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SAVAGE HARVEST 2: OCTOBER BLOOD
(Wicked Pixel Cinema) 2007. Independent Horror. 118 minutes. Color. Not Rated. Low budget horror director Tyge Murdock (Benjamin Gaa) is stunned when an actor is accidentally killed on the set of his latest film. He decides to return to his hometown to take a break from things and re-evaluate his life. Bad idea. Tyge meets up with his Ex-girlfriend, whose sister committed suicide after being the only survivor in a brutal mass-murder ten years prior. The truth behind those killings will soon be revealed to Tyge and his friends, and will trap them into a forced battle with evil forces, which can possess and destroy the living. Can they survive a confrontation with ultimate evil?
   That setup sounds quite a bit like the plot of Evil Dead, and like the first Savage Harvest directed by Eric Stanze, this one shares a strong similarity to Sam Raimi’s low-budget classic. That was forgivable in Stanze’s film, because it was one of the rare micro-budgeted modern productions that actually showed some skill behind the camera. Stanze’s Wicked Pixel collaborator Jason Christ directs Savage Harvest 2:October Blood, and there’s a lot to like in this one as well. First of all, there are some beautiful shots in the movie, particularly in the opening credits, of natural settings. It nicely sets up a serine mood that is about to turn sour. The acting also is strong in many instances. Eric Stanze himself appears in a key role, and did a better job than I expected. Emily Haack as ‘Ashley’ gives a performance that’s layered and believable, which really helps in the later scenes when things go haywire with the blood, guts, and demons. As for that aspect of the film, it ranges from silly to pretty impressive. That’s my main complaint about Savage Harvest 2: It’s very uneven. For every scene that rings true, there’s another that reminds you why shot-on-video cheapies get a lot of flack. It’s also nearly 2 hours long, which I consider a big no-no for this kind of production. It entertained me though and I certainly can’t complain about the amount of extras contained in this 2 disc ‘Collector’s Edition’. You get three separate commentaries, behind-the-scenes doc, outtakes and deleted scenes, three short films and more! Recommended for fans of no-budget indies and those of you looking to make your own feature. Wicket Pixel Cinema is a model of how to do it right. -Budd Layman

 

 

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