Savage County 

Ostensibly a hillbilly horror film like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," it tracks a group of high school seniors who would never hang out with one another, much less make eye contact in the halls, heading out in the country for a day at the lake. One shovel to the head of a shotgun-toting old coot later, they're hunted by the dead grandpa's crazed family.

Those who get caught are strung up, branded and/or tortured to death, but in that quick-cut MTV style that means you don't see a damn thing. Meanwhile, the stuck-up popular girl who couldn't make the trip calls them on their cells as she's playing DJ via her webcam on her MySpace page. The most aggravating scenes show her fretting to her Internet audience over not being able to reach her friends, and then immediately turning chipper to say something like, “Now here’s Al Capone!” Then she plays a track by Al Capone (or whomever took the licensing check in that scene) as she rocks out. Yeah, whatevs.

The redneck family of serial killers is sooo tired, even if one of them looks like he could double for Willie Nelson, and another is a big ol' Bubba version of Broadway's "The Phantom of the Opera." The technology angle — text messages and handheld-camcorder footage fly — serves no purpose other to be "hip" and "edgy," but it's all one BFD.

As if to add insult to injury, none of "Savage County"'s teens is the least bit likable or sympathetic. Spend a few minutes with these clowns and see if you don’t want to wrap chains around them yourself, just to get them to shut their self-absorbed mouths. —Rod Lott

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Rod Lott

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