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Side Sho (2008)

Side Sho


Side Sho, the debut feature film from Lucky Kitty Productions, is so well made that it's out of place here at Film Apocalypse.  Although some of the better films that get sent in are around the quality of a made-for-TV movie, they're almost never as good as a major studio release.  The quality of Side Sho may not be quite as good as a film that you would see from a major studio today, but it's definitely pretty damn close.  With the exception of some minor issues with inconsistent volume and a few scenes that were a little bit too dark, it's at least as good as the quality of this kind of movie from the 1980s and early 1990s.  In fact, a lot of those movies were too dark, so I guess the lighting doesn't even prevent it from being of comparable quality.  All in all, there's not much about the quality that prevents Side Sho from being an enjoyable film; and for an independent production, that's really saying a lot!

I often read that a film is created in the tradition of some other classic movie in the genre.  Usually, all that means with a low budget film is that the people who made the film were very influenced by the classic movie and tried hard to make a similar one, but didn't come anywhere close.  That's not the case with Side Sho.  Lucky Kitty Productions proclaims that Side Sho is made in the tradition of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, Just Before Dawn, Sleepaway Camp and House of 1,000 Corpses.  The fact, is Side Sho just about stands right up there with these other classic films.  The story is about a family on a road trip who takes a back-roads detour through the swamp so that the father can photograph some old side show remains for his upcoming coffee table book of roadside attractions.  When things get creepy, the father decides to get the hell out of there and the family hits the road, but soon after leaving, car troubles strand the family in the middle of no-where with a bunch of deformed freaks who have their own twisted plans.

Director Michael D'Anna clearly knew what he was doing and was able to capture amazing performances from all of his actors throughout the entire film.  John David Hart stands out as absolutely amazing in his portrayal of John Goodall, the family's father.  Actresses Toni Robider, Dana Poulson and Elizabeth Bailey freak out and scream convincingly while playing the parts of not quite helpless, victimized women.  Actor Hunter Ballard also delivers a great performance as the youngest member of the Goodall family, Cory Goodall.  In addition to great acting, Side Sho offers gore galore!  Not only is there a lot of gore, it's done well and in several instances, there are unique examples of gore.  The special effects crew in this film did an excellent job of delivering the goods.  There isn't much skin, but there is one boob and some old pinup girl photos on the wall during one scene.

My recommendations usually come with the disclaimer that you have to be a fan of low budget or no budget movies to enjoy one of these films.  I usually make some kind of mention that you have to look past the bad acting, low production quality, bad audio, poor lighting, etc., but that's simply not the case with this film.  Side Sho is an awesome film and I encourage any fan of movies like The Hills Have Eyes or House of 1,000 Corpses to check it out!  I'm looking forward to more great films from this company.

Gore-o-meter rating: 4 out of 5
(Gore galore!)

Skin-o-meter: 1 out of 5 (one boob and some photos on a wall)