Hillbillies can be a movie director's best friend. They embody every rural stereotype in existence. Urban dwellers believe strange things about the country. They see it as a place where laws of man and nature cease to exist. They view people who live in rural areas as uneducated toothless hicks who live to make moonshine and marry their sisters.
These five Hillbilly movies offer a glimpse at several hillbilly stereotypes perpetuated by Hollywood:
Based on the long-running TV series, “The Beverly Hillbillies” took the approach of taking a redneck family from the Ozarks and throwing them in among upper-class society after they make a billion dollars from discovering oil on their land. Laughs are squeezed from seeing these simpleton hicks dealing with modern conveniences like indoor plumbing. Because no one living in rural areas obviously has ever seen or heard of indoor plumbing.
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974):
Hillbilly horror is a persistent sub-genre within the horror genre. It was popularized by this offering that finds a group of college students terrorized by a family of cannibal killers living in the Texas countryside. The family – full of imbred and deformed people – decided at some point that killing people and making them into chili meat was a good substitution for the usual varmints called for in the recipe. Does that mean they win first prize at the county fair?
"Southern Comfort" (1981):
Rural Louisiana is reduced to enemy territory in this action thriller. A group of national guardsmen on maneuvers spook a local Cajun hunter after firing blanks at him. Naturally, his buddies come out the bayou and start picking the soldiers off one-by-one and force the survivors to fight them off while finding a way out of the bayou. It's a safe bet that killing soldiers is a crime even in the deep south and that hordes of Cajuns aren't going to trade freedom for killing a few “Yankees” for fun.
"Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil" (2010):
The best part of “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil” is how it takes the hillbilly stereotypes and turns them in funny directions. The title characters are a pair of well-meaning hillbillies who have bought a backwoods cabin and are there to make repairs on it. They draw the attention of college students camping nearby. The students grow paranoid that the two hillbillies are actually psychotic killers and accidentally kill themselves in multiple gory ways while trying to “defend” themselves from the hillbillies. It is refreshing to see the hillbillies in the good guy role and the prejudiced college students fill the part of being the antagonists.