Review: Belly Timber

Belly Timber is a Horror/ Western set in pioneer era Indiana.  An ancient evil clan of cannibals have come to terrorize the 1820's frontier. Can John McCormick and his band of ordinary men confront this evil head on, and preserve their way of life and future?
Written by James Orrell
Disgusting. Utterly depraved. Repulsive. All of these words describe director Bobby Easley's newest film, Belly Timber. But so do these words. Inspired. Unique. Genuinely awesome. I can say with complete certainty that this film is Bobby's greatest film to date.
Belly Timber is raw in the best possible way. Visually speaking, this film harkens back to great horror films such as Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That sort of gritty look and feel is missing far too much these days and I was floored by how evocative of the films of that era. The camera work is some of the best I have seen in horror.
The story is the true heart of the film. Based on a story by Dustin Kay and written by Ken Wallace, Belly Timber is part historical epic and part cannibal horror. Telling the tale of John McCormick, founder of Indianapolis, Indiana, is one thing but to effortlessly weave in a horrific cannibalistic cult into his tale is no easy feat. Belly Timber does so masterfully. To top it all off, Belly Timber does something no other cannibal film has really managed to accomplish for me. It made me understand the cannibals and why they are that way. The Lecky's, at least some of them, while deplorable are depicted as having a religious rationale behind their evil ways. They are not just pure savages which makes the horror of what they do all the worse.
The music is another standout. It blends somber melancholy with a sense of dread that few indie films have yet to match. Each note helps make the atmosphere that much creepier. While it can occasionally drown out some of the dialogue, I can live with that. It's a beautiful score that sets the tone for the film.
Acting in indie films can range from dreadful to fantastic and fortunately this film is in the latter category. Andie Noir was the standout in my opinion. Her portrayal of Victoria Lecky is both entrancing and repulsively sadistic. Every time she popped up on screen I couldn't help but fixate on her. She made what could have been a more mundane character that much more fascinating. 
Nate Olp stole the show as Felix, the patriarch of the Lecky clan. It's through him that we discover the reasons why the Lecky's do the monstrous things that they do. He created a pathos that reverberated through their entire family. The depth he gave in his performance gave the Lecky's much more meaning by showing his reasons. It made the murderous and barbaric members of his family stand out that much more by comparison.
John Johnson was great as John McCormick. His performance was really the linchpin in making the entire story come together as well as it does, as he is not just a character in a script but an actual historic person. He had the right balance between wanting to build for the future in creating Indianapolis and righteous fury in wanting to send the Lecky clan straight to hell. Without him, this film simply wouldn't work. Period.
What can I say about John Dugan that hasn't been said before? It doesn't matter if it's a small cameo, a side character or the lead. He simply makes everything he is in better. It's no different here in Belly Timber.
The special effects work is as disgusting as you would expect from a cannibal film. Needless to say, it's fucking beautiful! Phil Yeary is one of the best in the business at what he does and this film reinforces that fact in a big way. I especially loved the burned corpse, the hollowed out skull and the way he used Christopher McCoy as one of the standout victims. Best of all, it's not overdone. It's not as pervasive as it can be in a film like this. Instead, when the gory moments happen they hit all the harder. That is always for the best in my opinion.
Overall I got precisely what I wanted out of Belly Timber. It's both shocking and suspenseful. It's performances are nuanced. The music is incredible. The gore is disgusting in the best possible way and the camera work is simply beautiful. Bobby Easley and the crew at Horror Wasteland have simply outdone themselves with Belly Timber.
Belly Timber is the film horror fans deserve.