26 June 2010 | lost-in-limbo
"We can squeeze a trigger as easy as you can!"
"Deliverance" might be the granddaddy of this popular sub-genre, but "Hunter's Blood" has got be one the better imitators of the fold. I love these backwoods horror / action outings where it all comes down to survival, reverting to instinctive methods to keep alive and this keeps the blood and adrenaline pumping throughout. "Hunter's Blood" actually begins slowly setting-up the well-liked characters and the harrowing situations they find themselves in gradually building-up, but when the bone-rattling horror begins its intrusively nasty and unsparing ride through the wilderness with the pacing and jolts never letting up.
A group of city men (father and son, two brothers and friend) set out for weekend hunting trip. However their fun is short lived when they encounter some psychotic redneck backwoodsmen, who after a couple of heated confrontations take a shine to the city blokes and then begins the fight for life.
Rather a traditional and simple set-up (with it being all about the stalk in a cat and mouse game), but it's excitingly achieved with many taut, suspenseful incidents that you can easily look passed its customary staples. It's well-made and professionally photographed with the strikingly detailed lush backdrop coming off the screen and the atmospherically oozing southern sounding music score camouflaging with the imagery and moods. Helping largely would be that of the strong, character actors the cast bestows. You got a steely Clu Gulager and a burley Ken Swofford leading the way along with Sam Bottoms (who pretty much takes charge with a resilient performance when the chaos erupts), Mayf Nutter and John Travolta's younger brother Joey Travolta. There's such a great, believable rapport built up amongst the group. As for the inbred redneck poachers there are fine performances by Lee de Broux as the leader Red beard and alongside him are Billy Drago (at his slimy best), Charles Cyphers, Bruce Glover (who's dementedly good with that cackling) and Mickey Jones. Finding herself stuck in the middle is the ravishing, but durable Kim Delaney. How her character finds her way in, feels like nothing more than a contrived secondary plot method to add much more tension, but it could have been easily left out. Also showing up is Eugene Robert Glazer, Ray Young and in his debut role is Billy Bob Thorton in very small role as one the rednecks that the boys get into a dispute with at a backwoods bar.