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Case Number 12647: Small Claims Court

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Creature From The Hillbilly Lagoon

Shock-O-Rama Cinema // 2007 // 86 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 21st, 2007

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson went to Hillbilly Lagoon for his honeymoon.

The Charge

It turns rednecks into deadnecks.

The Case

A corrupt corporation running genetic tests has been dumping its experimental runoff goo into a nearby river. As the laws of idiot B-movie plots dictate, this slime mutates the local wildlife, creating giant killer amphibian monsters. Worse, the sludge also has an adverse effect on anyone who comes into contact with it in the water, creating burning rashes, generating Waterworld-like gill mutations and generally driving the victims batty.

Add to that, the company has dispatched a hunter-killer squad to take out all infected persons and clean up their mess like a good evil corporation. Our heroes, aided by an undercover eco-operative, must escape both the killer frog monsters and the super soldiers and try to figure out who's behind all of this malfeasance.

Okay, enough. Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon is horrendous and a major waste of everybody's time and money. The end. Maybe the trying-too-hard title holds some allure to you, and yes there are broad caricatures of hillbillies running around, but don't be fooled: placing this disc into your DVD drive will take you to a place you may never return from and that place is Stupidland, the land of stupid people who've bought this DVD.

There is one thing that I liked about this movie: a swamp monster holding a teacup. That's it. The rest of the godforsaken runtime is taken up with inane redneck jokes, disturbing nudity, half-assed gore effects and a witless variation on a storyline you've seen many times before, providing you, like me, work for a DVD review site that sends you garbage low-budget straight-to-DVD monster movies on a weekly basis.

So don't get this movie, okay? If you happen to receive this as a Christmas present from someone who hates your guts, you can look forward to a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, commentary with the director, behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes and a crushing bout of clinical depression.

I don't want to waste any more key strokes on this disc, and because the review is way too short as it stands, please enjoy this bandwidth-padding true story that I call:

One Night in a Pizzeria in Utica
By David Johnson

When I was in high school I had a job working for Gregorio's Pizza, a grease-slinging, family owned and operated pizza joint on the corner of Eagle and Mohawk Streets in Utica, New York. It was my first hourly wage job and despite the aching feet and the omnipresent smell of frying oil, it wasn't a bad way to kill a few hours. Each shift I was given a free slice of pizza and a bottled beverage and my coworker was a spunky, easy-going Jehovah's Witness. As the months crawled by, I honed such skills as "wing smuggling," where I would toss in a few extra wings into the fryer for my own consumption, and a box-folding technique that was pure magic in motion.

During my tenure I also developed a fierce addiction to pizza dipped in Buffalo wing sauce, an idiosyncrasy I still maintain to this day, and something I'm sure has shaved minutes off of my life with each indulgence.

Life wasn't bad. The hours weren't oppressive, my belly was full, and I had a modest amount of money in my pocket (which I would foolishly use to buy things like NBA Jam on the Sega Genesis for the ridiculous price of $60). I had yet to attain the level of seniority that would grant me the privilege of sliding pizzas out of the big-ass oven, but some day, some day.

And then everything changed one night when a confused old man drove his Cutlass Supreme straight into the building.

It was 8:00 p.m., and the dinnertime rush had passed. We were into the home stretch of the evening, wiling away the time folding boxes, watching Frasier reruns and dropping the occasional ten-shot of extra-hot wings. This night was actually unique because it was the first time I was without my usual coworker, the aforementioned spunky, easygoing Jehovah's Witness. She had gotten married and left Gregorio's for bigger and better pizza parlors, leaving me under the watchful eye of the owner himself, a rotund, ill-tempered Jehovah's Witness. I was skeptical of the new regime.

So there I was, ringing up a pleasant-enough guy and my boss was in the back and suddenly the building shook and there was a sound like a tactical nuke and I thought it was an earthquake and my instincts kicked in and I turned and ran and next thing I knew there was debris and smoke and plaster and brick dust and the customer had been thrown over the counter and a car was sitting in the pizzeria.

When I gathered my handful of wits, I looked up and surveyed the scene: detonated soda cans littered the floor, the cash register was mangled, bleeding green paper and the two gumball machines had been destroyed, their delicious, round contents spilling from their breached hulls.

My boss dashed out, swearing, eyes bulging from his skull like they were lollipops making a break for it. The hapless customer who had apparently been on the receiving end of some fender action dusted himself off, miraculously unhurt. We each exchanged an "Are you okay?" and turned to a surreal sight that eclipsed even the scene of vehicular devastation in front of us: my big fat boss, who likely clocked in at 300+ and stood no more than 5'8" leapt the pizza counter like Jackie fricking Joyner-Kersee to investigated the damage to his business. Amazing the adrenaline was able to push its way through the cholesterol.

The epilogue. The driver was fine, just old and mixed-up. He had hit the gas instead of the brake, cruised through the intersection, smashed the customer's car and face-planted through the front wall of Gregorio's. The customer on the other hand, didn't fare too well, having been nailed by the Utica cops for an unregistered and uninspected vehicle, which, when you consider he had just hours ago become intimate with the business end of a sedan, goes to show you that God really hated that guy.

Me? I hung out in a holding pattern for a few weeks to see what was up with the wounded pizzeria, but eventually moved onto another job. The restaurant eventually did reopen, but I don't know how it's doing these days.

What I do know is this: minutes after the accident, my boss shouted at me to remove a slice of pizza from the oven.

I dropped it.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 50

Perp Profile

Studio: Shock-O-Rama Cinema
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Bad
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Audio commentary
• Deleted scenes
• Behind-the-scenes


• IMDb

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