DEATH RANCH **** UK 2020 Dir: Charlie Steeds. 78 mins
Set in Tennessee USA in the 1970’s, African American Brandon Cobbs (Deiandre Teagle) escapes from jail and meets up with siblings Clarence (Travis Cutner) and Angie (Faith Monique). All three take refuge in the old family farm, now abandoned, til the heat is off. During the night Brandon hears a woman screaming and goes to investigate. He comes across a black woman surrounded by members of a KKK cult. He saves her but just before she flees she tells Brandon to get the hell out of there before they find him as they are not just out to torture black people but will eat them as well. Brandon, Clarence and Angie find themselves trapped and tortured by the Klan and need to use all their strength as a family to fight these cannibalistic monsters.
Charlie Steeds (ESCAPE FROM CANNIBAL FARM, THE BARGE PEOPLE) has well and truly nailed it with this one. Incredibly well acted by all involved, at first you start to think that it is a bit slow to start but you soon realise that they are building up to something good. The three siblings work so well together with Teagle putting in a top class performance. The Klan themselves at first come across as quite foreboding but as the movie progresses you realise what a bunch of bungling rednecks they really are. With names like Cletus, Bubba, Jo Bob and Gator what do you expect? There are some spectacular gore effects in this with a fabulous selection of weapons. Alongside some graphic intestinal destruction, scenes of torture and literal ball busting there is a great sense of purpose to it all and you really do route for the perilous perpetrators. Annoyingly at times some of it doesn’t quite flow as smoothly as other parts of the movie do but I can’t quite figure out why. I think at times it falls into the same trap as other revenge movies often do in that the more far fetched it gets the continuity also falls by the wayside and you kind of lose touch with it. They seem to be aware of that fact though and they get it back on track. The soundtrack is absolutely brilliant with a very 70’s action/cop movie theme courtesy of The Soul Motivators. DEATH RANCH is oodles of fun and an incredibly entertaining movie. A great effort from Steeds and makes me want to watch out for more of his stuff.
Review by Sarah Budd