• Kelly M. Hudson

Whiskey Mountain Take My Mind!

A couple of couples take a vacation/expedition into the Appalachian Mountains with a treasure map in hand and dreams of good times and riches in their minds. The map was drawn by the grandfather of one of the members of the group and instructs them to travel to a place called Whiskey Mountain and it will lead them to buried antique Confederate rifles worth a lot of money. The group enjoy themselves, riding motorcycles and playing pranks on each other. Everything is fine, until they run across a passel of locals that don’t appear very happy with their arrival. Turns out, these dudes have a big cash crop of drugs out there and they’re afraid the treasure-hunters will come across it and cause them trouble. You know what happens next. The rednecks capture the two couples and separate them. The women get assaulted and the men manage to break free and flee to a small town where they plead hopelessly with the local law for help. The sheriff isn’t budging, so the men arm themselves and go up into the mountains to free their women.

The last movie of the William Grefe collection I’ve been reviewing all week, Whiskey Mountain is a tasty slice of 70s exploitation. You got a little bit of Deliverance in here, some Race With the Devil, and plenty of nasty violence. The first half of the movie can be a bit tedious; there’s lots of nature shots and moments of the two couples hanging out and not doing much of anything. Laconic might be the proper word for the pacing. But once the rednecks show up, it’s on, and things get harrowing and ugly after that. As usual with Grefe, he doesn’t hold back on the nasty once it gets started. There’s a rape scene in this movie as harrowing as anything I’ve ever seen, and yet you never see the rapes happen at all. He masterfully plays the sounds of the women being assaulted and the sickening groans of the rednecks over a montage of slowly developing Polaroid Instant picture shots that reveal the women in frozen screams and physical resistance. It was disturbing on a maximum level and yet it is never visually explicit. The shotgun violence is tasty and the storming revenge of the men is too short but quite enjoyable. And lest I forget, the movie was scored by Charlie Daniels, so there’s lots of great Country music flowing in the background.

Whiskey Mountain is the kind of film they don’t make anymore. It is steeped in 70s Southern gothic and mixed with lots of Yankee indignation. A bit uneven in tone and pacing, if you can stick through the first half you’ll find yourself a very mean exploitation flick on the backend, one filled with violence and an unrelenting grimness that can stain your soul. It’s not an easy ride, but if you’re a fan of anything I’ve mentioned up above, it’s one you’ll want buy a ticket for.


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