Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Joe Estevez, Kathleen Benner, Jose Rosete, Dale Denton
Director: Guy Crawford
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
In the middle of nowhere lives a crazed and disturbed inbred family, the Barleys. When Donna Parker (Eleni Krimitsos) and her daughter Tabitha Parker (Jada Kline) stop for gas, little do they know what really goes on in Fl... more »
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A small gem destined to go unwanted and unappreciated...
Mark H. Deaton | Al Dhafra | 01/03/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Flesh, TX." is, first of all, not to be referenced under the banner of 'low budget'. It is just about a 'no budget' flick, with evidence in every direction while viewing the film that the producers were working with bi-weekly paychecks on a McDonald's salary. We're talking handheld camcorders, one deleted scene of silly-looking heavy gore and just a little blood splattered here and there throughout and, the film's biggest problem, the worst of audio, as a previous reviewer stated.
This film will never receive an honest five-star review, and the majority of people who purchase it will be disappointed with what they find. The DVD case screams 'tawdry sex and violence for your perverse entertainment!' but the design howls 'CHEAP' even louder. Which begs the questions, and begins this review from the most unbiased perspective I can muster (being, ultimately, a fan of the film, which I will explain), why would someone buy this film, what are they looking for in it, and does the film deliver on what's expected of it?
Well, we're not going to buy "Flesh, TX." for name actors, production value, special effects or an amazing score. This much is established from step one, which entails looking at the friggin' box, reading the title and observing that A. you've never heard of this movie before and B. Joe Estevez is going to be the most expensive thing about it. If it came under a more prestigious label, like Lionsgate, Tartan, Dimension Extreme or even, God forbid, Asylum Pictures, one could expect to jump into blood, guts, sex and the inherent promise of full-frontal female nudity that, regardless of whether or not it shows up during the course of the film, should keep you fairly entertained. But it doesn't.
No, the one thing we can discern from this is that if the viewer is buying this film they want, almost masochistically, to sit through a bad movie with laughable acting, no plot and the possibility of seeing not-believable-enough-to-be-grotesque scenes of torture, a smattering of rape and (maybe) cannibalism, along with prevalent nudity from women who aren't attractive enough to really muster the desire to see every inch of them in the flesh.
And? Does it deliver? Is this the celluloid equivalent of peeking under a rock in a muddy bank to see all the filth and squirming entities beneath? In a word, no. In several-
It begins, promisingly enough, with murder. Ten minutes in, for those who make it through the awful opening song, and we've set up all of our major villains, a sick inbred family bent on mindless killing, young (and surprisingly attractive if also appropriately white-trashy) Sugar being the bread winner, bar-hopping in town until she finds a meaty victim horny and dumb enough to follow her home for 'supper'. Thirty minutes in and we have established our heroines, a mother and her young (re: 12 young, not young in that good, high school cheerleader way) daughter, at odds with each other on a cross-country road trip. Sugar manages to aid in the disappearance of the daughter, her mother begins a mouthy but less-than-frantic search for her, and we now have the plot of the film, which I won't go into any farther.
And herein lies the problem with "Flesh, TX." which causes me to really, really like it and pretty much ensures most fans of exploitation (of which I include myself) will strongly dislike it. After the first thirty minutes, it's all story. And it's good. The leads are all hammy in their delivery, to be sure, but it's never painful to watch them. It's actually extremely enjoyable. Dale Denton (channeling R. Lee Ermey to a T in the role of the sheriff/father cannibal) is a hoot, Kathleen Brenner is an absolute joy to watch as Sugar and Jose Rosete manages to pull off the 'heart' of the family as dumb, stuttering Woody, despite a horrid wig and constantly being covered in filth. Joe Estevez as the town drunk, Elini Krimitsos as the main character trying to rescue her daughter and Jada Kline as the daughter are all watchable. Everyone in the cast is. The two bikers at the beginning are a bit stiff, but the dialogue was worth hearing it through.
And the script by the director and Kathleen Brenner is straight, funny, occasionally smart, lean and to the point, keeping the film fast-paced and constantly switching between each well-decorated set. Ultimately, I didn't care that I wasn't being constantly battered by nudity, torture, gore and violence because I was just having fun watching the movie, waiting for these characters to reach whatever destination they were headed for.
So what are the serious problems with it? Namely, the aforementioned audio. It clips in and out constantly, in nearly every scene. Sometimes you won't even be able to hear the actors speaking because the mic caught too much noise in the room around them. Sometimes the actors sound like their shouting in scenes where no one else in the room is supposed to hear them. Other times, entire scenes have had the sound removed and the actors had to be brought back in to record ADR (additional dialogue recording) to loop over their original performances, and it's terribly noticeable, especially in a pivotal scene between Tabitha, the kidnapped daughter, and Woody. The scene, meant to be sad and desperate, is made unintentionally hilarious as Jose Rosete is forced to overdub his original performance but can't keep up with the amount of stuttering he has to do to.
Also, someone tagged this product with 'nudity' and that I must strongly disagree with. There is a scene, very early on, in which Sugar's sister, Fancy, shakes the hand of a victim, sniffs her hand and falls back into a chair, immediately starting to grope herself and, 'ahem', other things, while her mother (a hideous woman with a sickeningly believable mole with a long black cluster of hair jutting out of it) watches intently from across the living room. That's just about it for the nudity. Less than a minute of breasts. This product should not be known for the nudity it has, as that would cause someone to purchase it under false pretenses.
And finally, my number one problem with the film as well as with the DVD itself is that, while the musical scoring is decent and sometimes inspired, the one actual song they've purchased or made themselves, I don't know, is terrible. It's a country song, and it sounds like Karaoke Night at the Lonesome Cowboy or the Rusty Spoon took a turn for the worse. It's grating on the ears, out of tune and nonsensical. And they play it over and over. It plays during the main titles, it plays shortly after that in the bar, it plays again in the bar midway through the film and again before the end. And what do they play for the end credits? The same dreadful song. But don't worry, you'll get to hear a looped twenty-second version of it on the DVD main menu screen, as well as EVERY OTHER menu screen. Don't try to escape it by watching the production stills in the Special Features, cause it loops three times in the two minute-span there as well.
The two other features, a deleted scene I mentioned earlier and some outtakes, are okay. Like the film itself, they are enjoyable, and it adds a little bit to the charm of the production.
"Flesh, TX" gets four stars from me because while I didn't get what I bought it for (from the nine-dollar bin at my BX) I was treated to a highly enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining no-budget genre film that I did not pause once. I was never bored, never felt the need to cringe at the acting, storyline, direction (some of which is stylish and very professional) or score (discounting the song). And unlike every other no-budget film alongside it, this one apparently cared about continuity errors, as there were only one or two instances that stuck out to me, and I was looking pretty hard once I realized they were paying attention to what they were doing. It's miles ahead of what it should be, but I strongly doubt it will find the appreciation it deserves.
That being said, "Flesh, TX." is a good movie just for the sake of being one, and any fan of that, coming in with an open mind, might find it to their liking as well."
Pretty bad... but fun to watch... kind of???
G. B. Schriever | Rochester, NY USA | 03/21/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Yep... as others have said, basically a NO BUDGET FILM!!! Audio is really bad. it would appear there was no room in the budget for someone to pay attention to details? Details, details... As I like the details to be right, I noticed too many wrong things. Examples are, bad audio including a scene at the family home, an out of the way place, with a lot of traffic noise in the background during conversations.
Then there's the main bad girl, Sugar... one scene her top is tucked under her bra, showing her belly... the next it's not, and then it is, and then it's not, and then... well, you know?! A scene near the beginning she's walking down the road showing her beautiful loose long hair and wearing a white top. You then see her walk into the bar and her hair's tied back, and she's wearing a red top. And now, what a surprise... she walks up to a guy at the bar and her hair's back down and wearing the white top again. Later in the movie you see her with the died back hair and red top again. What great editing??!!! In another scene, we see a little girl and her mother driving down the highway, the little girl sees Sugar hitchhiking as they pass by her. They pull into a gas station and guess who's standing outside? You guessed it... it's Sugar!! WOW she must have caught a real fast ride to get there before the others?!! ...Oh, BTW, it's time to notice the up/down top thing again!
Gotta pick on Sugar again... there's a scene where she wants to burn clothes and pours gasoline on the items in a barrel, then lights a match and throws it into the ALREADY BURNING items... yes we noticed, or at least I have!!
And then there's the one that I guess you could say bothered me the most... Did anyone else notice the arm patch on the police shirt, you know... the one that says, "Los Angles County" ... Well that really made me feel I was watching something in Texas, how about you??!!! For me, despite the bad audio and all the mistakes, of which I only mentioned a few... there's a lot more for you to find, it kind of made it more fun to watch, and the only thing saving this film is watching Sugar (Kathleen Benner)!"