Going all the way back to Tor Johnson (Plan 9 From Outer Space, The Unearthly) in the 1950s, professional wrestlers and horror movies have been a natural combination. Roddy Piper, (They Live, Hell Comes To Frogtown), Glenn Jacobs a/k/a Kane (See No Evil, See No Evil 2) and most recently Phil Brooks a/k/a C.M. Punk (Rabid, Girl On The Third Floor) among others have made careers in the genre. Now Gene Snisky who wrestled as Snitsky in the WWE is making his bid for fame with 100 Acres Of Hell which he stars in and co-wrote.
Snisky plays Buck Severs. A former wrestler who’s been in seclusion since an accident injured him and killed his wife and daughter. He suffers from PTSD and has a table full of prescription meds. His buddies Trent (Jeff Swanton), Morgan (Ernest O’Donnell) and Bo (Jim Roof, Primal Rage, Alyce Kills) however get him to join them on a “Bros Weekend”. That involves camping and partying at an abandoned wildlife preserve with a sinister reputation.
We know from the prologue set sometime in the ’70s, (President Nixon is on TV), that its reputation isn’t just an urban legend. Jeb Tucker (Sam Anoai, Samu in the WWE) is real. Buck is going to have to find his inner warrior if he wants to get out of Foggy Creek alive.
Apart from the age of the leads, 100 Acres Of Hell is a fairly faithful recreation of 80s slasher films. The woods with an evil reputation. A rural gas station selling meat of questionable origin. Inbred looking locals with dire warnings. And a killer who hates people drinking and having sex in his woods.
Unfortunately, it also has the annoying characters you can’t wait to see die. In this case, they’re Buck’s bros so they’re front and center much of the movie. And they are the most annoying assholes I’ve seen in a movie in quite a while. Bo referring to the girls he’s invited as the “Jailbait Express” is a particular lowlight.
Thankfully 100 Acres Of Hell delivers in the kills department and that makes up for it. There’s a mix of on and off-screen deaths. The ones we see are thankfully practical effects give or take a couple of shots of CGI blood. The scene where Jeb takes on a gang of bikers was a nice touch.
Director Hank Leigh Hump and co/second unit directors Lisa Lakeman and Ernest O’Donnell make the most of the dark woods and rural settings to create atmosphere. They also make the most Snisky and Anoai’s wrestling backgrounds to stage a great final confrontation that feels like a no disqualification match from the original ECW. Jeb’s animal skull mask would fit right in too for that matter.
There are even cameos by genre staples Eileen Dietz (Clownado, The Exorcist) and Genoveva Rossi (The Litch, Black Wake) as the “Backwoods Beaver magazine cover girl” for name recognition. 100 Acres Of Hell is a fun throwback. One that falls somewhere between Friday The 13th and The Hills Have Eyes. Right down to the WTF ending.