Return to Splatter Farm
Dir. Jeff Kirkendall & Mark Polonia (2020)
Another series of murders is occurring on a Pennsylvania farm, thirty-three years after the original slayings.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I have to preface this review by saying that I have not seen the original, SOV cult classic from 1987, and I can’t find it streaming online anywhere either. However, from everything that I’ve read, you only really need to know that a lot of murders happened long ago in the same location as this film, so it doesn’t seem like I’m really missing much by skipping the OG. Considering just this sequel, which certainly stands alone, we have a nice little indie horror that is chock full of gore and nudity. What more can you ask for?
The gore effects were pretty stellar in a lot of places, though unfortunately there were some digital effects added that were very much out of place. I’m a practical fx guy, as I’m sure are most of the people reading this, so it’s always a mark against a film when they use the cheap digital stuff that feels like it comes from an iPhone app (and probably did). They make limited use of the digital stuff though, so it’s easy to ignore these sins and focus on the more well-done practical stuff. It’s a fairly straightforward, prototypical slasher film, complete with all of the tropes you know an love like the harbinger, the dropped cellphone reception, and the “cabin in the woods” aesthetic. It plays around with the tropes a little, but it’s dedicated to being exactly what it is, which is a fun, over-the-top, ridiculous indie slasher film. For what it is, it works well.
I always think it’s dumb when people review films like this and talk about how terrible it is, usually focusing on the action and the lacking production value. Like, what film did you think you were turning on? Did you really expect this one to wow its audience? What the fuck were you looking for when you turned on Return to Splatter Farm? Take it for what it is, man, don’t hold films like this to the same standard as some studio slasher or even some indie art film by a high-minded director and classically trained actors. These are a bunch of friends making a movie, and for that it’s pretty well-made. The actors are decent enough, the effects are fantastic for the budget, and it’s fast-moving enough once things start to get crazy. If you’re a fan of ultra-cheap slashers with a hint of comedy, you could do a lot worse than this one. It’s a bad movie, but sometimes those are the best.
Who this movie is for: Slasher fans, Indie horror lovers, Farm cannibals
Bottom line: While it’s definitely not a great film, Return to Splatter Farm hits enough of the high points to be worth a watch for the true slasher enthusiast. It’s dumb and ridiculous, but it’s an indie slasher that not a lot of people have seen. If you get off on decent practical effects, lackluster scripts with acting to match, and at least one interesting kill that you’ve never seen before, you’ll probably dig this one. It definitely feels like one that was made in the late 90’s more than something that came along in 2020, but that just helps to enhance the lost-to-history feel that indie slashers thrive on.