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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Last Buck Hunt (2014): Bucking Expectations

The-last-Buck-Hunt movie poster

Led by an incompetent celebrity hunter, the crew of an outdoors television show goes deep into the woods in search of a legendary killer buck. What their search leads them to, however, may be more than any one of them had ever bargained for.

You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting an outdoors television show. Whether it be fishing, buck hunting or some form of survival, cable television is filled to the brim with shows dedicated to the outdoors. Heck, there are even a few television networks that are solely dedicated to such programing, and I am confident that they pull in a pretty strong viewership, too. Where we have seen a number of films dedicated to spoofing reality TV, mostly in the form of game/survival shows, The Last Buck Hunt has the distinct pleasure of being the only (that I am aware of) film that parodies a hunting show.

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The television program in question, "Who gives a Buck?", is an extremely popular deer hunting show hosted by the great Kenny Wayne (Zach Gold). Because you can’t always believe what you see on TV, Kenny’s reputation as a great outdoorsman is not nearly what it appears to be on television. In fact, Kenny is unfathomably inept and constantly has to rely on his father – who is a legitimate, award-winning and well-respected outdoorsman – to bail him out of embarrassing situations. Worse yet, Kenny’s lack of ability as a hunter is overshadowed by his incredible arrogance, which likely stems from his deep down knowledge that he is completely useless.

Kenny is followed by a small television crew deep into the woods, where they are shooting a special episode focused on Kenny searching for, and hopefully killing, a dangerous mythological buck. The crew consists of a cameraman named Steve (Cathan Bordyn), a sound girl named Alex (Briana Chicha) and a tracking expert named Remmy (Scott C. Brown), which is, of course, short for Remington. Both Steve and Alex are well aware of what a maladroit Kenny is, but the gig pays well enough to deal with his inability to function as a competent human being. However, when their outdoor adventure takes a deadly turn, the crew must decide what is most important to them: their well-being or cementing their fame by capturing the infamous buck.

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Directed by Becky and Nicholas Sayers, The Last Buck Hunt is a follow up to their 2010 micro-budget horror film, Break, which I enjoyed back when I reviewed it. In comparison to Break, what’s immediately notable about The Last Buck Hunt is simply how much Becky and Nick Sayers have grown as filmmakers after only one film. I would attribute a larger budget to having a slight impact on this improvement, but the real growth clearly comes from the filmmakers themselves. Everything from the cinematography, editing, sound, script, and dialogue is impressive, and undoubtedly light years away from what was done only three or four years ago with Break.

Driven by solid performances from the small but talented cast, The Last Buck Hunt is best described as a horror-comedy, but it’s the humor that best defines the film, and undeniably the biggest reason why it works so well. The jokes are funny, there are some good sight gags strewn throughout and the script, which was penned by Becky Sayers, is quite witty. Rarely, if ever, does a joke fall flat, which is more than can be said about 90% of theatrically released comedies.

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As far as the horror elements go, you won't find much in terms of “terror” in The Last Buck Hunt until the final act. Even then, however, it's the humor and complete insanity of the situation that drives the finale, not horror, and that is certainly not a mark against the film in any way whatsoever. The Sayers stick with a fairly consistent tone from the film’s start and right up until its final moments, and consistency is the name of the game with The Last Buck Hunt, as from top to bottom it’s a thoroughly entertaining and well-crafted film. 

There is no release date set as of this writing, so in the meantime, you can keep tabs on The Last Buck Hunt by heading over to the website at: The Last Buck Hunt

2 comments:

  1. First I've heard of it. I'll keep an eye out, sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely worth checking out!

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