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Hunter's Blood (1986)

  Tags: 80's, backwoods, Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Drago, Bruce Glover, camping, Charles Cyphers, Clu Gulager, Gene Glazer, hidden gem, hunter's blood, hunters, Joey Travolta, Ken Swofford, Kim Delaney, Lee de Broux, Mickey Jones, Mike Muscat, Robert C. Hughes, Samuel Bottoms, survival, underrated, woods

Your rating: None Average: 6.5 (2 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

huntersblood.JPG
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Robert C. Hughes
Runtime: 
101 minutes
Cast: 
Samuel Bottoms, Kim Delaney, Clu Gulager, Ken Swofford, Joey Travolta, Lee de Broux, Bruce Glover, Billy Drago, Mickey Jones, Charles Cyphers, Mike Muscat, Gene Glazer, Billy Bob Thornton


Being a huge backwoods survival horror fan, it's rare when I find a movie (especially from the 80's) that I missed. Once I discovered the existence of Hunter's Blood, I knew that I had to watch it as soon as possible. Having finally seen it I have to say that I'm glad I did. Although some scenes seemed familiar to me, I'm pretty sure I hadn't seen the movie before, and if I had, it must've been so far back that I can't remember much of it.

Unlike a lot of backwoods genre films this movie doesn't have a cast of young faces looking to party and have pre-marital sex. Instead, we follow a group of older men just looking to go on a nice hunting trip in the woods. After a little mishap at a small redneck bar, the men find themselves driven off a dirt path by a few unhappy locals. Not letting the rednecks spoil their hunting trip, the men make camp and proceed to relax and drink. However, their night is spoiled when a new group of local poachers decide to crash their camp while they sleep. This is only the start of things to come, as the hunters find themselves fending for their lives against the poachers the next day.

I liked the movie -- it follows a group of older more believable characters and the situations they get into aren't entirely unrealistic. Also, the villains in this movie aren't mutated inbreds, or flesh-eating cannibals, but just a family of violent poacher thinking the men are there to take their to interrupt their "business". Speaking of which, it was interesting to see a cast of familiar faces, like Clu Gulager (Return of the Living Dead, Feast) as take-charge leader of the hunters, Billy Drago (Vamp, Hills Have Eyes '06) as one of the creepy poachers (what a surprise!), even John Travolta's brother Joey is in the movie as the stereotypical "weak link" of the group.

This also marks Billy Bob Thornton's first film appearance, but funny-enough he doesn't really show his face on screen. You hear his made-up annoying laugh off-screen and he's thrown off the redneck truck (hilarious!) as they make a sharp turn when they chase down our leads in the beginning of the movie. Another surprise this film offered were some of effects done on the corpses. There's one scene that would have been a perfect gore effect when one of the men shoots a poacher point-blank in the face with a shotgun, but I suppose they weren't aiming for a splatterfest, so they opted to simply show the man's nearly headless corpse minutes later, and it surprisingly looked somewhat convincing.

We get another nice effect of a corpse that has been skinned alive hanging on a tree and another short scene with a severed head, so although we don't really see any gory deaths, the film does offer some decent post-gore effects that weren't bad. I also liked the scenes involving one of the hunters showing off his skills and having to lay traps and take out some of the poachers one by one, in hopes of buying time for the rest of the group to make it to safety. The only problem I would say that I had with the movie is the somewhat easily-concluded finale. Other than that, the film was a pretty solid addition to the backwoods survival genre.

A good addition and slightly more realistic take on the backwoods survival sub-gene. The cast is likable, the foes aren't unbelievable, and the situations are interesting. Definitely worth a check if you like these types of flicks.

Posted on July 6, 2009 - 5:26am | FrighT MasteR

 

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