Posted: 09/11/04
© 2004 Filmmonthly.com
Trapped (1982)
by Barry Meyer

Mix some moonshine and some murder and you got yerself a danged good time!


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Trapped (aka Baker County, USA) is like Deliverance as played to the Brat Pack generation.  A group of college students head to the hills for a little camping fun, but end up accidentally stumbling upon a local redneck (played to the hilt by the wild eyed Henry Silva) brutalizing a man who he caught buttering his wife's popcorn.  The redneck, along with his hillbilly buddies, have a good ol' time humiliating the gigolo in front of the entire hollow, as they tar and feather the hapless dude before beating the tar-nation out of him.  When the man lashes back, the redneck drags him into the woods and strikes him dead as the preppie kids unwittingly watch from atop a cliff.  After they are discovered, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse ensues, with the students trying to escape the mountaintop woods before the maniacal redneck can eliminate the witnesses to his crime.

I do love me some fine Redneck Cinema.  Sadly, Hillbilly Hollywood has gone by the wayside several years hence, so I just love to find a redneck flick I ain't never seen before.  Problem is, in today's Hollywood, there's a considerable lack of good ol' boy actors.  I mean, hell, when they remade Walking Tall - who'd they get to play Buford Pusser?  The Rock, for criminey's sake!  Man, do I pine for the heyday of actors like Matt Clark, RG Armstrong, Chief Dan George, and all those other cowboy and Indian dudes.

For all the moonshining in this flick, there's still quite a bit of violence, plenty enough for even a horror hound to enjoy.  Henry Silva - who you've seen tear up plenty a movie screen as wack-jobs in Alligator, Megaforce, and the original Manchurian Candidate - does an excellent job as the sadistic redneck who claims brutal control over the good folk who reside in his mountaintop holler.  He spends his days hunting bear and mauling women, and his nights swilling moonshine with the hillbillies.  Nicholas Campbell (you'd recognize him if you saw him) is one of the preppie kids, who's opposed to violence, but certainly musters up some bloody bile when he sees his gal pal's top ripped off by the psycho-billy redneck.  A real fire-drenched bloody showdown tops this flick off real nice like. Pass the Everclear!

Barry Meyer is a writer living in the hills of New Jersey.

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