Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Killer Mammal Week: Revenge of Billy the Kid

Raise your hands if you've heard of this movie!  This 1991 horror comedy comes to us from Britain, a land of class, sophistication and Mr. Bean.  More importantly, this film comes to us because they saw Peter Jackson's early films and said 'we could do that!'  A mere three years after Bad Taste's release and two years after Brain Dead's (aka Dead Alive), this film hit the land across the pond.  Coincidence?  Nope.  In case you hadn't figured it out yet, this film is not about the infamous outlaw.  No, this film is about a giant man-goat hybrid.  Get it?  Get it?!?  I should note that this is the final film featuring British's horror/stage actor Michael Ripper.  You really can't pick your last films can you?  You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll want to shoot the stars of the...
The film centers around an inbred family living in the 'boondocks' of the English countryside.  Yeah, these people don't sip tea or read Jeeves & Wooster.  The whole point of this is to film about 20-25 minutes with pointless comedy and side-characters.  Ultimately, this leads to a man having sex with a goat.  It bears a child, which he tries to kill.  A girl at the farm saves it, however, leading us to the actual plot of the movie.  Thanks for the filler!
With the monster finally in place, the movie can commence with the killing.  We get a couple decent ones, including the one you would suspect.  That's right- the baby daddy turned murderer gets got!  The goat monster is kind of cool here too, although he's clearly just a giant mask on a suit performer.  During all of this, we get a sub-plot involving our Final Girl and her boyfriend having a forbidden romance.  Yeah, whatever.
All of this leads up the man-goat's rampage reaching a head.  He attacks the farmhouse proper, terrorizing our Final Girl.  In a moment right out of Jackson's films, the male lead gets suited up for action, drives in dramatically...and his chainsaw shorts out.  Yeah, it's a horror-comedy made after Evil Dead 2, so of course a chainsaw is involved.  They try to drive away Prom Night 3-style, but that fails too.  In The End, they trap the creature in a barn and set fire to the thing.  All's well that burns well.
I like half of this movie, at least.  The plot of this movie is silly, but it kind of works.  It's an awkward mix of comedy and horror, sure.  Ultimately, the movie is fun for it's silly tone, goofy action and actually-decent effects.  Sure, it does feel cheap at times.  I can't ever really say that I was annoyed with the movie.  The beginning section was pretty superfluous, but it does have its place.  Could it have been toned down or trimmed?  Yes.  I think the movie still works.  If you're like me and never heard about the film until recently, do yourself a favor and check it out.  I can't guarantee that you'll love it, but it will leave an impression on you.   Plus, they blow up a chicken.
Next up, did you ever wonder what Jonny Quest would look like as a live-action film?  Well, look no further than this film with killer dogs and red ostriches.  Stay tuned...
Revenge of Billy the Kid [VHS]  Revenge of Billy the Kid

1 comment:

  1. I rented this from Netflix a while back. I was disappointed in it. I think similarly to you, I enjoyed about half of it. It wasn't funny enough or scary enough or exploitative enough. It has an outrageous plot, but it never really flies away with the idea the way it could have.