Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Swamp Virgin (1947)

Director: Ewing Scott

Starring: nobodys trying and failing to be Rednecks

More Info: IMDB

Plot: A native son returns to the isolated, backwards village in the Okefenokee Swamp where he was raised, with ideas of bringing modern-day progress in terms of schools, canals, new roads, running-water and other needed changes, but is met with resistance by nearly all of the residents, some out of ignorance and some with selfish vested-interests in seeing that no changes be made.

My Rating: 6/10

Would I watch it again? Only if I should come across the full version - just out of curiosity.

This is a VERY cut version originally titled, UNTAMED FURY. Originally it ran an hour. The version I saw (as SWAMP VIRGIN and why it's called that is beyond me) was 25 minutes. I didn't know I watched a cut version until afterwards when I looked it up. Knowing that now it makes a little more sense with how this one plays out.

It starts with a writer from the city sitting on a dock in the Okefenokee Swamp with an old man who starts on about the story of these two young competitive boys. Flashback time and the boys are friends who are always showing off on who's the fastest swimmer and so forth. Years later, after his father had saved up and sent him to school (which the other kids didn't get) Jeff comes back to the swamp to visit and he's the object of affection by the ever-so-cute-and-now-HOT Judy.

"I'm not kiddin', Judy, you're going to be a very attractive young lady someday."

Is that this guy's idea of a compliment? Gee whiz, man, is that the best you can do?

Jeff's childhood rival, 'Gator Bait' Blair, wants him gone and tries to kill him in the deep marsh. As good as Blair is in the swamp he's clouded by his hate and he falls into quicksand. Jeff saves him despite Blair shooting at him and Jeff's no longer pissed and accepts Jeff as his friend. Here's why he's called 'Gator Bait':

Now, apparently there's 35 minutes more movie in there somewhere. What I saw wasn't bad. It was OK and it seemed to work for what it was. I would be curious to see the entire thing now just to see how it plays out. The music is wall-to-wall which gives you very little opportunity to lose interest. Surprisingly, the accents are pretty decent. They're better than a lot of what I've seen from Hollywood.

There's also some nifty underwater photography at play here and some really neat live alligator work that sells it.

This came as an extra (along with a bunch of like-themed trailers) in a Something Weird Video box set of Drive-In Classics. This particular disc features two Okefenokee Swamp classics, SWAMP GIRL (1971) and SWAMP COUNTRY (1966). The set (found at Sam's Club) also includes 3 other DVDs (5 more films, each LOADED with extras) and was a steal for $15. I love this company's product because they usually slap a shitload of trailers and other extras on each of their discs. I didn't expect to like either of the two swamp movies on the disc but I did and that's coming up next.

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