Savage Harvest

Savage Harvest

Cryptkeeper's release of Eric Stanze's brutal 'Scrapbook' was without doubt the most daring and exciting releases of 2002, so I was somewhat excited at the prospect of checking out the release of Stanze's splatter flick 'Savage Harvest'. But would this film meet my high expectations of the standard that had been set by 'Scrapbook' or was I about to be somewhat disappointed?

As the film begins you realise very quickly that this is by no means in the same league as 'Scrapbook' but in fact is an all out low budget splatter flick very obviously inspired by everyone's favourite undead shemp classic 'The Evil Dead' but here the budget is debatably non existent. I wont go into the finer points of the plot as there isn't really one to be had, well I lie�take a group of group of young folk, send them out to spend the weekend in an old abandoned (but cursed) Indian reservation, send in some demons to possess said youngsters and let the gory fun commence!

And yes, pretty much the point of this movie is simply to act as a vehicle for its countless splatter set pieces, but is this enough to carry the movie as a whole? Well yes and no, depending on how tolerant you are for ultra low budget excess. The film bares no resemblance to what director Stanze is capable of, in fact plays very much like a school project - the acting is trashy, the plot is contrived and way too talky�but on the other hand the gore scenes are thoroughly entertaining and truly deliver the blood squirting, brain mulching goods! So approach this one with caution, perhaps strictly for the most forgiving splatter fans only.

Now how about the films presentation? Well following suit from the ultra no budget the film looks exactly like you would expect a shot on video production to look, i.e. like a video - sure the image is stable and clear enough but is lacking in colour and slightly grainy (obviously from the masters source). Annoyingly the audio doesn't fair much better with the spoken dialogue coming across quite muffly which means you're cranking the volume right up to try hear what the cast are saying only to swiftly turn the volume down again every time the music/effects kick in and drown everything else out!

Sadly also (or perhaps some may say thankfully) every time I reached the last six minutes or so of the film the disc kept freezing up and gave up trying to play, though it doesn't look like I was missing anything (well it seemed about time the credits should be rolling) but I'm sure Cryptkeeper will address this problem with possible future repressings.

Extras? Yeah well there's a nice enough 11 minute 'behind the scenes' segment but by this point I had pretty much given up the ghost and was past caring about what I was viewing (well the audio level problems from the main feature were inherent here also).

It honestly pains me to say this, but after the brilliance of Eric Stanze's 'Scrapbook' and Cryptkeeper's equally perfect DVD release (which you must simply buy right now if you haven't already done so), 'Savage Harvest' whilst having many moments of gory fun is a great disappointment and again similarly Cryptkeepers presentation is unhappily a let down also. Well I suppose even the best can't always be so great - better luck next time.

Review by Alan Simpson

Released by Cryptkeeper
Region All - Pal
Not Rated
Audio - English
Extras :
Making of documentary