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Film / Carver

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Screaming only excites him.

Carver is a 2008 Slasher Movie, a hybrid of Hillbilly Horrors and Torture Porn.

Set to go off to university soon, Pete Hoskin decides to drag his younger brother, Bryan, off to the secluded wilderness of Halcyon Ridge for some sibling bonding. Joining the two are Pete's immature friend Zack and his flighty girlfriend Rachel, much to Bryan's annoyance. Meeting up in a roadside store called the QG, the group are approached by the proprietor, a friendly old chap named Billy Hall Carver, who offers them a night of free drinks if they can get some supplies for him from the storage cabin near their campsite; he can't do it himself due to his bum leg, and because his troublesome relative and only help, Bobby Shaw, is being given a talking to by Sheriff Jack Quixley.

Agreeing to the deal, the group set up their site, and after meeting a fellow camper named Kate (who is out on her annual camping trip with her friend Gina, who seems to have vanished) head up to the cabin. Deciding to have a look around while gathering the QG's needed wares, our heroes discover a hidden cache of film reels, one of which they play on an old projector. Lighthearted riffing soon turns to unease when the amateurish slasher film that the reel contains becomes a little bit too graphic, depicting the disturbingly realistic mutilation and murder of campers and hikers in a forest very similar to the one that they are in.


Quickly putting the reels back and leaving after hearing someone approach, everyone (except worrywart Bryan) decides to put the disturbing film behind them, and after dropping off Billy Hall's stuff, get into party mode with their limitless supply of booze, though shit hits the fan when Zack gets into a fight and heads to an outhouse to clean up. While wiping off the blood and taking a dump, Zack is castrated and captured by Bobby Shaw, the slasher movie's killer and creator, who has big plans for Zack's friends, the unknowing stars of his next big picture.


This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Murder: Kate crushes Zack between two vehicles, and stabs him in the head with a hoe, thinking he was Bobby Shaw.
  • Agony of the Feet: Rachel steps on a nail.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Some severed limbs are found strewn throughout the bottom level of the Carver cabin.
  • Antagonist Title: It's the villains' last name.
  • Ate His Gun: Kate's death, after spotting the dead Gina.
  • Ax-Crazy: Bobby Shaw, the snuff film maker.
  • Bar Brawl: Zack gets into a fight with a patron of the QG.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Rachel and Kate's outfits.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: The film claims to be based on fact, though all attempts to look up similar crimes to those presented in the film have turned up nothing.
  • Beard of Evil: The Carvers, because it would be weird if villainous rednecks didn't have them.
  • Blood from the Mouth: It's vomited a lot, especially during the sledgehammer murder.
  • Camping a Crapper: Zack is attacked in an outhouse.
  • Car Fu: Kate hits Zack (thinking he was Bobby Shaw) with Pete's van, and slams him into Zack's car.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Because filming someone being tortured is presumably more fun than just filming them being killed.
  • Cool Shades: Zack and Rachel, and of course the only law enforcement official.
  • Creator Cameo: Co-producer Jaye Lowe and FX man Paul Coldblatt both have bit parts.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: A drunk Rachel wanders off into the woods in search of Zack. You can guess what happens to her.
  • Daylight Horror: The snuff films all take place in broad daylight.
  • Death by Mocking: Zack and Rachel are snippy, and end up paying for it.
  • Death by Sex: A pair of snuff film victims.
  • Deep South: Pretty far deep, by the look of things.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After seeing Pete and her friend Gina dead, Kate blows her own brains out.
  • Determinator: Bobby Shaw shrugs off almost everything thrown at him.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: It's well past a half-hour by the time one of the protagonists is attacked.
  • Disgusting Public Toilet: "How do you shit on the wall!?"
  • Don't Go in the Woods: Lest you become the unwitting star of a hillbilly snuff film.
  • Downer Ending: Sole survivor Bryan has his throat slit by Billy Hall after killing Bobby Shaw. Depressing, but at least it's not a full blown instance of The Bad Guy Wins.
  • Driven to Suicide: Kate, after finding Gina's remains, blows her own brains out.
  • Drop the Hammer: Rachel gets whacked in the face with a regular one, while Pete is bashed to death with a sledgehammer.
  • Ear Ache: While struggling with Bobby Shaw over the shotgun, Bryan gets an ear shot off.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Billy Hall seems at least somewhat saddened by Bobby Shaw's death, letting out a forlorn-sounding mutter of, "Goddammit... Bobby Shaw..." The pair also own a Big Friendly Dog.
  • Evil Cripple: Billy Hall, who walks with a cane.
  • Evil Redhead: Billy Hall, in contrast to his bald brother.
  • Eye Scream: A crowbar in the eye, and later a piece of wood.
  • Facial Horror: A snuff film victim gets a saw to the face.
  • Fan Disservice: A naked woman is beaten, then stabbed in the face.
  • Fat Bastard: Bobby Shaw, in contrast to his skinny brother.
  • Fingore: Bryan gets a door slammed on his fingers.
  • Flashback Echo: Footage of one of the snuff films is shown as Bryan discovers the spot where it was filmed.
  • Giggling Villain: And when we first hear it, it brings to mind Deliverance, since Zack is alone in the woods and naked from the waist down.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: The only possible purpose they could serve is stopping bodily fluids from getting into Bobby Shaw's eyes.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Only in the R-rated cut.
  • Groin Attack: Zack gets his testicles destroyed with a pair of pliers, while Pete has his groin pounded with a sledgehammer.
  • Hand of Death: Snuff films, so yeah, kind of hard and pointless for the killers to film their own faces while attacking people.
  • Head Phones Equal Isolation: Bryan is a loner-type, and almost never seen without his headphones.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The jovial "Turkey in the Straw" is probably intended to be this, since it's set to people being brutally tortured and murdered.
  • Humiliation Conga: Zack gets punched in the face, is forced to use one of the filthiest toilets in existence, realizes that there is no toilet paper, gets covered in shit, has his balls crushed with pliers, and is finally mistakenly killed by Kate while dressed as Bobby Shaw.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In one of his snuff films, Bobby Shaw somehow hooks a fleeing man in the eye with a crowbar attached to a rope.
  • Improvised Weapon: After shackling Zack to the wall of the outhouse, Bobby Shaw picks up the toilet and drops it on him.
  • In-Universe Camera: Despite the presence of snuff films, it's rarely seen.
  • Karaoke Box: One is used by Zack and Rachel at the bar.
  • Karma Houdini: Billy Hall, unless you count Bobby Shaw dying as some kind of comeuppance.
  • Kill 'Em All: By the end, every named character except one is dead.
  • Knee Capping: Rachel has nails hammered into her knees, while Bryan gets his stabbed.
  • Laughing Mad: Bryan, while watching some of the snuff films near the end.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: See the tagline above.
  • Machete Mayhem: What Bryan's throat is slit with.
  • Mad Artist: Bobby Shaw apparently views himself as an actual filmmaker, and sees his "character" in the snuff films as the hero.
  • Madness Mantra: "He had help."
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Zack's castration, in the unrated version.
  • Menacing Stroll: Bobby Shaw, unless he's off-screen, at which point he's capable of lightning speed.
  • MST: The characters do it to the snuff films, not realizing what they are, but quit when the films start becoming uncomfortably graphic.
  • Murderer P.O.V.: Most of the snuff films, obviously.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Bobby Shaw and Billy Hall Carver.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever it was that made the area "a camper's ghost town".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: How Sheriff Quixley was killed isn't shown or mentioned, but judging by the condition of his body, it was probably pretty bad.
  • Off with His Head!: Gina's death.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Bryan, when he realizes the snuff films aren't always in Bobby Shaw's POV, meaning he is passing the camera off to an unseen accomplice.
    • This was probably the mangled Bobby Shaw's thought when he tries to blow Bryan's head off with the shotgun, only to discover that it's out of ammo.
  • One-Word Title: And it doubles as an Antagonist Title.
  • Pipe Pain: Used against and by Bobby Shaw.
  • Police Are Useless: And possibly in on it.
  • Potty Failure: While being attacked, the pants-less Zack sprays urine all over the place.
  • Powerful Pick: A snuff film victim is killed with one.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Implied to be the case with Bobby Shaw, as he is depicted as awkward in public, throws tantrums, etc.
  • Red Shirt: Sheriff Quixley serves no purpose other than being a Red Herring and another body on the pile.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: But only in the R-rated cut.
  • Self-Harm: Implied with the scarred Kate.
    "Sometimes we gotta cut ourselves to make sure we can still bleed."
  • Serial Killer: Bobby Shaw, most likely of the For the Evulz variety.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Bobby Shaw's Weapon of Choice.
  • The Sheriff: Jack Quixley, a slightly sinister but seemingly not actually evil example.
  • Shirtless Scene: A snuff film victim, presumably due to Interrupted Intimacy.
  • Siblings in Crime: Possibly, the exact relationship between Billy Hall and Bobby Shaw is left a bit vague.
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: Bobby Shaw dragging his saw across the ground while advancing on Gina.
  • Sinister Scythe: A snuff film shows one of Bobby Shaw's victims attacking him with one.
  • Slashed Throat: Bryan's death.
  • Snuff Film: Bobby Shaw's passion, though he is also fine with killing people sans camera.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In-universe, we have Bobby Shaw adding a cheesy country tune ("Turkey in the Straw, Hee Hee Haw...") to all of his films.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Bobby Shaw at first seems to be mute, but then he randomly speaks when he attacks Kate after she discovers that she had accidentally killed Zack.
    "Don't you worry about him none, he was just mah stunt man."
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Bobby Shaw, in spite of his size, is quite sneaky.
  • Torture Cellar: Though it doesn't seem to see much use.
  • Torture Porn: The film's examples of mutilation includes pliers to the balls, a nail hammered into a bodypart, then wrenched out and hammered in again.
  • Urine Trouble: While tormenting Gina, Bobby Shaw pisses on her.
  • Unnaturally Blue Lighting: Though in this case it's more of a green, for some reason.
  • Unrated Edition: The more extreme "Grisly Edition".
  • Villain Opening Scene: Bobby Shaw cutting the still-living Gina's head off with a saw.
  • The Voiceless: Bobby Shaw only talks twice.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Courtesy of a drunk Rachel.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Sheriff Quixley seems to be in on what the Carvers are up to, but then is later found dead, leaving what was up with his character ambiguous.
  • With Cat Like Tread: After hearing someone in the woods:
    Kate: (cautiously whispering) "Zack?"
    Rachel: (drunkenly) "ZAAAAAAAAAAAACK?!"
  • You Look Familiar: What appears to be the same black jacketed man dies in at least three different snuff films.