraser (Norma Moore), a pretty (or should that be 'purdy') city girl on vacation with her hubby Paul, flees into the Texas backwoods after finding her spouse dead (having lost an argument with the business end of an axe!). Panic-stricken, she runs into redneck Odis Pickett, who takes her back to his cabin to meet the family: pregnant wife Emmy, daughter Sarah (pronounced Say-rah), and idiot son Bo. But rather than call for help, Odis proceeds to subject Helen to a night of drunken abuse, culminating in rape.
And all the while, a murderer lurks in the woods outside, waiting to kill again.
Scum Of The Earth (AKA Poor White Trash 2), by director S. F. Brownrigg, may not feature the highest of production values, and might be a mite talky for many people, but with a script that delivers some of the funniest hillbilly dialogue in the history of cinema (this one packs in every clichéd redneck saying in the book), great characters (think the Clampetts, only not so clever), and a smidgen of incest, rape and murder, it's difficult to resist the film's sleazy exploitation charms.
Norma Moore does a decent enough job as the woman in peril, looking suitably scared (and rather tasty) throughout, but it is those playing the dungaree wearing, possum eating hicks that really make this piece of 70s trash cinema unmissable. Gene Ross is delightfully odious as Odis, slurping moonshine from a jar whilst slapping his slutty daughter to the floor and threatening his pregnant wife; Charlie Dell, as Bo, makes an extremely convincing moron; Camilla Carr is equally as credible as Bo's loose-knickered sister (I'd buy that for a dollarNOT!); whilst Ann Stafford, as Odis's downtrodden woman, provides some much needed pathos.
Added to this potpourri of Southern stereotypes are several brief-but-nasty scenes of gore (the opening axe-ing, an impalement, a barbed wire garrote, and a shotgun blast to the face) and a truly silly ending in which the identity of the killer is finally revealed; the result is a mighty enjoyable movie that'll have you smilin' like a mule eating' briars.
And if anyone tells you diff'rent, don't pay him no never mind!
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
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