There are a ton of reasons why I love this movie. The first being the geographical atmosphere. For me, there is a serious Dawn of the Dead vibe here which I'm sure owes to the fact that both movies were filmed in and around the Pittsburgh area. Possibly due to the fact that I'm from a rather rural area of New England, I've always had a healthy infatuation / lurking fear of wooded areas and the not so fantastical possibilities of bearded serial killers creeping around within them. Well, this movie was a complete manifestation of my weird and wandering imagination.
I remember first seeing this in a video store sometime in the late 80's and thinking that this would probably suck, then I turned the box around and saw a still shot of some bearded fat fuck in overalls slitting the throat of some hapless chum, causing me to renege on my initial response. Oh, nothing freaks me out more than bearded fat fucks wielding sharp objects, especially when they run at obscene speeds and eat their prey ! Well, there's no eating of human prey in this flick but, what we do have is a backwoods-satanic-serial killin' clan that likes to keep a well maintained stock of young chicky babies locked up in animal cages until the ritual throat slitting festival begins at midnight.
As the title of this article suggests, Tom Savini did the effects for the film and no, they are not his most provocative, nor do they suck. If anything, they're very much in the (severed) vein of Friday the 13th, especially in regards to slashed jugulars. Some of the other effects, such as the corpse of the clans matriarch are reminiscent of Savini's work in Deranged, which also has a similar feeling and tone, overall.
A lot of people bitch and complain about the theme song that plays pretty much throughout the entire length of the film. Personally, I don't mind the song and sure as fuck prefer it to all the groovy hipster "nu" metal / rap homo shit crammed to the brim in most modern genre offerings. My only gripe would be that it was seemingly stuck on fucking loop! I've seen someone refer to the song as being disco. Obviously they don't know what the fuck they're jabbering about since it is clearly more of a pop/folk number not too far removed from Joni Mitchell or early Bonnie Raitt. Oh well, no biggie.