Saturday, May 5, 2012

Staunton Hill (2009)

The Netflix "cover" for Staunton Hill leaves much to be desired, but it looks like they were hoping to rope in viewers with the fact that this movie was directed by Romero.  G. Cameron Romero, that is, who is the son of George Romero.  This movie claims to be reminiscent of flicks like House of 1000 Corpses, Wrong Turn, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre so you know Scream Queen is game for that.  Backwoods murderers are my favorite kind. 

It's 1969 and some 20-somethings are headed to Washington D.C. to join in various protests.  They're hitchhiking, but it's not going as well as they has hoped.   They end up at a general store/mechanic type of place, where they're having difficulty catching a ride until they meet up with Quentin.  However, his truck breaks down pretty quickly, and the group is forced to spend the night in a barn.  They wake up the next morning to encounter a mentally disabled man, his mother, and grandmother.  They find out that the phones are down and the truck is still not working, so they are stuck on the farm for a while.

One thing I never get about the girls in these movies is why go looking for a bathroom?  They're always somewhere where they could just pop a squat behind a tree or something, and they insist on wandering around through god-knows-what in search of an actual flushing toilet.  It would be cleaner and safer to go outside, dipshits.  /endrant.

As to be expected, the family is not exactly the hospitable type.  In fact, it seems they run some sort of operation that requires them to steal body parts, skin, blood, etc. from those who are unlucky enough to end up on their property.  Somehow the driver, Quentin, is involved.  It appears that he is a med school dropout that does procedures using the items gathered on the farm.  This is what I gathered from vague references and random cut edits.  Blood, gore, and lots of restraints ensue.

There are some pretty sweet special effects in this movie, from some willy-inducing skin peeling to foot-sawing and decapitation.    But unfortunately the story never gets as good as the effects and it reads as yet another backwoods killer ripoff.  Not the worst ripoff I'd ever seen, but you'd expect better from the Romero name, especially if you're going to stick it in huge font right on the cover.