Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Bothered Conscience (2006)

A Bothered Conscience

Written & Directed by Dennis Smithers, Jr.

Keller McGavin...Dennis Smithers, Sr.
Lucas McGavin...Stephen Martin

Over the course of 30 years, no fewer than 42 people have gone missing from Ashley County, Arkansas; and they've all had one thing in common. All of them, whether hiker, poacher or wildlife photographer, had paid no attention to the myriad 'No Trespassing' signs and wandered onto the McGavin Family land. At which point they were quickly dispensed with and buried by Keller McGavin and his son Lucas.

The McGavin boys are solitary folks who take their privacy seriously. Self-proclaimed Protectors of the Land, for decades they have eradicated any and every person who dares to encroach. But in the backwoods of America, there's a definite Old Testament aesthetic, and the old adage 'Eye for an Eye' is not just a cool name for a band. It's a way of life.

When a relative of a former victim comes back for justice and leaves Lucas an orphan, he decides to take the same approach.  He shouts in a very Wrath of Khan manner:  "They'll pay, daddy! They'll all pay today!"

Without his father around to guide him (not that he was a role model, exactly), Lucas begins to lose his grip on reality at incremental paces. And the only thing worse than a blood-thirsty homicidal redneck chasing you is a crazy blood-thirsty homicidal redneck chasing you.

With an eye patch, of course!

Lucas keeps seeing (with his one good eye) hallucinatory images of his former kills--a manifestation of his BOTHERED CONSCIENCE, natch!  Granted, there's always the possibility that these aren't hallucinations at all. I've seen enough X-Files to know better than to discount anything.

I'd be lying if I said that this film didn't have promise.    The actor who portrayed Keller was excellent--a weathered and tough backwoods bastard, not to mention the father of the writer/director, this role must have been written with him in mind--and it would have been much more enjoyable if Lucas had been killed off instead.  The musical score was quite nice, too, a cross between generic rock and banjo twang, and it was suitably gory in that old school, low-fi, DIY way.  There is an essence of Pumpkinhead here, mixed in with a wee bit of Hatchet, but being reminiscent of two better films doesn't guarantee a winner.

In this instance I would have preferred a straight slasher flick as opposed to the dull and somewhat rambling nightmare of reality it became.  This movie also suffered from the fact that there was no Last Girl (or, for that matter, Last Guy, or Last Dog, or Last Anything)--there was nobody to root for here!  We spend 90 minutes following around the villain, and not a very good one at that!  Not even the "twist ending" could save this one.  It came and went too quickly.

Just like Old Man Keller.

View the trailer below!

Not Rated
87 Minutes
United States

(Purchase from

"Hell won't hold me, you son of a bitch!"

1 comment:

  1. too bad it wasn't a better flick. the idea of a seeing a slasher through the killer's eyes and perspective instead of from the victim's perspective sounds like a movie idea who's time should have come already.

    that said i have a beard very similar to the scarred up guy in that pic. seeing it on him i think i might need to trim it.


What do you got to say about it!?


Related Posts with Thumbnails