31 Days Of Horror: “Happy Hunting”



Title: Happy Hunting
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Posted October 20, 2017 by

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If there is one place in the United States you wouldn’t want to be caught just walking through, it would be Bedford Flats. What appears to be a quiet town on the surface is actually a living nightmare if the locals can get their hands on you, as drifter and alcoholic Warren Novak (Martin Dingle Wall) is about to find out firsthand. On his way to Mexico to be with his kid, Warren finds himself in Bedford Flats seemingly making friends with the townspeople and planning on staying a short while before he hits the road again. Unfortunately the town doesn’t have much going for it and is at a loss of things to keep its residents entertained so they’ve turned to hunting strangers as a kind of sport.

Once Sheriff Burnside (Gary Sturm) has a group of people he sees fit to release into the desert and run for their lives, his gang of gun-wielding and baseball bat holding residents gear up for an event that doesn’t end until they’ve killed all of their targets. For those that don’t participate, Sheriff Burnside keeps them updated on their radios about what has occurred so far in the action. Sometimes it’s to let them know the party ended quickly with all of their targets getting killed, and other times it’s to let them know that some of their friends and family have been killed by the people they’re hunting.

Exploding heads, bullets coming seemingly from nowhere to take out someone’s eye, a baseball bat with nails stuck in it, and a man who wants his revenge on the guy that killed his lover are just a few things you get when watching “Happy Hunting”. To amp up the tension, Warren is feeling the nasty effects of alcohol withdrawals and must keep himself fueled on liquor in order to survive. “Happy Hunting” is a dystopian nightmare that is a helluva lot of fun to watch.

What I got from the film is that when stripped to our barest necessities, entertainment has gotten to the level that food and water are at, and “Happy Hunting” — while the extreme version of any subject its tackling — shows that humans will go to any length necessary to get that unnatural high while also finding ways to justify it so that it’s not us acting in some animalistic way but instead doing what needs to be done for the betterment of society. The only thing that makes us better than animals and the way they kill without consequence in the wild is our ability to rationalize it.

While the ending felt almost like a letdown after the action-packed beginning and middle stages of the film, “Happy Hunting” was still strong enough of a film to recommend to others. It’s to the point where independent films look just like their blockbuster counterparts and with stronger stories and creators that don’t care about mass consumption, some of the best films reside here. “Happy Hunting” is another strong case for that and is currently streaming on V.O.D.



One Comment

    Bee Noelani

    A fun addition to the human hunting sub-genre

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