The True Horror Of ‘Savageland’

Welcome to October.

This is a month of personal Celebration. Anyone who knows me knows that I wait all year for this jewel: through the sour Winter, the shitty Spring, the unbearable Summer just to be delivered to these shores of Autumn goodness, starting with colors in the trees and ending with the crunch, crunch, crunch of leaves. I live for this.

And of course…Horror. The fictional kind. Not the ‘walking around in a plague ridden wasteland while zombies are flying US flags’ type of horror. (Note: VOTE!)

Though sometimes a movie walks the line so expertly that you can not …not believe in the story.

Its not new news that many horror films are socially conscious. Zombies = Consumers. Slashers = degrading morals of the new generation. Godzilla = Amazon. But when you base a fantastical movie with cue and current social issues…and film it in the Found Footage style….something bigger can come from it.

A note on Found Footage: I have a problem. It is not that I don’t like Found Footage…it is that I LOVE Found Footage and will watch every terrible Found Footage movie that gets released. And many of these are bad.

I always feel a kinship for these unknown horror directors who somehow cobble together the money to make what is the cheapest type of horror film. You just need a few friends, a few actors and an imagination when it comes to effects. It is really a problem for me.

I will die of this sickness in time and expect my grave to be plundered by drunk teens with Go Pros…but I will be waiting for them….

Not why we are here.

This is about Savageland. You can find this movie steaming for free in many places and I suggest you take 1 hour and 20 minutes out of your life.

But understand….you can not escape from the monsters in this one. Cause we are them.

The story takes place in Arizona. I never had a concept of Arizona in my brain. I knew it was hot which was enough to cross it off my global checklist. I did not know it bordered Mexico. I did not know until 2016 that there was a pretty healthy redneck population.

A person who I trust once told me it was the worst place on the planet. I believe her now.

The story is put together as a TV Style documentary with old news footage and current talking heads, police and mourning families It tells the tale of a massacre that occurred in Sangre de Cristo (don’t look it up …  the town if fictional too) where one man went mad and killed 57 men, woman and children in the most awful ways imaginable. Which was deemed as impossible as that much mayhem would need a team of killers in running shoes … but you see…he was Mexican.

The movie is rife with people speaking to how our Country was being over run by said Mexicans and many people say terrible things during the interviews. This was pre Trump by one year BTW….and that speaks volumes. Wonder how we got here? There are parts of the Country that were ALWAYS there and waiting.

So one impossible act, with one day laborer slaying an entire town. Except…. He took pictures. And what is on these pictures does not work with what he was ultimately electrocuted for.

You need to watch this. I’m not going deeper into it cause … you need to see this. It’s a great Horror movie.

The terrifying part is that thought the horror is faux, the attitudes, the xenophobia is not. And that is more chilling than the scariest thing crawling form the deepest darkest swamp.

It is 2020. You don’t need a costume this Halloween. Just wear your normal street clothes. We are the monsters our parents warned us about.

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