Thursday, February 18, 2010

Albino Farm (2009)

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Okay, stop me if you've heard this one before. A group of college students/Abercrombie & Fitch models, whilst researching for a paper on rural culture, run afoul of a clan of inbred cannibalistic hillbilly mutants. One by one, they're picked off until only the most likeable of the women are left. Of course, she's driven crazy by the experience.

Now I realize that I've spoiled the ending of Albino Farm for you but no self-respecting horror fan of note couldn't spot that ending a mile away. Hell, I knew who would die and in what order ten minutes in. We've all seen this movie before, the characters and plot-beats as familiar to us as family. With that caveat in mind, is Albino Farm a bad movie? And is it so bad it's good? Or is it just meh?

Albino Farm has it's bright spots. First and foremost, the makeup effects by Industrial Monster and Props/Jason Barnett are inventive and disturbing. Looking for the next generation's Savini or Baker? Look no further. I give you exhibit A:

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Of course, this is the tip of the iceberg. Fans of creative monster design will LOVE this film.

So is there anything else? I was abashed to discover wrestler Chris Jericho ("Levi") could turn in such a creditable performance. So call me a snob, I assumed he was cast as a novelty. Honestly, though, Jericho's sordid, twitching hillbilly was so realistic I began to wonder about his personal life. (Just kidding, Mr. Jericho, please don't beat me to a pulp.)

Aside from these gems, that's about all to recommend Albino Farm. The well-worn plot was directed in a distinctly workmanlike way by the directing team of Joe Anderson and Sean McEwen. The balance of the cast were forgettable and the dialogue was pretty hacky. I was also very distracted by the choppy editing in the last act. Rushing to make a release date, Albino Farm? Gore quotient was fairly restrained and skin shots were almost non-existent (with the exception of one lingering topless shot of the beta female's body double).

Having said all that, I can't find it within myself to completely condemn Albino Farm. For all it's faults, Albino Farm is not the worst example of "backwoods mutants terrorize pretty people" out there (>cough,cough, Wrong Turn 3, cough<). Folks, if you are seriously jonesing for great makeup effects and have 90 minutes to kill, you could do a lot worse.

Toolshed verdict? 4/10 hayseed chromosomes.

Brighter and better things next time, fear fans. Check out Lo (2009) and wait for me to gush about it next time!

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