The Horror Honeys: American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire ~ Death is not the worst of evils.

American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire ~ Death is not the worst of evils.

A Slasher Honey Indie Film Review by Chassity

American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire (2013)

What do you get when you take three sublime assholes with almost no redeeming qualities, their one minority friend who is the antithesis of everything they stand for, a bunch of crazy people in the woods who think killing people for sport is not only okay, but a way of life, and a frightening woodland creature? 

Well, one would think that at best you’d get a hot mess of a horror film. At least that’s what I thought. But, actually, you get a really weird, yet endlessly intriguing, disturbing film that is like a car wreck you can’t look away from, and don’t want to. 

The film is called American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire. Look, I’ll admit, I am not a person who is big on uncharted territory. I don’t do well with change, and the only grouchy thing about me is my crotchety attitude when it comes to being exposed to new things. I like to go in knowing as much as possible about what I’m getting into… or at least have a general idea. But I decided to go into this one completely blind, and I’m glad I did. Because if I hadn’t, I would have missed what this movie had to offer. It’s one of those films where the journey, the ride, isn’t just half the fun; it’s the entire point. 

The Plot: A group of college aged male friends go on a journey to celebrate their new independence by going on a trip to what equates to… well, a brothel, I think? Anyway, as is always the case when you’re seeking debauchery of this sort, their plans are nixed after stopping due to an accident and subsequent car trouble. The group find themselves captured by a savage group of men who hunt them, rape them, and subject them to mental and physical anguish followed by gruesome deaths. Slew Hampshire's action is struggle after struggle as each person faces one threat to his life and survives only to face another. Sidenote: there are four different clans of hunters seeking to commit murder for sport here. Because why the hell not.

Crazy eyes on fleek.
The Good: I have been ranting and raving for a long time now about how I feel we need more Final Boys in horror. This movie gave me not only a Final Boy, but a horror film in which all of our main victims are men. As much as I love my Scream Queens, it was great (and almost necessary) to see guys in that state of vulnerability. Even if most of them were completely unlikable for the first half of the movie. Women are usually seen as completely helpless in slasher films and a group of defenseless men was a refreshing change of pace. 

Another thing I love about this film is that it pays homage to a number of horror tropes and sub-genres. The group of people living in the woods just waiting for a group of tourists to dare enter their territory to pick off one by one, the mysterious urban legend of events that occurred in the past, the disabled car, the promise of hot women that lure the men into the woods. All of it is so familiar, yet there are many hidden layers to Slew Hampshire that separate it from preceding films like it. But more on that later. 

And, finally, Slew Hampshire was extremely gory, but in a good way. There were some moments that were so disgusting, I had to turn away. That’s saying a lot for someone who watches more than enough horror films to become desensitized. After a while, being grossed out and actually disturbed by horror is sometimes a rare occurrence for devoted fans of the genre, and it’s a nice feeling to have when watching a movie like this. 

The Bad:  It was kind of difficult to get through the first 30-40 minutes of this movie. Before the danger becomes clear to our main guys, the movie is confusing, unwieldy, and slow. And the guys who are our main characters (at least, 3 out of the four of them) are difficult to connect with. Other than that, it’s the kind of movie where you are frustratingly confused, but can’t look away because you're hanging on to see what happens next and how it all played out. 

The big thing to know going into this movie is that there is an underlying message about homosexuality intertwined with dudebro culture. At least, that’s the way I saw it. I spent a lot of time debating what exactly the message was, and I’ll let you decide for yourself. 

Bottom line: American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire is one of the strangest, unorthodox, engaging, infuriatingly social horror films I’ve ever seen. I’d recommend it for at least one viewing. 

American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire is available now on DVD... and you can get your copy HERE 

Have you seen American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire?
Let's chat about it on Twitter: @ChassMM