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Side Sho (DVD Review)

29 Jun, 2008 By: Matt Miller

Side Sho

Prebook 7/2/08; Street 7/29/08
$26.98 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for horror violence/gore, language, some sexuality/nudity and brief drug use.
Stars John David Hart, Toni Robider, Dana Poulson, Elizabeth Bailey, J.R. Reynolds, Hunter Ballard, Renee Derossett, Christopher Derek Lee, Bob Mumford.

Following in the footsteps of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses, Side Sho is an offbeat tale of terror that pits a suburban family against a clan of savage, inbred bumpkins.

The story centers on the Goodalls, who are on a road trip across Florida to take their daughter and her friend to softball camp. Along the way, the father makes repeated stops at odd roadside attractions so he can photograph them for a coffee table book he’s working on. Their final stop is an old, rundown sideshow and roadside museum of freaks that they stumble upon after getting lost in the back roads of the Deep South.

After getting a personal tour of the exhibits from a foul, one-eyed barker and meeting some of the local wackos, the Goodalls are ready to hightail it back to civilization. Unfortunately their minivan breaks down, leaving them stranded among the group of secluded mutant hillbillies, who seem to be the only ones left in the area.

Forced to spend the night in filthy nearby cabins, things quickly go from bad to worse when the sun goes down and the madmen from the sideshow move in and kidnap the women with the intention of using them for breeding. With the three ladies locked up in cages, it’s up to John (Hart) and his son to help their family escape the deadly carnival before the deranged mutants slaughter them all.

Despite being a low-budget slasher flick, and the first release from the Lucky Kitty production company, Side Sho is a real treat for fans of old-school horror. The film’s unusual characters, ghastly story and attention to detail throughout — from its electrifying score to the ingenious ways of killing people — make it more entertaining than a lot of the mainstream horror films out today.

Winner of the best feature film award at the 2007 Terror Film Festival, Side Sho is simple, scary and fun, making it the perfect summer rental.

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