Southern Gothic (2008)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Hazel Fortune
News & Interviews for Southern Gothic
Critic Reviews for Southern Gothic
A bible belt literally red state vampire thirst quencher, with not so far fetched links between evangelism and vampire mythology. Including an undead born again self-proclaimed resurrected preacher savior promising eternal life to his drained flock.
Audience Reviews for Southern Gothic
"Southern Gothic" was written and directed by Marc Young. It stars Yul Vazquez as Hazel Fortune, a bouncer at a pole-dancing club who is an alcoholic recovering from the death of his little girl and his wife leaving him. The only thing that has captured Fortune's interest is the new dancer, Starla played by Nicole DuPort and her daughter, Hope played by Emily Catherine Young. When the Southern town gets overrun by a vampire preacher and his religious converts trying to "save" the town, Fortune has to overcome his own problems to try to save Starla and Hope.
"What kind of a name is Hazel Fortune?" one character asks. A weird one. This guy is anything but Donnie Darko. Vazquez appears to have one emotion -- being solemn. At first, one could wonder if it was a choice because of him being drunk all the time that he could be one of those quiet, sullen drunks. But no, even when the character stops drinking in order to babysit the new dancer's daughter, he can barely crack a smile. He never gets particularly angry, frightened, frustrated, or hysterical when the reality of vampires running amuck killing people he knows hits. He gets a few one-liners that fall flat and is a huge disappointment.
Nicole DuPort's Starla seems emotionally numb in the beginning looking at the turn her life has taken working multiple jobs as a single parent. She has to place her faith in Fortune to babysit Hope one night and doesn't come home because she is kidnapped by the lustful vampire preacher who wants to make her his partner.
There are lots of practical special effects of mirrors shattering, a head exploding, and even an arm going through someone's chest. The only issue here is that vampires can be killed apparently by shooting them enough times in the chest or heart. The only rule they keep to is the daylight rule of staying indoors. They can move fast when they want to and if you are drained, you're dead. If you only got a bite, you can to become a vampire whether you like it or not. There appear to be two factions of vampires: Those who accept their fate and rally to kill "bad" people and in unsuccessfully trying to kill the preacher end up making him more powerful as one of them. The other faction is the preacher taking his new gift as a charge from God to force his vengeance upon the people and "clean up" this town starting with the pole-dancing club he had spent time at the night before attempting to paw Starla. What a guy!
William Forsythe as the preacher, Pitt is apparently the big name star since he has the longest IMDB page and is billed as the star on the DVD cover. Sure he's evil and everything, but his part is pretty small. The man just can't take a hint when a woman says, "NO." His crazy religious fervor and sermons to his congregations are enthusiastic and hilarious, especially when you see the rednecks sitting in the front row looking at him in a worshipful way.
The effects are pretty good, vampires fighting vampires in a good vs evil sense is always exciting, and all the actors besides Vazquez can deliver on this film. My only complaint is a bit of a more charismatic hero was needed for any of us to care about him or believe him. For a low budget film that took three years to get to DVD, it looks fantastic in picture quality. If you like the southern vampire style of life in "True Blood", you could probably enjoy this too.
A Making of featurette is hosted by the little girl, Emily Young where she talks about the effects. All effects were done on camera, none with CGI, all practical with lots of blood. With storyboard, technical effects, and makeup, one of many effects explained is how one person smashes another person's face into a mirror with glass shards exploding away afterward which had to be captured in a single take to work. This is a great feature to learn the secrets behind effects in a low-budget movie to make them look more impressive. This movie did have fantastic effects with the blood and there is something very funny about this young girl gleefully telling about them. It only lasts about seven minutes. There are also other trailers on the disc including a director's cut trailer.
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