The Barge People (aKa Mutant River) is a 2018 independent horror film produced, edited, & directed by Charlie Steeds (Deadman Apocalypse, Escape from Cannibal Farm, A Werewolf in England, & Death Ranch). It was written & produced by Christopher Lombard (The Craftsman & The Writer). It was produced by Alex Symes (Extinction: Patient Zero). Two sisters, Kat (played by: Kate Davies-Speak from A Werewolf in England, Winterskin, The House of Violent Desire, & Escape from Cannibal Farm) & Sophie (played by: Natalie Martins from A Werewolf in England, Cruel Summer, Kill or be Killed, & Vampire Virus) plan a relaxing weekend away on the canals of the glorious British countryside. They bring their boyfriends Mark (played by: Mark McKirdy from Electric Man & A Werewolf in England) & Ben (played by: Matt Swales) along for the trip to escape from reality for a little bit.
Everything is great until they run into some problems with Jade (played by: Makenna Guyler from Blood Bags, King of Crime, A Dark Path, & Vampire Virus), Ricky (played by: Kane Surry from Vampire Virus, Ghostware, Scales, & Kill Kane), & Max (played by: Harrison Nash from Escape from Cannibal Farm & Winterskin) over some heated words after an accident which causes them to get payback on the outside visitors. Except these bullies weren’t expecting to run into problems of their own while terrorizing the couples on vacation. Toxic waste & hazardous chemicals were dumped in the water by multinational companies which has caused genetic mutations among some locals who have resorted to cannibalism with their grotesque transformations. This group has of flesh eating monsters have been waiting in the water for their next meal & they are all hungry. Can these rivals get along enough to survive this gruesome nightmare of a night????
I reviewed Cannibal Farm a few years ago & I was very impressed by that independent feature. I was excited when this was first announced from Charlie Steeds. Cannibal Farm was his take on Texas Chainsaw Massacre so The Barge People is kinda his vision of The Hills Have Eyes or Wrong Turn movies with a British twist to them. It starts out a little slow at first but it has some nice character development before it gets batshit crazy. The script really comes through on the second half of the film & it delivers all the goods there with a ferocious finale. Director Charlie Steeds is definitely loyal to his actors, I recognized a decent amount from this that were in Escape from Cannibal Farm. Kate Davies-Speak turns in another quality performance as the lead in The Barge People. She good chemistry with her co-stars. Makenna Guyler was really good as the villain that’s forced to be hero because there’s much worse than her out there in the world. Emma Spurgin Hussey (A Werewolf in England) & Barrington De La Roche (Escape from Cannibal Farm) were both great in their cameos here. Overall, all of the acting was actually solid in this from the rest of the cast. It takes a little bit but The Barge People is brutal & it has some excellent retro looking special fx that reminds me of the 80’s. I really enjoyed the look of the mutants in The Barge People. Some of the kills were off screen but it worked for the most part & the aftermath was gruesome. I had lots of fun with this & I love this sub-genre when it comes to horror. The upcoming A Werewolf in England looks great also from the same director. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from RLJE!!!! This 1080p (2.37:1) looks great for a low budget independent feature & it has nice scenery from it’s overseas locations. The cinematography is fantastic & it really elevates the special fx work in this. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track has a nice boost to it. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, all the chaos is enhanced, & the music has a killer boost to it. It also has English SDH & Spanish subtitles. There’s no extras on this home video release, The DVD is available everywhere. This Blu Ray is made on demand & it’s a BD-R but at it’s highest quality. This release is a little more limited but it’s available at most online locations including MovieZying.com, CHECK IT OUT!!!!