REVIEW: Chickens Blood (2019)

Synopsis: A professional wrestler and his friends get lost on their way to a wrestling event, and end up in corrupt, racist, deep-south town, run by a violent drug dealer and his crew. Soon everyone finds themselves being stalked by an evil clown named Happy, who is hell-bent on getting vengeance on the gang leader...and anyone else who gets in his way. 

The new film from director Korey Jordan, was one of my most anticipated of the year. I've been following the progress ever since it was announced on social media, and have been anxiously waiting to get my hands on it. A movie that combines pro-wrestling and horror? I'm in.

When Pete (Ryan Grooms, Morbid, Door 1 of the 5 Doors to Hell) and his friends get lost on their way to Pete's latest booked wrestling gig, they end up in a small town somewhere in the backwoods of Tennessee, and find themselves entangled in the middle of a violent war between a local drug gang and a sadistic clown, Happy, who is out for revenge.

This movie is an absolute stand-out from some other recent indie horror released as of late. While the story itself takes from several other horror films, the introduction of the Happy character is unique and, original, and totally awesome. His kills start slow enough, as he hacks into people, mostly offscreen, with an axe, but the violence is amped way up by the third act.

One of the hardest things to do in indie and underground horror is make great gore. When so many filmmakers use the violence in their movies as a crutch for a weak story or to cover for bad acting and directing, the exact opposite is true here. The story is great, and all the characters are fun and likable. Chuck Conry, who plays John, is an absolute blast, and plays the perfect comedic wingman to Grooms' Pete. The extreme violence in this film isn't a crutch, it's a highlight, and they don't shy away from showing it all.

It's not just Conry who shines here, though. Across the board, the cast and crew of 13 Knot Productions slays it - no pun intended. Ethan Bouldin, who plays Sheriff Clayton, should be cast as the corrupt, bumbling police chief in every movie from here on out. He's perfect, and an absolute standout. Donald Farmer has the longest screen credits out of everyone in the cast, stretching all the way back to Dawn of the Dead in 1985 (and has featured acting and directing in B-Movie fare ever since) is insanely, hilariously perfect as the store clerk.

I'm a big fan of everyone involved in this film, as the same team is responsible for the horror/comedy anthology Door 1 of the 5 Doors to Hell, and the violent Morbid, both of which were directed by Chuck Conry, and featured director Korey Jordan in acting roles. Here, the roles are switched, with Korey writing and directing, and Chuck sharing co-writing and assistant director duties while starring. Knowing what kinds of movies these guys make was one of the reasons that I was anticipating this release, and I was not even remotely disappointed. They are the best in the underground at combining brutality with absolute hilarity. Chickens Blood takes a bit more of a serious tone than the others, but it still has several laugh-out-loud moments. The King Kong-is-an allegory-for-racism scene will never leave my mind.

Overall, Chickens Blood is an absolute blast; a straight-up, brutal, chainsaw rape of the senses that absolutely proves it doesn't take a million dollars to make a great indie horror film - as long as you've got a passionate team and gallons of blood and entrails.

Check out the trailer below, and visit their website for info on how to buy Chickens Blood, now available on DVD.

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