Plot: Trevor (Jason Connery) is haunted by his past, plagued by memories of his actions as a soldier and a broken promise in his personal life. He finds himself drifting through life and hitchhiking on the open road, where he is picked up by Clayton (C. Thomas Howell), who seems sympathetic. As it turns out, Clayton helps run a nearby ranch and with a never ending amount of work to be done, he is always looking for someone willing to lend a hand. Trevor is offered a place to sleep and some hot meals if he wants to put in some work and with no other options in sight, he agrees and travels to the ranch with Clayton. Although he plans to just spend the night and then head out, the bed and meal will be a welcome boost, given his situation. But as he soon discovers, this is no ordinary ranch…

Entertainment Value: This one is based loosely on the real life Texas Slave Ranch events, but it doesn’t take a true crime approach, opting for a sadistic, horror movie style take on the craziness. The story here is fine, even giving some Texas Chain Saw Massacre vibes, but pacing issues really dampen the experience. A horror movie has to know how to balance the pace between scares and Hoboken Hollow never finds that rhythm, so there are some slow, dull stretches. And to be honest, the scares or in this case, more violent scenes are sparse, so there’s a lot of filler and despite the cast involved, the entertainment value is low here. I do think the cast helps bolster the weak material, but even then, they can only do so much. The characters are over the top and sadistic, but the actual violence is sporadic and for a narrative this dark, there’s not much blood or unsettling atmosphere to speak of. This story has potential and the cast seems game, but the movie just never puts it all to good use. Unless you’re a Madsen fanatic, this one is hard to recommend.

The cast of Hoboken Hollow is impressive, with a lineup of well known talent that is likely to lure in a good amount of interest. Not all the stars have prominent roles, but most have at least solid screen time and some are indeed main players. A highlight for me was Michael Madsen as a good old boy with a cowboy hat, not to mention a fake mustache to boot. I always like to see Madsen pop up in movies and his role here is a fun one, even if he has only sporadic appearances. When you have Madsen with a mustache this ridiculous however, you know he’s making his scenes count. C. Thomas Howell also runs with the demented redneck nature of the material, dialing up his performance and giving us a memorable effort. This kind of enthusiasm runs through most of the main cast, which makes the already creepy rednecks even more outlandish and to me, that helps with the overall vibes. If you’re here for Dennis Hopper, he has minimal screen time, which is a real shame. The cast also includes Mark Holton, Dedee Pfeiffer, Robert Carradine, and Lin Shaye.

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