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Review: Savage Harvest


Savage Harvest, an obscure gore flick from the gross-out mind of Eric Stanze. Filmed on a shoe string budget, this film showcases some outstanding gore effects and a fairly interesting story. If this is your bag, it may just be worth seeking out.

The plot, an elaborate story about ancient native American legend, cursed stones and a teen camping trip. Whilst the film has some lengthy ‘fireside story’ exposition scenes the finer points of the movies plot summarises to an evil dead-esk possession theme and a demon who is looking to enter our world through a viable host. Summarised further, go on a camping trip, touch the cursed stones, which of course they all did without recognising what they were, you become possessed and want to kill your friends!

Technically the film is a bit of a mess, and the transfer on the release Crypt Keeper really doesn’t do it any favours. Whilst you don’t expect the picture quality to right up there with the latest remasters (after all these movies were recorded straight onto VHS!), this is somewhat below par with regards to its grading, and in particular what you can (or can’t) see during the darker sequences. The same is true of the sound which clips, muffles and hisses interchangeably between scenes making the dialogue quite difficult to follow at times. Thankfully, this is hardly Shakespeare, and you can get the general gist regardless.

Needless to say the acting is ‘best mate’ standard as opposed to actual actors and the characters are your standard fodder – but honestly, you can live with that right? If the gore is good.

Which it is… very good in fact.

In an industry now dominated by computer generated effects it is very refreshing to see some good old fashioned prosthetic effects and this is a splatter movie which showcases some great examples. All of the impaling, dismembering and flesh munching is shown in great gory glory, indeed the above technical hang-ups don’t seem to impair the enjoyment of such scenes at all – if anything they add to the grittiness of them. It is clear where the budget went! The blood flows and is a satisfying deep crimson, and there is no shortage of gore sequences, and fully committed death scenes spread out sensibly throughout the films brisk 80 minute run time.

Overall, if you are looking to have a gore movie focussed evening then this is an ideal ‘B’ movie for such an event. The transfer on the Crypt Keeper release is somewhat poor (marginal above bootleg if I’m honest) but still, awesome gore! Be aware though, younger readers, this is a very typical release from a niche genre of 90s film making, perhaps check out some trailers if you can find to see if this style is something you might enjoy.

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