Livestock (2009) & Trilogy of Blood (2010) … The Indie Scene Triumphs Again!!

This past weekend I watched a bunch of indie horror flicks and was overall pretty impressed with the offerings.  The films I watched were all entertaining and spanned the gamut from the suspenseful to overly ambitious to the gory.  LIVESTOCK and TRILOGY OF BLOOD have once again proven that if you’re looking for entertaining, original genre films ya gotta turn to the indie scene.

LIVESTOCK, written by Christopher Di Nunzio and Melanie Kotoch and directed by Christopher Di Nunzio, is quite an ambitious film.  The story involves the global conspiracy of a secret society that during the full moon kidnaps unsuspecting people for “The Feast.”  The film begins with a nervous Victor (Fiore Leo) sitting in a town car.  In comes Edgar (Robert Hines), a man of obvious clout and power, who tells Victor that he and the other leaders of The Pack have decided to promote him within the organization.  At this point what the actual organization is is kept a mystery but it’s apparent that it has far reaching tentacles in every aspect of society.  They have Pack members in all levels of the government and media and they are currently in the process of buying up tons of real estate.

This 1st date is NOT going well!!

In another story thread Annabel (Johanna Gorton), who has just gotten out of a bad relationship, is preparing to go out on a date with Jerry (Matthew Phillion).  Annabel’s best friend Tina (Christina C. Crawford) has a low level job in a company and she’s hoping to climb the ladder.  She’s supporting Annabel’s new date.  As you can guess, these two story lines come crashing together towards the end and have horrifying effects on all involved.

LIVESTOCK is, without a doubt, a very ambitious film.  Made for about $300,000 Di Nunzio has one helluva vision he was hoping to put on film.  The acting, especially from Fiore Leo, is strong and there are only a few instances of overacting from some of the cast members.  I was actually really interested in the story and right from the opening frames (the meeting between Victor and Edgar) I was hooked as to what was happening and what this secret society/global conspiracy was all about.  But the pacing of the film was on the slow side and there were many many scenes that were drawn out and slow.  Considering the run time was a meager 76 minutes I was expecting a tight, fast paced film.  So it really took me by surprise that there were so many shots where the camera would linger on empty scenes and hold long shots of nothing.

Victor (Fiore Leo) puts in a great performance here.

The other problem I had with LIVESTOCK was that the actual global conspiracy seemed confused and muddled, like Di Nunzio couldn’t decide on what he wanted this conspiracy/secret society to be.  We get hints that they might be vampires, werewolves, or a satanic cult (at one point The Pack is referred to as “The Order of the Eleven Wolves”).  But it turns out to be none of the above explanations, and honestly the actual explanation wasn’t all that exciting.  It was a bit of a letdown.

Shot in only 16 days LIVESTOCK has its problems but is overall an enjoyable film that will keep your interest.  Di Nunzio is a talent to keep your eye on and I’m looking forward to seeing how his career progresses as he gets more films under his belt.  It’s also refreshing to get some friggin’ originality in a genre film.  With all its flaws LIVESTOCK is still more entertaining than bigger budget Hollywood turds like THE RITE and MY SOUL TO TAKE.  LIVESTOCK is worth a look.

My Summary:

Director:  Christopher Di Nunzio (and writer)

Plot:  3 out of 5 stars (great idea hindered by a slow pace)

Gore:  3.5 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

TRILOGY OF BLOOD is a whole different beast from LIVESTOCK.  TRILOGY is a film my buddy Shaun over at will love:  It’s full of H.G. Lewis-style gore and psychobilly music.  The film, in fact, was written by the founder/singer of the psychobilly band DEADNEKS, Joey Broy.  The set-up is simple:  Three rather plump girls (Elyse Carr, Tisha Gardner, and Brenna Lee Roth, yes that’s David Lee Roth’s daughter) are driving through the backwoods of Virginia when they decide to pick up an ultra redneck hitchhiker (Joey Broy).  The hitchhiker invites them to a good ‘ole fashioned barnyard dance and BBQ, but unfortunately for the girls these just happen to be redneck cannibal hillbillies (and man did they hit the jackpot with these three girls; each girl has to weigh well into the 200’s).

TRILOGY doesn’t try to pretend to be anything more than what it is.  This is a fun, goofy, gory film where we watch plump chicks have sex and then get killed in very Herschell Gordon Lewis-like ways.  The gore is not very convincing (just like Lewis’) but there’s a lot of it.  We also get to see three performances by the high charged psychbilly group the DEADNEKS.  Yes this comes across as more of a long music video with some gore in it and that’s the point.  This is also filmed to look like an old-school grindhouse flick, with grainy film stock full of scratches and jump cuts.

If you were a hillbilly cannibal you’d have hit the jackpot w/ these 3 girls!!

TRILOGY won’t break down and reinvent anything new in the genre but it will transport you back to the times of grindhouse cinema and when H.G. Lewis roamed the streets free to coat everything in blood and gore.  Plus if you like watching rednecks hump tractors and run around naked except for a sock on their cocks then you’re gonna enjoy TRILOGY OF BLOOD.  It’s a fun “buddies and beer” flick.  Check it out!!

My Summary:

Directors:  Rick Kelley & Charlie Ruckus

Plot:  3 out of 5 stars

Gore:  6.5 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

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