Director: Eric F. Adams
Cast: Austin T. Adams, Eric F. Adams, Joaquin Adams
Production Company: Nativebullet Films
Runtime: 127 minutes
Horror can be very versatile. It easily combines with other styles of filmmaking, to create new genres, such as horror comedies, and horror action movies. In the Hell of Dixie (2016) blends horror with police dramas, and comes up with something not often seen before.
In the movie, Ned Annison (Eric F. Adams) is a deputy who comes into conflict with the town sheriff over a missed promotion. When a masked psychopath starts killing off members of a local hunting club, the vindictive sheriff is quick to blame Ned for the murders.
The first half of the film is a straight-out police drama about unethical hiring practices, and a land dispute among hunters. There are only a few glimpses of the horror to come at this point, as the focus lingers on the mounting rivalry between the main characters.
In the Hell of Dixie has a much longer runtime than most independent horror films. The extended length creates the opportunity to flesh out all the characters, and explore the dynamics of the town in which they live.
The story slowly simmers over the course of one day, with almost all the horror elements waiting until the fall of darkness. In the Hell of Dixie becomes a more traditional slasher film in the later stages of the movie.
A tighter edit would definitely have moved the events of the film along a lot faster, but the character development would have suffered. There are many characters in this film, and some would likely have disappeared if it was shorter. In the end, it was probably best to keep the full length.
The musical score by Roly Witherow really adds to the atmosphere of the movie. The songs performed by Jackalopes, A Silver Mount Zion, The Ranchhands, Kettleback, Overbecks, and Albert Henry are also welcome additions to the film.
In the Hell of Dixie feels like a 70s film thanks to the pacing, the soundtrack, the film grain, and even the attitudes of some of the characters. That’s a major plus for me. There are also a bunch of bloody deaths, that are achieved in a variety of interesting ways.
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…