VHS Review: Poor White Trash 2



Newlyweds Helen and Paul’s vacation is cut short when Helen discovers her new husband’s dead body after a failed attempt to retrieve cigarettes from their vehicle. This skyrockets Helen to Planet Redneck where she stumbles upon a backwoods family that further ignites Helen’s traumatic journey through the Bayou’s core.

Sometimes, not often, but sometimes I am taken aback and I have to ask myself, “What the hell is wrong with me?” How do I manage to collect some of the worst exploitation films on VHS? The answer is simple, the big Magnum box is pretty dandy and the contents lying on the inside poked my curiosity. What lies inside this nifty green Magnum box is hicksploitation. Certainly not hicksploitation at its best but most definitely not hicksploitation at its worst.

Initially titled ‘Scum of the Earth,” Poor White Trash 2 is an unrelated sequel to the previous Poor White Trash, later re-titled “Bayou.” It’s impossible to compare the two considering I have yet to give the previous a viewing. I’m not even sure if I want to. Moving back to the contents, Poor White Trash features rape, incest, death by an ax, death by an iron gate protruding through the neck of its victim, strangulation by barb wire, and death by shot gun times two. It’s not particularly bloody and it’s lacking nudity. There’s more drama in place of horror as the backwoods family’s secrets come about while the head of the household, Otis, spends the entire evening drunk off several jars of moonshine. I’m guessing he makes it himself. Moonshine is pretty common with hick folks.

I’m honestly confused by the timing. Do all of these events take place in a total of 24 hours? They seem to flip flop between night and day enough to confuse its viewers. The lighting is very poor but it helps to soak in that grimy feel that VHS collectors like myself largely seem to enjoy. There is also something peculiar going on with the sound. Bizarre and out of place noises come out of nowhere. I was beginning to think the noises were coming from outside my house.

Now for the 50 million dollar question, “Should I watch this movie?” First of all, good luck finding it. It’s rare as fuck and currently goes for $119 on Ebay. I was lucky enough to snag my copy for only $25 at a VHS swap meet. The guys told me that it was a ‘must have’ in my collection. Several even enjoyed the journey. Second, you do not always have to take my word for it. I cannot speak for your taste. For all I know, you’ll think of the film as the creme de la creme of hicksploitation. The acting is actually pretty darn good, making up for all the missing elements. Not everyone has to have blood and tits to fulfill their needs.  Third, I doubt I will be watching it again. There’s nothing here that grabbed me or kept me at the edge of my seat. At times I felt bored to tears. It took everything in me not to say, ‘Fuck it,” and watch something else. It’s odd that this is from the same Texan director of Don’t Look in the Basement and Don’t Open the Door, S.F. Brownrigg.