Producer Fred Olen Ray bought the limited release film Shantytown Honeymoon (1971), shot an introduction scene with John Carradine as The Judge of Hell (5 minutes), and sold it to Troma Films that re-titled it again to “Demented Death Farm Massacre… The Movie (1986).
Old drive-in movies never really die. Some of them just get new footage added and re-released and we are expected to think they are new! Way back in 1972 this movie first saw release as a soft core film about backwoods moonshiners against big city jewel thieves. I might be a forgotten film now if Fred Olen Ray had not grabbed it, spliced in 3 minutes, more or less, of John Carradine at random points (sort of like the way Edward D. Wood Jr inserted Bela Lugosi into GLEN OR GLENDA? back in 1952) and re-released it with a new title.
I actually tried to like this film, and if you approach it not expecting too much you might not be disappointed . . .well, not TOO disappointed anyway.
A moonshiner (George Ellis) deep in the North Carolina woods is too busy making and distributing his product and listening to a fire and brimstone preacher on the radio that he fails to even notice his lovely young wife (Trudy Moore). They have been married 4 whole days and he has yet to consummate the union. Well along come some crooks who have stolen over $1 million in diamonds. Their stolen Jeep breaks down near the farm so they take advantage of the offered hospitality. One of them, a young fellow named Rick (Mike Coolik) takes “advantage” to a new level when he sets eyes on the busty, barefoot country gal and he soon forgets all about his airhead girlfriend (Pepper Thurston) who came along with him.
Now fooling around with the moonshiners wife is one thing, after all he only married her because her pa owed him a lot o’ money and couldn’t pay off, but when these durn city slickers decide to lay low on his farm and take over his ‘shine business that’s jest a-going’ too dang fir y’all!This is when the title massacre begins. Carnage includes hit and run,death by pitchfork (and I used to think only Andy Milligan did that!), bear trap, bludgeoning and gun.
Now about John Carradine, how does he fit into this? John introduces himself as “The Judge of Hell” though in most of his scenes he quotes from The Bible, something I would hardly expect a magistrate from The Other Place to do. He introduces the movie as one of the cases that came before him and outlines the sins each character commits. Watching him almost made this no-budget drive-in entry worth the time. I did say “almost”!