RJ Bayley Reviews: American Backwoods Slew Hampshire

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Originally just called Slew Hampshire, the film’s title is a nice pun, and with a buzz surrounding it concerning some extreme gore, we’re all set up for a fun splatterfest in the vain of Evil Dead 2 or Deathgasm. Except that’s not what we’re delivered. I don’t think that’s what we’re delivered anyway. The fact I’m still unsure what exactly we’ve been given is a big problem. This review will contain spoilers for the film, but don’t worry, I’ll tell you upfront: don’t watch this movie. This movie is awful.

According to what writer/director Flood Reed has written on IMDB, the film starts as a “comedy of errors”. That explains a couple of “wacky/zany” characters (and everything those terms bring with them) that pop up among the very run of the mill ones. Unfortunately the film is so shoddy it’s hard to tell what is deliberately ridiculous and what is accidentally. “Is this character meant to be so preposterously written and acted? What about this one?” ad infinitum.

The tone wouldn’t be so utterly muddled if it weren’t for later totally conflicting elements. On the one hand the film features quite a lot of rape. Serious rape at that. Not that rape is funny, but some films still try to play it for laughs anyway. No, this is serious, traumatic rape at the hands of kidnapping hunters. On the other hand, all the participants are eventually stalked by a clan of forgotten vikings and a manbeast monster. Just as we’re getting over some distressing and prolonged gory rape sequences, we’re asked to accept (/laugh??) at the existence of vikings and monsters. Patently ludicrous yet delivered in the same serious manner. Maybe I’m not the confused one? Maybe it’s the film? Confused and very poor.


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