J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Pitchfork: The Wrong Kind of Horror Throwback

In the urban legend and I Know What You Did Last Summer, the killer has a hook for a hand. Here, it is a pitchfork, because folks on farms spend a lot of time baling hay and mucking out stalls. This film could have stood a major mucking out as well, but here it is anyway: Glenn Douglas Packard’s Pitchfork (trailer here), opening this Friday in Los Angeles.

This will be Hunter Killian’s first trip home from college since coming out over the phone, so he has brought along the cast of Rent for moral support. Of course, his dad is gruff and taciturn, while his mom is all hand-wringy, so really nothing has changed. He also has a little sister Jenny, who displays Horse Whisperer talents. On their first night at the Killians’ farm, the kids through a barn dance, so they won’t notice Pitchfork skulking about outside, just like the drove right by the attractive woman getting killed during the prologue.

Naturally, it takes about twenty minutes for sexual jealousy to cause dissension within the ranks of the Scoobey Mystery Team. Matt would be the dog cheating on Clare the hottie with Lenox, the other hottie. Meanwhile, the voracious Flo is fulfilling her Amish fantasy, with a silent Pennsylvania German stud, who presumably gets to drive his buggy home safely out of the carnage, since Packard never bothers to tie up his loose end.

Pitchfork starts out mildly lame, takes a horrifyingly cruel turn in the third act, and ends on a laughably ridiculous, utterly offkey note. Therefore, you could say it covers a lot of ground, but none of it involves being smart, funny, or scary. It is all just an uncomfortable mess, but on the plus side, there are some short Daisy Dukes sported by the ensemble.

The screenplay penned by Packard and Darryl F. Griglio is derivative and exploitive, but what did we expect? It is just a shame Anisbel Lopez’s dog-walker is the first to die, because she shows the most screen presence. Let’s face it, there are much more inventive and ambitious horror films getting produced and distributed these days, so there is really no need to bother with junk like this. Not recommended, Pitchfork opens this Friday (1/6) in Los Angeles at the Arena Cinelounge.

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