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Lawless / Rated R for bloody violence, torture, nudity, and sex. And some other bad stuff that I can’t reveal here.

This is a movie about hillbillies and who doesn‘t love hillbilly movies and TV shows – especially The Beverly Hillbillies, although parts of the show look faked. My favorite all time hillbilly movie was Hillbillys [sic] in a Haunted House (1967). It’s not widely known, but rumor has it when they picked the five films for Oscar consideration in 1967, HIAHH was number six. The Oscar went to In the Heat of the Night. Really??? Who doesn’t watch the Blu-ray or DVD Extended Director’s cut of Hillbillys in a Haunted House every single day?

Lawless is about hillbillies during their most important era: prohibition, even ahead of the time of Hatfield vs. McCoy’s feud. Lawless is based on a true story about the Bondurant brothers. The three of them have a combined IQ of 64 and it shows. All they do is make, sell and drink moonshine. They also smoke a lot and take out their hillbilly rage on “revenooers,” or any law enforcement official that want to stop them, and any other hillbilly bootleggers who are their competition. Their rage is shown on screen by shooting, stabbing, disemboweling, torturing, and beating up their enemies with fists, brass knuckles, shovels, guns, and any other object within reach. When their rage is momentarily satisfied, they go back to drinking moonshine.

In Lawless a new, greasy, evil lawman comes to town in the guise of actor Guy Pearce. The hillbilly Bondurant family knows greasy, but from their point of view, they are the good kind of greasy. Heading up the family is actor Tom Hardy, fresh from his role as the bad guy in the latest Batman film. He and Guy both grunt in response to each other and to conflict. A whole lot of grunting is going on. They sound like overworked judges at a chili cook-off.

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The Bondurants don’t want to pay more graft to evil men, so GP gets mad and decides to burn down their still and torture any Bondurant he can get his hands on. Shia LaBeouf (in all of the Transformer films and the most recent Indiana Jones flick) plays a slightly weaker brother who is out to make his mark in family bootlegging business while trying to romance a sweet, local girl. He is in over his head with the violence stuff. It shows as he snivels while his brother grunts in a manly manner.

Eventually the big shootout we know is on the way, arrives. The hillbillies unite to beat the “revenooers” just like the Hillbillys in a Haunted House did to defeat the ghosts. During the movie Tom has his throat cut ear-to-ear and receives over 75 bullet wounds to various parts of his anatomy. Not wanting to spoil anything, I can’t say if he lives or dies, but he sure is resilient. He is a true hillbilly hero.

Rated 2.3 out of 4.0 reasons I am still waiting for Hillbillys in a Haunted House 2. You too?

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