its references to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
Night of the Living Dead, Straw Dogs,
House of 1000 Corpses and even Monty
Python, this is Alex Chandon's best and most accomplished
film to date.
Two urban care workers, Kate (Jo Hartley) and Jeff (James Doherty),
and the four young tearaways in their charge, Tim (James Burrows),
Sam (Nadine Rose Mulkerrin), Zeb (Terry Haywood) and Dwight (Chris
Waller), arrive in the picturesque Yorkshire village of Mortlake
as part of a weekend community service scheme. Things get off
to a shaky start: Tim and Sam glimpse what appears to be a group
of children in a field attacking a figure with a bucket over its
head, the cottage they've rented is in urgent need of repair (“I've
stayed in better squats than this”, remarks Kate), and worst
of all, the local pub ('The Dirty Hole') serves hairy scratchings
and lemonade that tastes like piss. An encounter with a trio of
inbred locals fronted by Gris (Neil Leiper), who had previously
accosted Sam outside the pub, leads to an increasingly hysterical
and splattery series of events as the group are terrorised by
the villagers, with the pub landlord Jim (Seamus O'Neill) revealed
as their flamboyant leader.
It really takes a Wes Craven or a Tobe Hooper to examine the tensions
that result in a group of city dwellers intruding upon an insular
rural community, but Chandon instead plays the whole thing for
belly laughs, with a series of gruesome, blackly comic set pieces
staged against a quintessentially English backdrop. The outsiders
are a mostly unsympathetic lot, but the genuinely freakish villagers
are enjoyably characterised, with Jim as the outwardly friendly
patriarch of a Texas Chainsaw-style 'family',
which include Podge (Dominic Brunt, from Emmerdale),
a chainsaw-wielding Leatherface type. In fact, it's by making
the villagers such a jolly bunch that the film is so watchable,
even when you're past the point of caring whether the urbanites
survive or not. The torture scenes set in a barn before an appreciative
audience with Jim as the blacked-up host are amusingly done, the
over-the-top gore effects range from disturbing to silly, and
there's a nice twist on the Final Girl device.
of the tawdriness that marred the likes of Cradle of Fear
and Pervirella, Inbred looks
great thanks to cinematographer Ollie Downey's capturing of the
North Yorkshire locations. Best of all, though, is O'Neill's performance
and 'The Inbred Song', a catchy ditty with an 'eee-by-gum' chorus
that O'Neill performs with his cronies (among them Neil Keenan,
the song's composer). Emily Booth appears briefly as an axe victim
at the beginning of the film.
The extras consist of a trailer, a video diary, a 'making of'
documentary, behind-the-scenes footage by Keenan and associate
producer Michael Sanderson, and a set of deleted scenes.
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