|Index||3 reviews in total|
I just got around to watching "Hunter's Blood" for the first time last
weekend and that was a complete hoot, so riding upon that success I
decided to give this surely unknown independent backwoods thriller a
Dallas Hayes has asked his younger businessman brother Joey to be his business partner in a proposed enterprise of Dallas having a hunting guide operation in the Rocky Mountain wilderness. Joey has come down to experience it and also to catch up with his brother who he rarely sees, but what they encounter on the journey is a shocking discovery of Dallas' best friend's body and Joey runs into a young lady Stevie, being chased by some demented mountain men. An altercation between the groups leaves one of the mountain men dead and the brothers and girl soon find themselves being stalked.
"Brothers in Arms" is immensely cookie-cutter mechanisms for its tough, hellish sub-genre, but while it stayed mildly interesting (even with its slow-winding pace) and fairly violent (although not that explicit even with its streamlined cruel streak), it really did struggle to sustain intensity when it tried to go for broke. The danger is there, however the suspense is dampen by how quickly the villains are dispatched and the ending is somewhat anticlimactic. It's well-shot (plenty of scope framing the beautiful Colorado scenery), ably directed (if a little too methodical) but in all it just feels second rate and there's almost a made for TV like quality to it. The character interactions are not quite black and white (a rocky relationship between the brothers with this stressful ordeal making sure certain issues fester their way to the top), but then again the material doesn't make all that much an effort to dig in deep and when so, its lazy and predictable. Some fascinating details are struck up --- like the background of the delusional father figure of the mountain men, but there's just too much grey there to satisfy. Some familiar faces fill the cast with Jack Starrett (suitably stone-cold as Father), Mitch Pileggi (playing a brute) and the always wonderful Dedee Pfeiffer. Todd Allen (Witchboard) and Charles Grant (Witchcraft) are durably fine as the Hayes' brothers. Also appearing is Dan Bell and Fred Olen Ray regular Jay Richardson.
While there are scattered good moments (the opening shot really catches your
attention), this is overall an especially poor rendering of the "city folk
vs. hillbilly" formula. The technical side is really poor, with some poor
editing during the action sequences, and a REALLY OBVIOUS boom mike at one
point. There is also one of the most blatant continuity errors I've seen in
ages, involving a sweater that suddenly disappears from one character.
But what really hurts the movie is an especially lame screenplay. There are obvious holes. For example, how did the hillbilly get motorbikes and gas cans up there? How were they able to transport the female character up there? Where's the missus? How come the clan's leader has such inbred idiot sons after we find out his past? It's not just the hillbillys that are written so badly, but the two brothers, who are developed so badly that they each seem to be composed of multiple pieces of greatly different characters. And I won't get to the pretty perverse nature of some nastiness the hillbillys dish out (or try to).
Two brothers hiking in the woods make the mistake of saving a young woman
from a crazy backwoods family. As a result, the two brothers now find
themselves the haunted by the crazed family. Poor rip off of Deliverence
lifts entire scenes from that film. It is boring and rather slow paced
despite being very cruel and mean spirited. Some of the cast members
look their parts, but are rather bland unfortunetly.
Rated R; Rape, Strong Violence, and Profanity.
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