Roscoe Boone is a backwater, Bible-quoting, con artist/preacher who runs a moonshine distillery in a rural Deep South town and whom controls his illegal business with a posse of redneck thugs who manufacture and traffic his moonshine whiskey and participate in his drinking sermons. But while Boone's business has support from half of the townspeople, the other half are against him especially when his preaching of drinking, free love and open marriage had led to the recent gang-rape of a young bride on her wedding day. Things get more complicated with the arrival of two Federal agents from the state capital whom threaten to shut down Boone's whiskey still for a variety of felony charges. But in another turn of events, one of Boone's most loyal followers goes on a killing spree after apparently taking Preacher Boone's bible quotes a bit too far, starting with the stoning of the young bride, and then the crucification of two other young women.
A Moonshine Film Wrapped in Religion
A redneck con artist (Jeffrey Allen) sets himself up as a preacher in a small Deep South town to run his moonshine distillery and clashes with a number of locals and a federal agent bent on shutting his operation down.
Although H. G. Lewis is known for his gore films, he also made some "southern" films and some "moonshine" films. This one is not gore, but it is certainly the other two. And it combined alcohol and religion in a very strange way... this cult seems more interested in drinking the "blood of Christ" than worshiping God.
This is definitely not the worst film Lewis ever made, but it is far from the best. Apparently he had access to a spare room in a radio station in Oklahoma and filmed most of this picture in there. The writing is good, the acting is actually decent, but it still falls flat. Outside of Lewis fans or those who want to see Larry Drake in his debut role, I am not sure exactly what the appeal might be.
Yay!! a sleep-inducing version of Moonshine Mountain, just what I always wanted.
Alright, fine, maybe that was a bit harsh, but Herechell Gordon Lewis's original Hixploitation epic was totally entertaining, but this one... it just gives me no reason to stay awake. Why I care enough to actually take the time to write a review of this movie doesn't really make much sense, now that I think about it, but I have come this far...
While this film may seem similar to Moonshine Mountain, This Stuff'll Kill Ya, besides being a good sleep aid, is lacking that special something that made the first one special. Maybe it's the fact that Moonshine Mountain was filmed in South Carolina, and this one is from Oklahoma. Nothing against Oklahoma (atleast nothing off the top of my head) but if you want to create some worthwhile Hixploitation, shooting it in the South would be a good start, I mean the real South, South Carolina would have done just fine, or why not Tennessee? Oh well, I highly doubt a better location would have somehow magically made this movie not boring, but it wouldn't have hurt. Even the legendary Jeffery Allen couldn't save this one.
Meet Reverend Boone (Jeffery Allen). Loud-mouth hypocrite, who may or may not have been the inspiration for Foghorn Leghorn. When this guy isn't ranting at the congregation, he's running his illegal moonshine business. This guy even has the nerve to visit liquor stores, only to preach the good word while smashing product. Really, the nerve of this man!!. But when the FBI start cracking down, and one of the ladies in the Church gets stoned to death, things really get...well, nothing really. This Hixploitation under-achievement stumbles along with a car chase/crash, complete with airplane sound effects, a peculiar funeral scene, and another murder or two... like I said, a whole lotta nothing.
Truth be told, I don't feel great about speaking so ill of any Lewis movie because Herschell is a bigger icon that Romero and Raimi put together and he's one of my all-time favorites. They can't all be the masterpiece (Two Thousand Maniacs) and yeah, some may be slightly unwatchable (How To Make A Doll) but Herschell should be proud of all his movies, because these drive-in obscurities are a whole lot more than most of us have done. Great news gang, good ol' H.G. will be coming out with some new gore, hopefully, this year called The Uh-Oh Show, starring the legendary Joel D. Wynkoop. How awesome is that?
If you're one of those who have seen Blood Feast or Two Thousand Maniacs just because it's one of those you've always heard about, and if you consider them kind of slow compared to your beloved Sixth Sense (or whatever normal people are in to), then you're wasting you time here, because This Stuff'll Kill Ya will not convert you, and that goes triple for the other half of this double-feature, Year Of The Yahoo. Although, if you're a Lewis completist, then this double feature is a must.
Since Lewis is doin' his thing again , it ain't too late to go to somewheres decent like Tennessee and make one more Hixploitation masterpiece. For 70's Hixploitation worth your time, check out Scum Of The Earth, or if you're not into the old stuff then maybe Inbred Rednecks might do it for ya. So, ultimately, my advice to anyone who's curious about Lewis's non-gore, would be to seek out Moonshine Mountain instead, unless you're like me and must own all that is Lewis, in that case, have at it, hoss. 5/10
A fun hillbilly semiogore film.... FROM HG LEWS!
This is fun little movie right here but it would have been an 8 or an 8.5 if it was about 80 minutes instead of 100. A couple scenes just drag on a little to long, and there are a few scenes which could have been taken out to make the film better. But even with the bad editing this is still a fun movie to watch. First we have hillbilly shenenigans. Crazy preachers selling whiskey to everyone, isiah weddings, car chases, moonshining. By now, after making 2000 maniacs and moonshine mountain, HG Lewis knew how film the hillbilly way. NExt we get some great hillbilly music. This might be blasphemy to some HG Lewis fans but I think the main song in this movie (one more swig of moonshine) is even better than the 2000 maniacs theme. The bassist for the band who plays the song looks like a retarded Mal Arnold (fuad ramses from blood feast). And finally, while not being a typical HG Lewis gore film, we get some cool scenes of violence. One of the better special effects in the entire HG lewis catalogue is in this film where a girl gets stoned (not that kind of stoned) and its brutally convincing. Probably the funniest scene in the film occurs near the end where ray Sager's head gets blown off. The explosion is so quick (maybe 3/10 of a second) but if you freeze frame or put it in slow motion you can actually see the mask they use to depict Sager's head, then you can see the styra foam head filled with blood and brains. a lesson in special effects.
Good Ol' Mountain Madness Part II
**POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD**
H.G. Lewis fans weren't disappointed when they saw that this, his second moonshine movie, was every bit as corny, over-blown and downright bad as MOONSHINE MOUNTAIN (1964). Rotund Jeffrey Allen dominates the picture as Reverend Roscoe Boone; more than one writer has noticed similarities between Boone and Foghorn Leghorn. This backwoods man of the cloth has no problem with folks taking a drink, as long as it's provided by his own illegal corn likker racket. FBI agents and city slickers invade his territory which leads to enforced drunkenness, blackmail, death by stoning and a double crucifixion. The passage between the crucifixion and the final death by shotgun is real long and boring. Tim Holt, who once co-starred in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE and other good movies, makes his final screen appearance as a G-man. He was reportedly fed up with Hollywood at this point, and THIS STUFF is about as far from Hollywood as one could get. Fans of DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW and DARKMAN will have no trouble spotting big Larry Drake in one of his earliest roles. After appearing in this flick, he couldn't help but go on to bigger and better things.
I shall drink of the spirit of the Lord!
This is a lesser Herschell Gordon Lewis picture that just isn't as much fun as his more celebrated features. It's a rednecks 'n' booze exploitation drama about a con artist named Roscoe Boone (Jeffrey Allen of "Two Thousand Maniacs!"), who fronts as a flamboyant preacher. He and his congregation actually take their liquor more seriously than their faith. The Feds (led by a glum looking Tim Holt of "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", in his final feature film appearance) mean to shut his operation down, but he's not the kind of man to go down quietly. Meanwhile, in a minor plot thread, a few citizens are bloodily murdered (one by stoning, two by crucifixion).
This viewer would admit that he more readily enjoys the gore flicks of Mr. HGL. At least they have a better pace, and a more glorious go-for-broke attitude, as crude as they may be. This one simply goes on much too long, with too many scenes that drag. Allen gives it 100% as the loud talking Boone, but after a while the character loses a great deal of his charm. Even the killings are pretty restrained, compared to what we saw in the "Blood Trilogy". The main exception is the hilariously grisly denouement. The bad sound quality doesn't help any; coupled with the accents, it renders a fair bit of dialogue unintelligible. Fortunately, HGL composed a few songs for the occasion that are pretty catchy, especially "One More Swig of Moonshine".
It's a little dispiriting to see Mr. Holt having closed out his career like this, but the other performers do like they're having a good time. Giving "This Stuff'll Kill Ya!" great curiosity value is the presence of future Hollywood character actor Larry Drake, making his film debut as stuttering rube Bubba. Longtime HGL associate Ray Sager doesn't have a lot to do as the character Grady.
This is not something that this viewer would readily recommend, unless one is a real HGL completist.
Five out of 10.
This film will revolt you
I was looking at the credits of the director Herschell Gordon Lewis and this film seems typical of the product he put out. I certainly hope some of his films attained the exalted level of mediocrity.
Ghastly is all I can say, throw open the windows folks if you happen to air this one at home. The acting is grade school level the direction non-existent and it looks like it was shot with my father's old home movie camera.
The protagonist is Jim Jones like reverend Jeffrey Allen who has a church where moonshine is a sacrament. Some narrow minded townspeople and that scourge the Yankees inflicted on the south, revenuers want to put him out of business. Some dead bodies start turning up, but everybody is having one swinging time at services.
Sadly enough this was the farewell film for Tim Holt who with the other actor playing one of those revenuers dressed as they were in those black suits looked either like Mormon missionaries or they worked for the same agency that employed Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Holt looks like he's passing a kidney stone.
The film was shot in Oklahoma and Holt had settled there in his last years. What a sad come down for a man who did some very good B westerns for RKO back in the day and who also appeared in some truly classic films like Stagecoach, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, etc.
If you're a fan of Tim Holt and remember him from the classic studio era in Hollywood avoid This Stuff'll Kill You like the plague. All others do likewise.
To call this film garbage is unfair...to garbage!
Ugghhh!! I am a self-professed bad movie fan. I love the films of Ed Wood, Al Adamson, Ted Mikels, Ray Dennis Steckler and the like. So, it certainly isn't surprising that I'd seek out this DVD featuring two of Hershell Gordon Lewis' films--THIS STUFF'LL KILL YA and YEAR OF THE YAHOO. Oddly, YEAR OF THE YAHOO (much like Lewis' TWO THOUSAND MANIACS) wasn't that bad a film despite a minuscule budget. However, THIS STUFF'LL KILL YA was bad--as bad as any of Lewis' worst films, such as BLOOD FEAST and MONSTER A GO-GO. And, when I say bad, I am talking much, much worse than the worst that Ed Wood ever made! It's odd how Lewis could occasionally make a halfway decent film and the next make one that that is worse than one made by a rabid weasel...on crack!!
The film begins with Jeffrey Allen playing the worst preacher I've ever seen. It's worst in that the preacher is so evil and worst because Allen's acting is just like sludge. He runs a bizarre country church that advocates drinking moonshine during the service, group rape of brides-to-be by the congregation and a lot of other crazy stuff. Oddly, while Lewis directed many sensationalistic (and rather pornographic) films, they really didn't show very much. In fact, the shocks in this film involved some pointless murders as well as the shock in seeing two respectable actors in the film. Tim Holt surely was in a bad way when he agreed to do this film. It's sad to see this one-time cowboy hero and star of THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (a prestigious Orson Welles production) and TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. Additionally, this was Larry Drake's first film. While his name may not be that familiar, years later he'd play a regular on "L.A. Law" as well as in the film DARK MAN.
While I could talk on and on about this weird religious cult that makes snake handling churches seem mainstream, I'll instead talk about why I gave this film a score of 1. This is because IMDb won't allow a score of zero! The acting is the worst I've seen in almost all of my nearly 7000 reviews. The production values and quality of the film is nil--perhaps worse than many super 8mm home movies of the day. The writing is non-existent and the film simply isn't any fun to watch--it's that bad. However, don't ignore this DVD, YEAR OF THE YAHOO manages to do a lot with a budget of only $48.99--38.99 more than THIS STUFF'LL KILL YA!
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