Saturday, August 22, 2015

Honey Britches (1971)



From a purist’s perspective, the movie Honey Britches doesn’t exist anymore. The low-budget crime/horror picture was produced and released in 1971 before falling into obscurity. Then, in the mid-’80s, schlockmeister Fred Olen Ray bought the movie, shot one new scene (more on that later), and recut the picture, selling the resulting atrocity to Z-movie distributor Troma Entertainment. Since that time, Troma has exhibited the re-edited flick under various titles, including Demented Death Farm Massacre. Yet it’s not as if some minor classic was lost in the process. Based upon the available evidence, Honey Britches was, is, and always will be awful. The movie concerns four criminals who escape New York with $1 million worth of stolen diamonds, then run out of gas in the rural south. After hiding their getaway car, the quartet walks to a farm operated by dim-witted religious nut Harlan P. Craven (George Ellis). An overweight slob in middle age, Harlan is married to a curvaceous young woman named Reba Sue (Ashley Brooke), whom Harlan bought from Reba Sue’s father in order to settle a debt of “almost $200.” What ensues between the country folk and the criminals is a Desperate Hours-type hostage situation punctuated with betrayal, lust, and murder. Featuring endless scenes about nothing and spellbindingly bad acting, Honey Britches (judging from the original scenes that remain intact) is exploitation cinema for the lobotomized, offering only a few nudie shots and some laughably cheap-looking gore as compensation for insufferable tedium. Fred Olen Ray’s ’80s additions are feeble. In addition to oppressive horror scoring that Ray uses to juice dull scenes of people wandering around the woods, the ’80s version features a frail John Carradine (who filmed his bit near the end of his life) reading perhaps three minutes of “ironic” commentary from cue cards. Carradine’s single shot is spliced into the movie at erratic intervals.

Honey Britches: SQUARE

1 comment:

Steven Thompson said...

George Ellis was the beloved TV movie host "Bestoink Dooley" in Atlanta for many years. He also played a character with that name in a no budget regional horror film of the mid-60s called THE LEGEND OF BLOOD MOUNTAIN.