While not the best, local film is a piece of history and enjoyable for fans of low-budget horror
” A lone airship glides peacefully along the smooth unsullied waters of the bayous. But this tranquil scene will soon be shattered by a terror breeding deep within the Louisiana swamps – a living, breathing terror as massive and twisted as the mangroves and as vicious and carnivorous as the swamp alligators.
The local authorities coordinate a desperate all-out offensive to rid the marshlands of this murderous force. But, what they encounter in the dampest, darkest corners of the swamp is a larger-than-life horror – a wild mutant, a freak of nature, a grotesque half-man, half-beast lashing out with all the rage of a trapped and wounded animal. And from this TERROR IN THE SWAMP – there is NO ESCAPE! ”
That is the description that is given on the back of the VHS box for Terror in the Swamp, a 1985 low-budget horror film set and filmed in Houma, LA. I was born and raised in the same city and had heard of this film when I was younger. However, it was not until I got older that I was able to see the film after buying the VHS copy of it on Amazon (from someone in Illinois somehow). And while the description above makes the movie sound like a top-notch horror film, it is not. Not even close. But it is a piece of history in this little town south of New Orleans.
Produced by Martin Folse, owner of Houma-based HTV, and starring Billy Holliday, Chuck Bush, and Chuck Long, Terror in the Swamp displays the beauty of the bayous in south Louisiana and also tells a story that is original and unique to the area. And while the movie lacks in special effects and quality of acting, it is a great view for anyone that is from the Houma area or familiar with the area.
But not only that, it is worth a view for those that enjoy the old-school, B-horror movies that don’t offer a lot but are still somehow enjoyable. I know there are people out there like me that will give almost any horror movie a chance (Sharknado anyone?). It is a good regional horror movie that has not had its chance to reach horror fans worldwide. If it was released more recently, it probably would have reached more people because of the internet and availability of streaming movies on websites or through services like Netflix.
And while many of you horror fans out there are probably thinking that the creature is a version of the Roux-Ga-Roux or some Voodoo creature, well, think again. The creature that causes such a stir in the bayous is actually known as Nutriaman, half-man, half-nutria!
Wait, what? You don’t know what a nutria is? Well, without getting into all the specifics, it is a giant rat that is abundant in south Louisiana. It basically looks like a rat on steroids. Yeah, didn’t see that coming huh? So while I find that pretty unique, I must disagree with the description of it being filled with rage and the likes. Although I guess if I were a man that turned into a half-man, half-nutria I would be pretty pissed too. It just seems funny that such a terror comes from a giant rat. But hey, that’s low-budget horror.
It may not be for everyone. It can be slow at moments. There isn’t the excess gore that is typical is low-budget horror. And there is no nudity which is typical too. But it is nicely shot, unique, and worth a visit. If you want to get your hands on the film, the only way I know how to get it is by buying it used on Amazon. That’s what I did. There may be other ways but I’m not sure of them. And if you get the chance to see this film, I hope you enjoy.