There’s also a control aspect. They know the land you’re on by heart day or night, while you desperately scramble around just to find a stick to defend yourself with. I know there is a perceived lack of intelligence that comes with films like this, but I feel their intelligence lies in other places, much like wild animals. I know wild animals don’t hunt down interlopers and comment on their “pretty mouths” (you all know what movie I’m talking about) but you know what I’m driving at here.
The Hillbilly is also a great symbol of social commentary, believe it or not. The film Rituals (AKA The Creeper) is a very good example. Here the menace is a sort of representation of PTSD and the horrors of medicine as much as he is a motivator for man to become savage to defeat him. This catalyst of savagery is perhaps the most used idea when it all gets down to brass tacks. As I said, man must become a beast to conquer a beast, and the hillbilly presents us with a reflection of ourselves we try to tell ourselves doesn’t exist.
To trace the history of these supposed genetic throwbacks in cinema would take a very extensive essay and this collection of trailers laid out to titillate are by no means a definitive list. I can personally vouch for several of the films listed in this collection as I own and view them on a regular basis. There’s something satisfying about films where people lay down their decency and become in touch with their baser instincts. Once again reference Rituals, this time via its tagline:
In a world turned suddenly savage the answers become...brutally simple!