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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

DVD Review: SAVAGE HARVEST 2: OCTOBER BLOOD (2006)

---------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker---------
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Distributed by: Elite Entertainment

I had never heard of this film until Hayes handed it to me to review, but I was immediately intrigued by the cover. The artwork just screams ‘menace’. Since it is a sequel, I decided to track down the original SAVAGE HARVEST and watch it first; obviously, I like to know what’s going on if at all possible, although some of my friends might claim otherwise.

The first film is very low budget, but still entertaining. SAVAGE HARVEST 2 appears to have a higher production budget and is, to me, the better of the two films. If you’ve never heard of either movie, here is a synopsis of SAVAGE HARVEST 2: OCTOBER BLOOD:

Tyge Murdock, a successful director of low-budget horror films, has been chasing monsters his whole life. When an actor is accidentally killed on the set of his latest production, Tyge returns to his hometown to reassess his life. But all new nightmares await him there... His path soon crosses that of Ashley Lomack, his high school sweetheart who vanished from his life after a gruesome mass murder ten years earlier. The sole survivor of this massacre was Ashley's older sister Mikki. Consumed by the rumors of demonic possession surrounding the murders, Tyge soon finds himself trapped in a deadly chain of events. The demonic forces erupt once more for another night of terror and carnage. Tyge, Ashley and their friends must now unravel a bizarre mystery as the night of gore-splattered violence engulfs them!

Although they tie in together, I’m going to focus solely on the sequel for this review.

Much like DEAD MOON RISING (see review here), SAVAGE HARVEST 2 is a true labor of love. It is low budget but fun, and I would bet the production team had a blast while making it. The film was shot in and around the St. Louis, MO area, which is (technically) just right up the road from me.

I love the way this film is shot. Director Jason Christ did the cinematography for the film and did a great job. I especially like the stationary shots that we see during the opening credits. Christ captures a true rural feel with these scenes, which helps to set the overall tone of the film.

The music in the film is excellent as well, with many of the bands that provided the music hailing from around the St. Louis, MO area. I don’t know if the music was written specifically for the film or not, but it seems like it was, with each song complimenting its corresponding scene very well.

And the gore…wow. Excellent use of gore for SAVAGE HARVEST 2, I must say. My only complaint about it is that it takes a while before you actually get to see any. But when it starts flowing, it doesn’t stop and it’s very well done!

But even though it is entertaining, the film does have some shortcomings. For example, the plot does rely so heavily on the first film that you must watch it before you can understand what is going on in this one. You might say “Well, duh” to this, but there are many sequels out there that act as stand-alones and do not require the previous film to understand the plot. Also, for as effective as the gore is, the other special effects are not impressive. The possessed people appear to be nothing more than actors with yellow make-up on their faces and the occasional set of fake teeth. Not much to write home about, unfortunately.

With that being said, SAVAGE HARVEST 2: OCTOBER BLOOD might be one to check out simply to see what strong will and desire can accomplish on a modest budget. Although it’s not the greatest film in the world, I don’t feel like I wasted my time by watching it. Give it a look and see what you think.
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The 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD comes jam packed with extras, including 3 different commentary tracks featuring different case/crew members, a behind the scenes documentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, trailers, and 3 short films!


CLICK HERE
to watch the trailer and purchase the DVD

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