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A little bit of film history was made back in 1972 when John Boorman's classic DELIVERANCE was unleashed on the public. That film based on the incredible novel of the same name by James Dickey did more to damage the Deep South's tourist industry than the whole God damned Civil War had. It also did one other thing, it made it okay to fear, therefore, make fun of backwoods, rednecked, simpletons and 'tards. It not only was it okay to make fun of them, it was quite alright to kill them, of course in self-defense or at least in retribution for them ass-fucking a buddy or using your purty mouth as a jizz catch-all. This groundbreaking exploration into the Deep South opened the door for the 1986 release of HUNTER'S BLOOD. Some may say derivative, but I say fuck you, HUNTER"S BLOOD takes a not so new theme and puts a decent turn on it.

Robert Hughes kicked off his less than stellar career as director with HUNTER'S BLOOD with Emmet Alston's taut screenplay of five "city boys" who just want to spend a nice weekend hunting on company land down in Arkansas. Alston directed a few forgettable exploitationers in the early 80s himself including the Prof. Tread recommended 3-Way Weekend (find it if you can). Hughes had the luxury of a decent cast of folks who were on their way up and a batch of good character actors, which included future NYPD Bluer Kim Delaney, the tolerable Sam Bottoms, the highly underrated Clu Gulager, former Russ Meyer player Ken Swofford, Joey "my brother is John" Travolta, and Bruce "my son Crispin, is psychotic" Glover. Not a bad group to kick off your big screen directorial debut for sure.

The plot is basic. Swofford's character Al has invited a group of his buddies down for a weekend in the woods on a chunk of land his company has just purchased. Sounds like a nice getaway for David (Bottoms) and his dad, Mason (Gulager). Along for the ride are Ralph (Mayf Fucking Nutter) and Marty (Travolta). David gets up early and passes on a slice of the nubile Kim Delaney to go jump into Al's souped up Bronco. The trip is on.
Treading the same ground as DELIVERANCE and the yet mentioned Bayou thriller SOUTHERN COMFORT, we get our character development by way of road trip where we learn David is a Doctor, Ralph is a drunk and Marty, well. Marty is fucking stupid. As we get deeper into Razorback country, the story gets better. In what will be a pivotal plot point, the guys stop for some beer at a "local" lean-to. An underdressed bar wench and a table of typical cracker barflys are our first taste of Southern Culture. David flirts with the broad until they end up embarrassing her and the boys in the bar take offense. When the guys try to get some beer to go, these fellas up the "deposit" on the beer and it turns ugly. Like Burt Reynold's Lewis, Clu Gulager's Mason has a past that has made him some sort of ass kicker and kick ass he does, the boys escape the bar and Al's hotrod Bronco does the rest. Once they arrive at their destination, it is not long before the next warning comes calling by way of a couple of Park Rangers, who basically tell the hunters to leave or risk pissing off the poachers who run the area, much to the Park Rangers chagrine. Eugene Robert Glaser turns in a nice performance as a nervous Ranger who seems to be scared to death of what is going on in his woods. They want to control the problem but hey, there's just the two of them. Needless to say, the guys don't listen to a word the Rangers say and decide to hang out anyway.

Delving into the plot particulars at this point tends to ruin the fun ride through the Arkansas backwoods that Hunter's Blood is. The inbred band of poachers truly are evil with on the nose portrayals handed in by B-movie stalwart Lee DeBroux (whose fucking career spans 30 years of great, drive-in crud including, COFFY, EVEL KNEIVEL, TRUE GRIT, CHINATOWN and about 60 more good films) the crazy assed Glover who is still working, he is great as always in lst year's GHOST WORLD. Glover delivers one of my favorite lines in HUNTER"S BLOOD, "Maybe they's the kind that don't abide female poontang?" Ah, like Shakespeare or somthing. Boney-faced Billy Drago, epitomizes the guy you want to not only kill but totally fuck-up in HUNTER'S BLOOD. References to inbred fucking, homosexuality and even a Billy Bob Thorton background make these peckerwoods quite alright. No shit Billy Bob is one of the bad guys, no lines, just set decoration. Billy Bob as a cracker rube…what a stretch. I have to mention Mickey Jones, he is one of the 'necks, who meets a bizarre demise. Mickey was a member of the famed New Christy Minstrels and the drummer for the controversial 1966 "electric" tour with Boby Dylan before finding his niche as a character actor. Mickey might be one the most recognizable faces to ever play a background baddie in the pictures. Mickey is still laying down, starring in fairly shitty product still today.

As much as I love these kind of movies, being from the South, I can't help siding with the rednecks more often than not. In HUNTER'S BLOOD, that is not so much the case because they are just asshole poachers, but in SOUTHERN COMPFORT for instance the weekend warriors stole a boat from the "bad guys" and even blew up the guys house. There is generally a condemnation of the locals by the so-called sophisticates who see the South as some sort of rich, outdoorsy Disneyland. Make no doubt and I mean this from the heart, people from the North as just plain assholes. They are not friendly, they don't converse in the ways folks from the South do. I am not talking accent or dialect, I mean they don't converse. We tend to speak to each other, to be friendly with strangers for the most part. We pass a truck on a one lane road we wave to each other. I did that in upper state Pennsylvania and I thought the guy was going to run off the road, then he stopped to see if he knew me. Is it that confusing to be neighborly? But I guess we are the ones who are backward.

It's not like we haven't gotten suspicious of "city folk" over the years that's for sure. In the hollers of Kentucky, there is a cash crop of marijuana that most Gothamites could only dream of. Why is that you think? Well most of those folks don't have any opportunity. They used to grow tobacco but God knows that we have made sure that it is nearly impossible to get a decent price for that weed due to the Federal regulations, the fucking ripoff artists at the tobacco companies and new "sensitivity" to smoking. Come on, you think a farmer is going to take his earnings and lay it on a new dot com idea he has, or continue farming, looking for a substitute money product. Dope is that product and because it is illegal, they are fucking paranoid. This is a great time to talk about industrial hemp and how it would solve many problems for family farms throughout the Southern part of the United States, how it would address a shitload of medicinal needs and could be an alternative to fossil fuels, but I wouldn't want to bore you with the ramblings of another redneck from the South. Point being, fuck yeah, we're paranoid, do you realize that most of our economies are based on fairly shady operations that at any moment could be shut down by the powerful lobbies, mainly the hypersensitive, be them Right or Left. Think about it, in Kentucky, our main economic contributions to the world are these products…Bourbon Whiskey, Cigarettes and Thoroughbred Horses for Racing. Drinking, Smoking and Gambling. Vices. That's it, if we just had legalized prostitution I'd think I was in Heaven.

Nonetheless, when you base a state's economic impact on Sinning, it damn sure don't take no rocket surgeon to know that in the New Millenium, the way of life we have come to know is teetering on the brink. You think that might be why we are skeptical of outsiders? The only time that people come around is when they want something. Either to change something, take something or exploit something. That is the way most real folks who live in these sparsely populated areas feel. It is a different way of life, brutal, harrowing, hard and not something that can be understood by a weekend fishing trip. I ain't defending butt-raping, dumbass, bumpkins but I'm just saying, there ain't much else for us to do and don't kncok something until you've tried it.

HUNTER'S BLOOD, own it. I bet the fine folks over at www.videoscreams.com have it just waiting for you.

That burns.

Ol' One Eye. He likes boys.

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Spill a little...

Lock and Load
These City Boys take a little hunting trip..

But these Good Old Boys don't give a shit.

Clu Gulager...he's yer daddy!

Is she worth fighting for...no, but her beer is.

Looks like a homey little watering hole doesn't it?

Now here's a group of nice fellas.

What is it about inbreeding that makes you allergic to bathing?

Sam Bottoms and Kim Delany...aren't they cute?

Poaching just looks like fun, I don't know about you.

Kim readys herself for a ittle red hot poker from Wash Tub!

An open face....uh head. Ouch! I know that smarts.

Now that is some camera work...

Fileted Park Ranger...ummmmmmmm.

Snake is one bad ass bad ass.
Brains On Film 2003