Does the world need another B-grade zombie comedy? The people behind Buck Wild certainly thought so in this independent feature that brings nothing new to the genre and contains several bad acting performances. Buck Wild’s ultimate failure is that it’s simply not that funny, fusing the old conflict of city slickers versus hillbillies into a lame buddy comedy. By the time zombie action ramps up, most will have already lost interest.
Craig (Matthew Albrecht) has brought his two friends and a crazy cousin along for a hunting trip at the Buck Wild Ranch. Before they had arrived the owner of the ranch had been infected by a Chupacabra’s bite and is slowly turning into a zombie. The owner’s eventual turn begins a wave of zombies starting with his daughter, Candy. One of Craig’s friends begins flirting with Candy, Lance (Isaac Harrison). One thing leads to another and Lance becomes a zombie himself after a disturbing romantic encounter.
Craig as the protagonist needs an emotional hook for the audience to become interested in the generic character. Craig quickly learns from his other friend that Lance has been sleeping with Craig’s long-time girlfriend, the woman he had planned to propose marriage to after the trip. The rest of the movie concerns Craig dealing with zombie Lance and his feelings over the betrayal. Along the way the surviving friends come across a bunch of hillbillies led by a bad parody named Billy Ray.
The one character that consistently delivers the laughs in Buck Wild is Jerry (Jarrod Pistilli), Craig’s crazy cousin. Jerry is basically a cross between Rambo and the most insane survivalist of all time. He is the type of guy that has been preparing for the zombie apocalypse for years and has watched too many action movies. Jerry gets almost all of the best lines in the script and the actor has a blast delivering his cheesy lines straight out of the 1980s.
I can’t really recommend this movie as anything but a goofy zombie comedy that never really hits home. There is some mildly amusing stuff with the one-note Jerry but there aren’t enough laughs to sustain an entire movie. It’s not particularly scary or suspenseful so Buck Wild really has no purpose.
Buck Wild was a movie shot using the RED digital camera system and typically looks good for it. The 1080P video is extremely sharp with a revealing amount of detail in close-ups. Its digital cinematography stays fairly grounded, if you’ve seen other recent RED transfers you’ll know what to expect from Buck Wild’s picture quality.
The image is pristine and the only noise evident can be found in a few of the nighttime scenes, introducing standard ISO noise so common to digital video in darker shots. Millennium Entertainment has provided an excellent technical presentation, likely derived directly from the Digital Intermediate without a hint of processing. The AVC video encode handles the clean video with ease.
Buck Wild looks about as good as a low-budget comedy made outside of Hollywood can appear on Blu-ray. Video lacks the polish and refined technique of more expensive productions, but no one can deny the clarity and artifact-free picture.
The featured soundtrack is a solid 5.1 Dolby TrueHD affair that sprinkles in light amounts of surround activity and bass usage. No one will confuse it with the elaborate sound design of bigger movies but Buck Wild’s mix acquits itself very well. Dialogue is cleanly rendered in a soundfield that employs moderate directionality and adequate fidelity. The unfamiliar Indie and Pop music sounds pleasant spread across the room.
A 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack at 192 kbps is included as a secondary option. Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles appear in a white font, safely within the 2.35:1 aspect ratio at all times.
A couple of deleted scenes and a few trailers are the sole supplements. The trailers also appear before the main menu but can be skipped over.
Deleted Scenes (03:12 in HD) – Three brief scenes that add nothing to the movie are included.
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Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.