Warning: there’ll be spoilers, but that’s not really important in this case, trust me
Teacher Selina (Tiffany Brouwer) takes some students of her photography class
on a nice little weekend trip to the backwoods. Things would be all set for some
hot photography action, if not for the titular horde of mutant backwoods
cannibals looking for “Meat” and “Breeders”. In a semi-surprising turn of event
the cannibals are led by one of a trio of escaped convicts (Costas Mandylor) and
are part of said convicts’ meth cooking project.
Fortunately for Selina, she has brought her boyfriend John Crenshaw (John
Logan) on the trip, and John’s not only an ultra tough retired Navy SEAL but
also the writer and one of the producers of this thing, so things are looking
bad for rapey mutant backwoods cannibals.
Mixing backwoods slasher and direct-to-video action film isn’t an idea that’s
been used all too often - if at all - so Logan and his director Jared Cohn
certainly deserve some credit for that one. The gory bits aren’t too badly done
either but the rest of the film isn’t terribly effective.
The main problem is that Logan’s action hero belongs to the Steven
Seagal/Steve Austin (what is it with actors called Steven?) school of action movie protagonist, the sort of guy the film he is in worships so much, your typical literary
Mary Sue looks like a loser and an incompetent in comparison. Consequently, our
hero never feels to be in any danger from his or her foes, which does turn the action
scenes into pretty one-sided massacres for most of the time. In fact, John
dispatches most of the mutants so easily, I found myself rooting for the rapey
mutant inbred cannibal meth cookers, because John began to feel a lot like the
big kid in school bullying some poor losers. That he repeatedly murders guys who
have surrendered or are out of the fight for good doesn’t exactly help to
improve that particular impression. Turns out wholesale slaughter isn’t very fun
when the hero is never in any danger and even pretty unpleasant when the film seems to think the guy doing the killing is awesome. Not that the
bad guys aren’t horrible, evil, and so on, and so forth, but they’re so easily
overcome they’re most of all pitiful.
Unlike in many a horror film of related sub-genres, the film doesn’t use its
female characters for anything beyond being objects for the menfolk to fight
over, instead of using the genre mix to go for some sort of tag team between
macho killer – I mean “hero” - and final girl. But then, that would be clever,
perhaps even somewhat subversive and The Horde is anything but.
The film’s execution is okay. Logan makes a decent enough screen fighter,
Cohn is a generally competent director, and the script is dumb but doesn’t care
and at least never starts apologizing for its flaws. The word “watchable” comes
to mind, but then, what isn’t?