BLACK HOLLER (2017) Reviews and release news

 

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‘In the holler… no one can hear you holler!’

Black Holler is a 2017 American comedy horror film about a street-wise black female student forced to endure an inane camping trip.

Directed by Jason Berg from a screenplay co-written with Heidi Ervin and Rachel Ward Heggen.

The movie stars Tamiko Robinson Steele, Jesse Perry, Nicholas Hadden, Sarah VanArsdal and Rachel Ward Heggen.

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Plot:

In 1989, street-wise Laquita Johnson is forced into a camping trip with a bunch of ridiculous white students on her first day at a new school. All the students make it to the woods, but very few of them make it out of Black Holler…

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Reviews:

“Despite the scattered plot, the jokes are surprisingly well written for a film with the budget of a Zoom call. The writers […] thankfully realize that it takes more than just parroting slasher elements while wearing goofy era clothing to make an engaging horror-comedy. The gags are a fun mix of slapstick humor and Airplane!-like, a genre-acknowledging absurdity that’s sold ably by the cast.” Black Horror Movies

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“Satire and slapstick, seriousness and silliness – this film is a win! Do yourself a favor and sit back, chill, and enjoy the fun that is Black Holler. Folks, I don’t want to share much more, it’s best experienced walking in blindly. Just know it’s fun and delightfully weird.” Horror Habit

“It’s all far from politically correct, unfortunately, it’s even further from funny. It’s almost as though director Jason Berg […] wanted to make a Troma style outrageous and offensive comedy but didn’t have the balls to go there so they tamely tiptoed around it […] The level of horror-related humour is someone performing demonic rituals to bring their pet cat back to life, a dumbass in a bad Leatherface mask and mostly bad Evil Dead references.” Voices from the Balcony

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Notable dialogue:

LaQuita Johnson [Tamiko Robinson Steele]: “Heads up! Racist piece of sh*t!”

Marty Farmington [Sarah VanArsdal]: “Calm down Marty, this is just like that cartoon. They’re off, eating hoagies and wearing ascots. But I’m the smart one.”

Release:

Black Holler will be available on Digital from Wild Eye Releasing on November 16, 2021.

Cast and characters (in credits order):

Paul Michaels … Narrator
J.R. Robles … Robert
Vivi Vendetta … Barbara McCuntser
Tamiko Robinson Steele … LaQuita Johnson
Rachel Ward Heggen … Megan
Dale Rainey … Redheaded Cheerleader
Juniper Lake Ussery … Brunette Cheerleader
Sarah VanArsdal … Marty Farmington
Heidi Ervin … Rebecca O’Sunnybrook
Elizabeth Hadden … Crafty Girl (as Liz Hadden-McGuire)
Betty Williams … Daphne
Bruce Ervin … Ben Stephens
Robert Ervin … Stoner Dude
Nicholas Hadden … Walter Love
James Skelley … Nerd in Jeans
LaDaveon Burford … Nerd in Tie
Brad Edwards … Dean Dean
Jesse Perry … Professor Thompson
Wesley Rutledge … Professor Mariko
C.J. Stanley … Jeff
Stacy Gazenski … Heather
Leah Helena Miller … Illy Beats aka Billy
Lee McCue … D’Angelique
Katie Gant … Sher Thompson
Basha Rush … Young Laquita
Leah Fincher … Young Laquita’s Caregiver
Justin Tarrents … Sensei Johnson

Filming locations:

Clarksville, Livingston, Murfreesboro and Nashville, Tennessee

Filming dates:

22 May 2015 – 20 November 2016

Technical details:

89 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

Budget:

$15,000 (estimated)

Trailer:

Extended trailer:

MOVIES and MANIA says:

It’s easy to see why this movie has sat on the shelf since 2017 (and was filmed even before that). As everyone notes, humour is a personal thing and Black Holler certainly isn’t to this reviewer’s taste. If dumb and annoying characters (“what a bunch of @ssholes), fart gags and really feeble attempts at post-modernist humour (hey, the white people are nearly all racists or at least racists in denial) are your thang then you may enjoy Black Holler.

Tamiko Robinson Steele as LaQuita comes across as the only character that isn’t unbearable. Maybe that’s the point? But even she lacks presence. And why would anyone want to spend 89 minutes with such moronic characters? Worse still, it takes 38 of those minutes for the horror elements to kick in.

Production values are ok. Some of the cast are clearly talented and giving their all but it’s the script that’s scarily awful. Black Holler is one to avoid unless you have a taste for poorly presented base humour of the lowest kind. And some folks do… “he who smelt it dealt it.” Yep, they say that. Twice. Or maybe just once? The subtle nuances were lost on this reviewer and distraction set in.

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