I’ve been watching so many independent films lately that I’m starting to feel like a hipster. Obscure titles that I’m certain no one has ever heard of with small production budgets and questionable traits as far as genre films are concerned have become a staple of my cinematic diet as of late. This has done two things. First, it’s forced me to sift through a lot of god awful schlock in hopes of finding something decent. I mean, I’ve watched some shit this year but, with very few exceptions, nothing that isn’t irredeemable. That said, it’s also forced me to open my mind and begin to appreciate what it takes to make even a Troma style short film, let alone an independent feature film. So, in the true spirit of B horror, I’m asking you to suspend your disbelief and take a moment to appreciate the stories being told for what they are: films made by horror fans for horror fans. Get ready for some Floridian werewolf madness. Bubba the Redneck Werewolf (2014) Okay, this is less independent and more low budget than my opening would have you believe but, never the less, this one is a lot of fun. Based on the comic book series Bubba the Redneck Werewolf is all about, well, you guessed it, a redneck werewolf. Deep in the heart of Cracker County, in the town of Bubba is not only a redneck stereotype but a loser on top of that. After losing the love of his life to a rival, getting his ass kicked, and just generally hitting rock bottom, Bubba makes a deal with the Devil to make his dreams come true. He wants to be strong, well known and well-endowed with a plenty of hair and all of the confidence he’ll need to win back his Bobbie Jo. Of course, the best way to do this is to turn him into a werewolf…right? As Bubba goes about using his transformation to fix his life, the Devil gets busy tormenting the townsfolk with deals that backfire almost immediately on them. So, some of the acting in this film is, well, terrible. I’m also not a huge fan of this perpetual need people have with making everyone from the South look like a cousin-humping, Larry the Cable Guy clone but for the purposes of this film, it works well and adds a certain measure of humor. Take for instance, Drunk Cletus. Drunk Cletus is your typical aging redneck sitting around the bar drinking and sharing war stories in this slow, almost monotone way that never conveys any form of emotion or feeling one way or the other. Lamenting the loss of his testicles during the Vietnam War, he never raises his voice above a disinterested conversational tone. I’ve met Drunk Cletus. I’ve worked with Drunk Cletus. I’ve gotten stuck with the bar tab for Drunk Cletus after he disappears into the night at last call. Then there are the performances and effects attached to Bubba and the Devil. The makeup for both characters is superb for a low budget film. Both characters were made up perfectly for the roles they portrayed. Fred Lass, the werewolf version of Bubba was emotive and just cool. The makeup and prosthetics over the face and eyes were awesome for a low budget production and there were some definite similarities to Bubba and Lawrence Talbot, the classic Universal Pictures wolfman. Meanwhile, Mitch Hyman was a hell of a lot of fun as the Devil. See what I did there? Anyway… Completely red with a thin little black goatee and two horns, he was a great counterbalance to the redneck trappings and characters. In many ways, he was as much a stereotype of that sleazy, smug, carpetbagger type that Southerners associate with folks from up north as the redneck stereotype I griped about earlier. Even though most of the special effects stopped being all that special in the late 90s, they pulled it off well and made this a hell of a movie. Predatory Moon (2017) Shiva Rodriguez is a talented effects artist, writer, and renowned go to when you need to make the impossible work in the Florida independent horror community. Adding a new title to that constantly growing list with her directorial debut in Predatory Moon, she brings her own unique vision of werewolves to the screen. Set in a small town in the swamplands of the Sunshine State, Predatory Moon is a story of mystery, intrigue, and rednecks making terrible decisions resulting in children being eaten in the opening minutes of the movie. Meanwhile, zoologist Kyle Reading comes across the reports of the attack and immediately sets off to try and track down what he believes to be a werewolf. The multifaceted story involving sex, betrayal, murder, and monsters is entertaining and well-written. Now, streaming this video on Amazon as I did posed some problems. Namely, the audio quality is god awful. This is a result of Amazon’s upload to their streaming services. If you watch this on a laptop or PC the audio quality will be fine. If you plan to stream it on your television, though, be ready for the music to blast you out and the dialogue to be a whisper. Otherwise, as a fan of low budget, indie horror, Predatory Moon is amazing. I actually had a chance to meet Shiva Rodriguez in September at the Women in Horror Film Festival and talk about Predatory Moon as well as some other projects she and partner/star Duckie D. Rodriguez have in the works. Being more than a bit over-critical of her work as most creative folks are, she talked about what worked and what didn’t work about the production of the film. A lot of work went into the finer details of the movie, including the anatomically correct werewolves which, as far as I can tell searching through the archives of werewolf movies I’ve seen, has never been done before. Most filmmakers opt to leave this and other regions shrouded in fur either as a cost-saving measure or simply out of ease of design. But, in a decision that does add to the overall effectiveness the werewolves, each one is a completely formed man/dog hybrid and exactly what you’d expect to find if encountering the mythological monster in person. Predatory Moon is free with Amazon Prime and currently streaming. If you’re a fan of indie horror, werewolves, or just something bizarre and different, you’ll definitely want to check this out. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.