BLACK HOLLER (2017)
Directed by Jason Berg.
Written by Jason Berg, Rachel Ward Heggen, Heidi Ervin.
Starring Tamiko Robinson Steele, Paul Michaels, J.R. Robles, Vivi Vendetta, Rachel Ward Heggen, Dale Rainey, Sarah VanArsdal, Heidi Ervin, Elizabeth Hadden, Betty Williams, Bruce Ervin, Robert Ervin, Nicholas Hadden, Brad Edwards, Jesse Perry, Wesley Rutledge, C.J. Stanley, Stacy Gazenski, Leah Helena Miller, Lee McCue, Katie Gant, Basha Rush, Leah Fincher, Justin Tarrents, Brian Russell, Stayc Givhan, Miguel Otero, Robert Marigza, Jeb Poot Higginbotham, Brad Hinderliter, D.J. Buckley, Chad Riden, Jon D. Bumpus, Brian Russell
Find out more about this film here!
It’s 1985 and the newest student in town Laquita (played by Tamiko Robinson Steele) is the talk of the town. She shows up just in time for the class field trip to the woods to look for an ancient stone known to have mystical properties. When members of her class begin disappearing, Laquita uses her special set of skills to take on those who look to exploit the mystical stone in dark ways.
BLACK HOLLER is a horror comedy made in 2017. It’s pretty evident the film was made a few years ago mainly because of the racy humor that occurs throughout. Numerous times it is pointed out that Laquita is the sole black person in the group. There are off-color jokes all over the place that might lead to cancellation if said these days. But because of this no-fucks-given attitude towards humor, I have to say it was refreshing to see someone cracking jokes without hesitation. Sure, not all of the jokes land and some are downright stinkers, but there were enough jokes that work to keep me entertained. For example, there’s a guy named Brett whose catchphrase is “I won’t change for anyone.” but in every other scene he’s played by a different character. The lowbrow fart and sex humor worked on me too. This isn’t any kind of sophisticated comedy, but if you find lowest common denominator humor amusing, it’s there a plenty.
I can’t say the horror is as effective as the humor though. BLACK HOLLER seems to be riffing off of THE EVIL DEAD as the forest becomes possessed, alive, and full of vengeance. People are skewered with tree branches and hung by vines. There are some very rudimentary gore with plastic body parts tossed about and even some shoddy CG tossed in. The low fi aspects of these effects are supposed to add to the comedy, but didn’t really work for me.
I can’t fully recommend a movie for a few solid giggles and the balls to do racial jokes in this modern age, but the cast does seem to be somewhat talented and able to play it straight in the face of ridiculousness. It is quite funny to see these late twenty-somethings and older playing high schoolers. It’s an old school horror cliche, but it really stands out here and is played for laughs often. BLACK HOLLER is an extremely low fi film and I hope it is a stepping stone to bigger and better things. It made me chuckle a few times and some of the line deliveries are downright hilarious, but this horror comedy lacks the attention to horror for me to recommend.